Sun-Dried Pepper Paste and Walnut Tapenade
This walnut and sun-dried pepper spread is one of the most common dishes in the Middle East. Muhammara could be served as mezze (Middle Eastern small plates) or as a starter. Spicier versions, eaten before dinner, increase appetite and prepares for the next dish. This slightly milder Turkish version is served with pita bread.
Gluten-free version available upon request.
Yogurt Soup with Wheat Berries
The recipe of this soup is traced back to early settlements in Anatolia. It is quite versatile as it could be served as a first course or a complete meal with the addition of a protein. Like the chicken noodle soup in the West, Turks believe in the healing powers of Yogurt soup. It is probably attributable to the probiotics in yogurt, and the soothing properties of mint.
Gluten-free/Vegan option: Mercimek Corbasi (Lentil Soup)
Probably the most common soup in Turkey is Lentil Soup. Some call Lentil Soup as just ‘soup’. It is a very pure, yet delicious form of red lentils cooked with a few Turkish spices.
Herb Salad with Pomegranate Molasses
Kebab houses in Turkey always offer greens herbs and leaves together with the main dishes. Greens lighten up the meal, provide acidic contrast to high fat/protein content, and help digestion. This herb salad also features one of the star ingredients of Turkish Cuisine, pomegranate molasses. The tangy and sweet taste of pomegranate molasses makes a very tasty dressing for a variety of salads and mezzes.
Vegan and Gluten-Free. Contains walnuts.
Slow Cooked Lamb with Eggplant Puree
Hunkar Begendi is probably one of the most famous Turkish main dishes served in special occasions. Hunkar Begendi is translated as ‘Sultan’s Delight,’ but has also a subtle meaning that corresponds to ‘Sultan finally liked it,” as it was very difficult to impress the Sultan. Hunkar Begendi was first served at Beylerbeyi Palace in 1869, when Empress Eugenie of France visited the Ottoman Empire. It is said that the Empress enjoyed the as much as the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz.
Vegan/Gluten-free option: Mercimek ve Mantarli Begendi (Mushrooms and Lentils with Eggplant Puree)
Semolina Halwa with Vanilla Ice Cream
In Turkish culture, this is the dessert that follows people from birth to death. Halwa is cooked in large quantities and distributed in the community to celebrate birth, marriage, or to commemorate the deceased. Amongst the variety of Halwa’s, flour and semolina Halwa’s are the two most common ones, but Semolina Halwa is Esra’s favorite! Warm Halwa is served with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon.
Vegan option: Irmik Helvasi (Semolina Halwa with Pistachios)
GF Dessert available on request.
Join us for a home-cooked Afghani dinner by Shaista Amani
Friday, July 12 & Saturday, July 13
$50 per person
The secret location will be sent to ticket holders the week of the event.
One of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan, mantu is a popular street food and it’s served on special occasions. It’s said that Turkic and Mongol horsemen of Central Asia carried frozen mantu during the cold winters while traveling long distances and then boiled them over campfires for supper. The homemade dumpling dough stuffed with beef and steamed. Topped with chaka (drained yogurt, minced garlic, lemon, and salt) and a tomato sauce.
Gluten-free: Kofta Vegetarian/Vegan: Vegetable Somosa
Fresh chopped onions, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers and chickpeas with chat masala spice. Tossed with a yogurt, lemon dressing.
Gluten Free and Vegetarian. Vegan: Salad with a vegan dressing
Borani Banjan is a simple Afghan dish of sautéed eggplant with tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and chilis. Garnished with Afghani spices. It’s topped with a garlicky yogurt sauce. This vegetarian dish can be served as a side or an entree.
Gluten Free and Vegetarian. Vegan: Borani Banjan without yogurt
The national dish of Afghanistan, kabuli palaw translates to “excellent rice.” In fact, this dish is so important that brides-to-be must prove to their in-laws that they can cook it well. Afghan Sela rice cooked in a broth sauce and topped with fried sliced carrots, raisins, and chopped nuts. The meat, in this case, beef, us typically covered by the rice mixture.
Gluten Free. Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Afghan Sela rice cooked with carrots, peas, potatoes, bell pepper, and chickpeas. Garnished with Afghani spices.
We promise this rice pudding is unlike any you’ve ever had! The grains of rice are soaked overnight and ground up before being mixed with milk, butter, almonds, sugar, and cream. The result is a thick and creamy rice pudding. Topped with pistachios.
Gluten-Free. Vegetarian. Vegan: Fruit Jelly
Cooking for large groups is nothing new for Shaista. Growing up in Afghanistan, she lived with her extended family of almost 30 aunts, uncles, and cousins. Since her grandfather was a leader in the village, they entertained a lot. Almost every other day, they would have guests over for dinner. “Everybody tries to make their food look beautiful and to make their guests happy,” says Shaista. “Guests are considered as friends of God, so everyone tries to make their guests very happy.”
Shaista Amani resettled in Atlanta with her family in February of 2017 from Afghanistan. When she arrived, members of the Oakhurst Baptist Church welcomed her and provided support for her and her family. Not knowing how else to repay their kindness, Shaista took to the kitchen! Every Friday night, she invited her new friends over for a home-cooked Afghani dinner.
A week after moving to the U.S., Shaista met Barbara, the church pastor's neighbor. They developed a strong relationship and together they started Amani Catering Company. Barbara handles the business side, so Shaista can focus on the cooking. The catering company gives other Afghani women living in the area an opportunity to make a living. Not only is Amani her husband’s surname, it also means “hope.” She thinks her business will bring hope to other Afghani women who are struggling to secure jobs due to language barriers.
Shaista lives with her husband and two kids in Decatur. And they will be welcoming a new member to their family any day now!
As a member, you'll receive exclusive invitations to our pop-up dinners featuring home cooks and rising chefs. You'll have an opportunity to sample authentic dishes from around the world that you won't find anywhere else in Atlanta. At the same time, you'll be supporting local chefs as they build a name for themselves. Reserve your seats quickly as they will sell out!
Before signing up for a free membership to Chow Club, please read disclaimer. Thank you.
By signing up below I state that I am an adult, and understand that during Chow Club Atlanta I will have the option to consume dishes made by the guest chef and that the products that may have been produced in a space not inspected by the health department. By signing up I agree that Chow Club Atlanta and the venue where the event is held, will have no liability whatsoever for, and will be held harmless by me for any liability for any injury, loss or damages of to me due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the use of any product at Chow Club or while on the premises of Chow Club.