While everybody else ordered water or iced tea, I got adventurous and ordered Doogh, a salted yogurt drink with tiny diced cucumbers floating on top. Reading up on it later, I learned that it's a favorite Middle Eastern beverage made with yogurt, water and salt. Sometimes, the diced cucumber is added to provide some texture. That's how mine came, also sprinkled with dried mint.
It was okay. It had an odd salty taste, not at all what I expected. Not real good, but strangely satisfying. Not sweet like American yogurt, but a bit on the sour side, like the real thing. The wife hated it. I won't order it again, but you know how it is, I had to try.
On the other hand, I thought it went well with the Butternut Squash and Leek Bolanis that we ordered for appetizers.
The bolanis are like Indian nann flatbread stuffed with the veggies and seasoned with cilantro sauce. They're very flavorful, but spicy, which surprised the wife. I thought they gave quite a nice chili burn that lasted for a while.
The wife ordered a Combination Chicken and Beef Kabob; I had their Lamb Kabob. Both entrees came with cilantro-flavored diced squash and tomatoes, alongside which they propped a healthy chunk of jalapeño pepper, and basmati rice. They also provided a basket of Afghan bread.
Some of my lamb was lean and on the dry side, the rest was nice and juicy. The wife's beef was delicious; the chicken was too dry for me. I don't like cilantro, but went for the whole experience and ate all of my vegetables like my mother taught me. I did like the perfectly cooked basmati rice – sweet, tender and moist without being mushy.
After my intensely flavored entrée, I needed something sweet. So for dessert, I ordered Baklava, you know, that sweet pastry filled with nuts and dripping with honey? Yep, I was in the mood.
Unfortunately, they were out. Damn! So I ordered something different – Firmi, a mildly sweet milk pudding sprinkled with finely chopped pistachio nuts. It reminded me somewhat of the Hawaiian dessert, coconut haupia pudding. I liked it, as a little dessert sweetness is always refreshing and cooling after a heavily meat-oriented meal.
(Sorry for the picture. I forgot to take the photo before digging into the dessert. Despite its looks, it come to the table perfectly round.)
Well ... It turns out that Afghan food is tasty in its own way, but definitely not one of my favorite cuisines.
De Afghanan Kabob House: 37405 Fremont Blvd. Phone (510) 745-9599.