most popular afghan food

Afghan Food; Get to Know the 13 Most Popular Afghan Foods

When you travel to Afghanistan, you will be surprised by the variety of Afghan cuisine. The traditional foods of this country are rooted in their culture and are a symbol of geographical and, of course, ethnic diversity. So, there are different types of Afghan food. This variation makes it easy for people with different food tastes to come together and discuss this matter. 

Cereals, legumes, meat, and other ingredients are used for cooking the various foods found in Afghanistan. Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have many common foods, and you can easily enjoy the taste of the food cooked in these countries. In this article, we want to take a quick look at the local Afghan foods and see what foods are served in this country.

afghan recipe

Kabuli Pulao – Afghan Rice and Lamb Pilaf

kabuli pulao

If you are one of those people who love pilaf more than anything else, you should try the delicious Kabuli pulao cooked in Afghanistan. It might be interesting to know that Kabuli pulao is cooked in different ways in different regions of this country, but its unique taste can stay under your teeth forever. 

Cooking this dish is not so difficult. All you have to do is prepare the ingredients and then combine them according to the recipe. To prepare this delicious dish, you will need meat, oil, onions, spices, carrots, raisins, dates, almond slices, pistachio slices, blackberries, and rice.

Bolani – Afghan Stuffed Flatbread

pumpkin bolani

Bread is one of the important ingredients that have a special place in the diet of Afghan people. This is why, when you travel to this country, you will come across different traditional breads, each of which has a unique taste. Bolani is also cooked differently in different parts of Afghanistan, but it is not very difficult to prepare. You will need flour, pumpkin, spices, and onions for this delicious bread.

How to Make Bolani?


  • 1 kg flour 
  • 100 grams chopped walnuts
  • 500 grams pumpkin 
  • 75 grams of fried onions 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • Oil as needed
  • Yeast as needed 
  • Clove as needed 
  • Salt as needed 
  • Chili powder as needed 
  • Coriander seeds as needed 
  • Olive or sesame oil as needed 

How to Prepare Bolani? 

Since Bolani is a type of local bread, the main step in cooking it is to prepare the bread dough. We must first mix flour, yeast, and oil and knead until it becomes sticky. Then put the resulting dough at room temperature for about 30 minutes until it is fully prepared. 

In the second step, chop the pumpkins and add salt, garlic, walnuts, chili powder, coriander seeds, cloves, fried onions, and pepper. Then divide the dough into the desired sizes and roll it into shapes with a rolling pin. 

Make a circle, pour the ingredients prepared in the previous steps on the dough and wrap the Bolanis in a semi-circle. Finally, we have to fry each Bolani in oil on low heat until they are roasted. The Bolani is ready, and you can serve them with different seasonings.

Mento – Savory Beef and Onion Filled Dumplings

mantu recipe

Another delicious local food that has many fans in Afghanistan and other neighboring countries is Mento or Mantu. This food is precious in Afghanistan and is served as the main course. To make Mento, you should first make the dough and then fill it with meat, chickpeas, curd, and necessary spices and cook it in steam.

How to Make Mentos?

Mento, like other traditional foods of the world, has different recipes. In this section of the traditional Afghan food article, we will provide you with the most authentic way of preparing this delicious food. 


  • 1.5 kg red meat 
  • 1 kg Onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1.5 kg flour 
  • 1.5 liters milk 
  • Salt As needed 
  • Black pepper As needed 
  • Coriander seeds as needed 
  • Oil As needed

How to prepare?

To prepare Mento, you must first prepare the dough of this dish using milk, flour, and salt. For this purpose, mix the ingredients with a bit of water and knead until the ingredients become pasty and sticky. Place the dough at room temperature for 30 minutes until it is fully prepared. Now it’s time to prepare mento ingredients. 

To prepare these ingredients, you should first fry the onions with oil on low heat until the onions turn golden, then add the garlic and meat along with the spices needed for the red onions. Add and fry until the meats change color; now, you have to add water and let the meats cook. After the meats are cooked, the mento ingredients are ready. You have to divide the dough into the desired shape, pour some ingredients on each piece of dough, and make Mento. 

