“Hospitality is the core of Afghan culture,” says Omer Yousafzai, owner of the Afghan Village in Houston. “When you go to any Afghan home, the guest is the king.”
In this episode of Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon meets Yousafzai, a former military recruiter, who opened the first Afghan restaurant in Houston in 2012.
The shop’s kebabs, which are made using halal meat, are marinated in spices; saffron adds a vermillion hue to the chicken. Watch Simeon try his hand at making Afghan flatbread, which is baked on the side of a hot drum oven and comes out puffy and tinged deep brown.
Though Afghanistan was once a part of Persia, Afghan food tends to be flavored with many more spices than Persian cuisine. Watch Simeon, Yousafzai, and Yousafzai’s father enjoy an Afghan feast, including spiced qabuli rice with lamb, chicken, and beef kebabs; bouranee baunjan, an eggplant stew; and goat karahi, goat meat seasoned with herbs and spices.