If you're looking for easy tasty Afghan recipes then this Afghan potato salad with Persian beef kebabs should definitely be something to try. Both these Afghan dishes are great for a simple weeknight dinner!
Until recently I didn't know much about Afghan cuisine and I don't think I'd made any Afghanistan recipes. I'd made recipes from other Central Asian countries but Afghan recipes were a bit of mystery to me.
Researching Afghan Recipes
However, I am always interested in trying new dishes and finding out about new cuisines. I was therefore very excited to research Afghan cuisine recently. I discovered The Spice Spoon, a beautiful food blog full of delicious recipes from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. As I read through the recipes I wanted to make all of them. If you love Persian food then you have to visit! I know I will be returning again and again for recipe inspiration.
What is Afghan Potato Salad like?
First I made the Borani Kachalu which is the Afghan potato salad. Borani is a cold dish of vegetables in a yogurt dressing. I was never a fan of potato salads as a child and always avoided them. It's only in the past year that I have begun to try them again, sometimes making a quick potato salad with an olive oil dressing to take to work as a packed lunch.
I think part of the reason I have never been keen on potato salads is because I am not a fan of heavy mayonnaise or creamy dressings. But, I do love the lightness of yogurt dressings. I could therefore instantly see the appeal of this salad.
Not only that but the tomato sauce the potato is cooked in uses some of my favourite ingredients: ginger, garlic and chilli. I just knew that this was my kind of potato salad. I followed the recipe almost exactly except that my slices of potato were larger and more chunky than in the original recipe. The end result was also much less elegant than the original version.
Can you serve this Afghan Potato Salad Warm?
The only thing I found difficult was having to stop myself eating the potatoes and leave them to cool so I could get on with the kebabs. I would happily have eaten them warm and would cook them again this way to eat as a hot side dish. It might not be traditional to serve the salad warm but why not?
Can you adapt the Persian beef kebabs?
I used dried herbs for this recipe but I would definitely recommend using fresh ones if you have them. I was not quite organised enough!
Would I make this Afghan Meal again?
I loved the spiciness of these Persian beef kebabs. They suited me perfectly and my husband agreed this is definitely something he wants me to make again. The potato salad was also a hit so yes, we're definitely fans of Afghan cuisine now!
I'm not sure if these two Afghan dishes would be eaten together in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, I found they went together perfectly. The kebabs were really easy to make and so was the potato salad.
Can you prepare the Afghan potato salad in advance?
The Afghan potato salad and yogurt sauce can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. Just stir the yogurt if it has separated a little. The yogurt can be prepare day before and the potato salad up to two days before.
Can you prepare the Persian beef kebabs in advance?
The Persian beef kebabs can be prepared in advance too and then reheated in the oven or microwave. However, they are best to eat when freshly cooked. They may go a little dry when reheated.
You can also eat the kebabs cold so the whole meal can even be packed up in lunchbox or picnic.
What else can you serve with this Afghan meal?
I like to eat these Persian kebabs and potato salad with some green salad as well. Tomatoes and freshly sliced onions are also good.
If you want to make it more filling then why not serve some flatbread with it too? These nigella seed flatbreads which are a little like naan bread go really well.
Recipe for Afghan Potato Salad with Persian Beef Kebabs
Afghan Potato Salad with Persian Beef Kebabs
Ingredients for the Afghan Potato Salad
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 5 g ginger grated
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 120 ml passata
- 2 potatoes sliced
Ingredients for the Dressing
- 3 tbsp natural yogurt
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp dried mint
Ingredients for the Persian Beef Kebabs
- 250 g minced beef
- ½ onion finely diced
- 3 chili peppers diced
- 2 spring onions
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried coriander leaf
- 1 tsp dried mint
First Make the Potato Salad
- Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the powdered spiced. Stir for a few seconds then add the passata. Stir for about a minute then add the potatoes.
- Make sure all the potatoes are thoroughly coated in the passata. Add a dash of water so the pan is not too dry. I added an extra dash of passata too. Put the lid on and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
- Check the potatoes are cooked. If so, take them off the heat and begin to make the dressing.
- Mix the yogurt, water and mint together and leave in the fridge till ready to serve.
How to Make the Persian Beef Kebabs
- You can make these as the potatoes are cooking. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process till thoroughly combined.
- Shape into 6 kebabs and fry in a pan of hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side.
More Recipes you Might Like
Why not try these Georgian lamb kebabs? They are so tasty and would also go well with the potato salad.
Harissa Carrot Salad
I think this harissa carrot salad makes great side dish with kebabs and would also go well with the Persian kebabs.
Or how about this Afghan lamb and spinach stew with aubergine in yogurt?
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