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Afghanistan may be a poor country, but Afghan hospitality and delicious cuisine ensure that visitors never go hungry during their stay. Sharing meals with family, friends, and coworkers is an integral part of Afghan culture. Nosh-e jan (نوش جان) is a polite way to invite friends to eat and enjoy their meal, or to respectfully decline food offered to you.
Afghan cuisine begins and ends with tea and bread. Without these two staples, no me al is complete. Chai sabz (چای سبز) or chai siah(چای سیاه) (green tea or black tea) is usually served before and after the meal (and anytime between meals as well!). A constant supply of chai (چای) is kept hot during the day in large thermoses called tarmooz(ترموز) . Afghan bread, called naan (نان) is served with all meals. Naan (نان) is delicious, dense bread made from whole-wheat flour. Each person will be given a large piece of naan (نان) with his or her meal. Traditionally, Afghans eat using their hands and will tear off pieces of naan (نان) to eat with their food. Following religious and cultural norms, Afghans eat using the right hand only, as the left hand is considered unclean (it is acceptable to use the left hand to tear off a piece of naan, (نان)but it should be eaten with the right hand).
When Afghans have guests dining in their home, they will serve the best food that they have to offer. Typical dishes served at home include meat and rice dishes, such as qabili pilau, (قابلی پلو) which is a famous dish of gosht (گوشت)(meat – usually lamb) with rice, raisins, and carrots. Many vegetable dishes are also served, such as bonjon (eggplant), sabzi(سبزی ) (spinach), dal (دال) (lentils), nakhud (نخود)(chickpeas), and bomya(بامیه) (okra). These are often fried in a large amount of cooking oil (Afghan cuisine uses quite a bit of oil in most dishes). One particularly popular dish is burani bonjon,(بورانی بادنجان) a dish of eggplant fried with tomato and onion, and served with a delicious yogurt sauce called chaka (چکه) . It is often served with rice. Chai چای) (is always served after the meal, along with fruit (usually oranges) or nuts and raisins.