When we saw the banner for a little boy's aqiqah at the entrance of Chili Chutney Afghan Restaurant, we hesitated to enter thinking it was closed for a private event. There was a buffet for the event that was going on so we were seated at one of the low tables to the side and were handed menus to choose from.
With the low seats and richly colored velvet fabrics and paintings surrounding us, we were distracted from the food. We ordered Sheer Chai and continued to take in the cultural event that was going on around us. Sheer Chai is an authentic Afghan tea with milk and cardamom but because of the different ratios it is slightly different than the Indian tea.
The soft flat bread they brought to the table disappeared pretty quickly thanks to the colorful and spicy chutneys that were already at the table.
Sambosas filled with savory potatoes and spices were ordered for comparison with others we tried from other countries and those disappeared quickly as well proving their deliciousness.
Rick also ordered Mantu since it seemed very similar the Turkish dish mantı and wanted to see if they were indeed similar. The meat dumplings were much richer than the Turkish version because of the meat sauce they were served in and sour cream replace the yogurt making it even richer.
Quabili Palau was simply beautiful in the way it looked as much as it tasted. This colorful dish is made with basmati rice cooked with lamb shank and spices and garnished with carrots and raisins.
Beef Chapli Kabob came cradled in a large piece of flat bread and a side of creamed spinach that helped tone down the spices blended in the shish kabob.
We did what anyone who cannot choose from the dessert menu would do and ordered all of it: Bakhlava, Sheer Birinj, and Sheer Yakh!
We shared bites from all and sent the rest for boxing to continue the feast later. Meanwhile the celebration was winding down and the little baby boy was getting sleepy from being handed from relative to relative. We felt happy for the family for their newest arrival and happy for us having to witness something so unique.
(bil-hanā' wa ash-shifā') بالهناء والشفاء / بالهنا والشفا
may you have your meal with gladness and health