Travelling to Afghanistan during lockdown
About a year ago my parents found a list in a newspaper of books that people should read before they are an adult. I have been reading them over the past year. Using the list I have read To Kill a Mocking Bird, the Diary of Anne Frank, The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit and The Fault in Our Stars and a few others. Most of the books have been really interesting and good. At the moment I am reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I have really enjoyed reading this book so far and I am enthusiastic to continue on with the story.
I think one of the things that I have really enjoyed about this book is it’s setting. When you are trapped at home it is nice to be able to travel through reading a book. For a few days I liked being locked down at home but now it is really getting to me so the fact that this book is set in Afghanistan is a real help for lockdown franticness.
The story is set in a place that is really foreign to me. Although in some ways it feels quite similar. The boys in the story are living in a time when there is a coup happening in Afghanistan so there is a lot of tension between the people. The children are stressed so they get mean with each other. They don’ t let people play with them and stuff. The two boys who are the heroes come from quite different homes but they go on being friends. I like how the story flows which is something that is hard to find in a lot of books. You sort of don’t know that the book flows well until you’re 30 pages in and think “Huh, The time just flew by”.
Now onto the food part of this blog. In the book the main character Amir Agha has something very specific for breakfast. That would be sour cherry jam with naan bread. I thought this sounded delicious and I have a lot of time on my hands. I kept thinking if I could go to Afghanistan that is what I would eat first. Then I discovered that my mum had sour cherry jam in the house. Her jam says it is just fruit and sugar. I googled sour cherry jam Afghanistan and those recipes say that theirs has rose water and almond extract so I added those things to the jam we had. Then I made the naan bread.
Because we’re all in lockdown our domestic worker’s child is with us too because they have a house on the same property as ours. His name is Rapholo and he is 8 years old. He decided to help us throughout all of the bread making. We started of by basically making normal bread dough but using a recipe that we found on an Afghan food website. We got two bowls, one for our dry ingredients and one for our wet ingredients. In our dry bowl we got together our flour and yeast and salt and in our wet bowl we got our water and oil.
We then mixed them by hand and then we put it into the mixing machine for more kneading. We then left it out in the sun for the yeast to do its job so it could double in size.
After about an hour of letting it rise we took it out of the bowl we rolled it out very thin. We put oil on it. We made little holes with our fingers and then spices were put on. The recipe said nigella seeds but we didnt have those so used what we had in the cupboard which was Zatar.
Once it had risen a little bit again I put it in the oven to cook and about 20 minutes later it was done.
It paired exceptionally well with the sour cherry jam.
It was amazing and here’s the recipe so that you can back my findings. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to go to Afghanistan to eat naan bread and cherry jam but can’ t because they are in lockdown.
Recipe: Afghan Naan Bread
2.5 cups white flour (the recipe says to use bread flour but because of lockdown there is a shortage in the shops so we used cake flour)
1 packet instant yeast
2 tbsp oil
1 cup warm water
Put all the dry ingredients together slowly add the liquids. Mix then knead into a dough. Once the dough is done cover the bowl with plastic and leave it to rise in a warm place . Once the dough has doubled in size roll it out very thin. Sprinkle with olive oil and seeds and bake until golden brown. Eat with sour cherry jam.