Global Bites without the Flights | Afghan Cuisine at Ariana

My old roomie Nicole and I had a dinner date in Afghanistan last week. Well, at an Afghan restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen – Ariana – as part of my Global Bites without the Flights feature.

Afghan cuisine typically consists of rice dishes, qorma (a stew or casserole), dumplings, and of course, the kebab (lamb being the most common). According to the Afghan cuisine wikipedia, in Afghanistan, people do not typically dine out and eat more within the home. Women also do not dine alone or with friends.

Nicole and I ordered samusas (ground beef dumplings with yogurt sauce) as an appetizer and then split a lamb shish kebab and a chicken breast kebab, which both came with brown rice, a salad, carrots, and dried grapes.

The samusas were new to me and I loved the dough consistency. Ariana is definitely several steps above Halal cart food but the idea is the same for the two kebabs we ordered. Perhaps we should have just done one kebab and ordered something a little more adventurous for the other entree – a Global Bites lesson learned. Even though the kebabs were familiar for two big fans of cart food, each dish was fantastic and we loved the green and red chutneys on the table and used them on everything.

I have gone five for five on Global Bites at this point. There hasn’t been a dish I haven’t enjoyed at any of the restaurant picks for Laos, Belgium, Ethiopia, Brazil, or Afghanistan – each pick chosen with the help of my respective dinner companions. Let’s hope this pattern continues because I have some great dinner dates lined up and I do not want to disappoint.


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