Foreign Flavors: Panjshir

Restaurant: Panjshir

Location: 924 West Broad St.Falls Church, VA 22046703-536-4566

Date: Dec 01, 2010

Cuisine: Afghan

 

Washington has a good size population of Afghans as a legacy of our involvement after the Russian invasion. We started coming to this restaurant when it opened in the mid 80s. This is a family run place and they are extremely hospitable, as well as serving up a very yummy glimpse at this infrequently found palette of flavors.


The menu.

We ordered this very reasonable Beaujolais.

There is a consistant palette of tomato, yogourt, garlic, and onion typified by this bowl of “Aush” soup. A bit of mint seasons up the exotic concoction. It might not be your typical American soup, but it is delicious.

They happily made up a vegetarian variant of these “Aushak” scallion filled dumplings. The pasta has a wonderful soft texture, not unlike a good Hungarian or Polish dumpling.

Afghan bread.

Which is best with this very spicy “green death” sauce. I love the stuff.

A nice salad comes with every entree. The dressing seems to be youghurt based, with some lemon and pepper. It’s really zingy.

What central Asian place wouldn’t have lamb kabob!

Or chicken.

This is “Seib Chalow,” or apples baked with tomato sauce, seeded Afghan prunes, walnuts, split peas, and spices. Really, really tasty. I don’t know how to describe it, but when eaten with the rice it forms a wonderful sweet and savory stew — with amazing texture too.

“Kadu Chalow,” sauteed pumpkin topped with seasoned yogurt and tomato sauce. Also a bit sweet (in a good way), but wonderful.

My personal favorite, the “Muntoo,” dumplings stuffed with ground beef and the omnipresent yogurt and meat sauce. The pasta is perfect and the whole thing very savory.

But, to properly appreciate, I apply a very liberal dose of the green death. Yum!

“Firnee,” This has the flavor palette of Indian Rice Pudding, but the texture of Italian Panna Cotta. It’s very light and pleasant. I love the cardamon and pistachio thing.

You have to love the bar.

And the even cooler antique muskets. These were probably still in use when the Russians invaded — and the Afghans won! Even Alexander the Great learned not to get into a land war in Asia. We should just leave them to their business and the cooking.

4 comments on “Foreign Flavors: Panjshir

  1. […] Non canonical events: Dinner at Little Saigon Sunday Snack Monday dinner at Mon Ami Tuesday lunch at Coastal Flats Wednesday lunch at Ping Pong Wednesday dinner at Panjshir […]

  2. Scott Shumaker says:

    Damn, looks good. There’s a great Afghani place in LA too if you ever get the hankering – called Azeen’s Afghani (Pasadena). Their Mantu and Aush is really damn good, and I’m also a huge fan of their lamb kabobs.

  3. […] Manti, Almond Milk, Black Lime.” Manti are a type of dumpling, like Afghan Mantoo (see here). While we each only got a bite this was a very good […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s