Put them in the oven for 15 minutes. In the traditional recipe of this dish, cheese is not used, but if you are a fan of the taste of cheese, you can add as much cheese as you like before putting the mentos in the oven. You can also use vegetables to decorate this dish. Use fresh and condensed yogurt.

Kichiri Quroot – Afghan Sticky Rice

kichiri quroot

For people who love curd, this food can be the best choice. Kichiri Ghuroot is another local dish that is cooked in Afghanistan and has many fans in the cold weather of the year. Ingredients such as rice, curd, and meatballs are used for cooking this delicious dish.

Dolmeh Barg – Stuffed Grape Leaves

persian stuffed grape leaves

Dolmeh barg is one of the common dishes of Iranians and Afghans. This delicious food can be made with the help of grape leaves. Different ingredients are used to fill grape leaves in different regions of Iran and Afghanistan. If you happen to be in Afghanistan and have a craving for dolma, visit the local restaurants of this country and try the Dolme served there. 

Ashak – Vegetarian Dumpling Filled with Leek and coriander

ashak afghan dumplings

Another traditional food that has many fans in Afghanistan is Ashak (Aushak). This delicious food is also obtained with the help of wheat dough. The inside of the dough is also filled with leek and necessary spices then tomato sauce and yogurt sauce are poured on it.

Aush – Afghan Noodle Soup

afghan aush

If you love different dishes, you will find them in Afghanistan. Afghans use various ingredients such as vegetables, beans, and curd to cook Afghan Noodle Soup and use fried onion and garlic to decorate it. 

Tandoori Kabob 

grilled tandoori kebabs

Afghan people are hospitable and friendly people. All you have to do is be a guest in their house for once. In the central parts of Afghanistan, when the number of guests increases, they slaughter a sheep and roast it. This delicious dish is flavored with garlic and salt.

Shami Kebab

shami kabab

If you love meat dishes, you should also try the Shami kebab Afghans cook. This dish, which has a unique taste, is prepared with boneless meat, onions, eggs, flour, salt, and various spices and then fried. 

Chapli Kebab – Minced Meat with Onions

chapli kebab

Various naan (Afghani flatbread) and kabobs are cooked in Afghanistan. One of these local dishes that have a delicious taste is chapli kebab. This kebab is prepared from meat, onion, tail, garlic, pepper, and salt.

Afghan Qorme Sabzi 

Ghormeh sabzi recipe

When it comes to Qorme Sabzi, people’s minds go to Persian Qorme Sabzi, which is cooked in Iran. Although Iranians cook the most delicious Qorme Sabzi in the world, you can also find this delicious food in Herat. Ingredients such as meat, onion, spinach, parsley, and beans are used for cooking this dish. 

Lawang Stew – Braised Chicken

lawang stew

There are many traditional and local foods in Herat city, one of which is Lawang stew. This stew, which has an excellent taste, is obtained from ingredients such as meat, onion, garlic, curd, and Roman paste. If you have a trip to Afghanistan, don’t forget to taste this stew.

Samanak – Wheat Sprouts


Another local dish that has many fans in Afghanistan is samanak. Samanak is prepared in the spring season. To prepare this food, they put wheat in a container and kept it away from the rain. After the Semanak is green, they put it in a big pot and add water.

As you have seen, many local dishes are served in Afghanistan, each with a unique taste. Also, some appetizers and desserts, such as borani banjan and haft mewa, a cold sweet soup made of nuts and dried fruits such as apricots for the new year celebration (Nowruz). If you travel to this country, remember to visit its local restaurants and enjoy the taste of these Afghan dishes.

FAQs About Afghan Food

What is the most famous Afghan food?

Kabuli Pulao is one of Afghanistan’s most popular dishes, making it their national dish.

What are some popular Afghan dishes?

There are many delicious Afghan foods and some of the most popular ones are Kabuli Pulao, Bolani, Mento, Kichiri Quroot, Dolmeh Barg, Ashak, Aush, Tandoori Kabob, Shami Kebab, Chapli Kebab, Lawang Stew, and Samanak.

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