On my tour of Afghanistan, I had quite a few authentic local culinary experiences, in my homestay, at my hotel, in Haibak and in Masar e Sharif. I’ve already written about trying Mantoo in Masar e Sharif and the smoking Shisha on a Saturday night out with the lads. In Central Asia, Plov becomes part of a staple diet and lots of people consume it in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
After touring the Buddhist Monastery, Takht e-Rostam in Samangan, and a game of football, we drove to the nearby town of Haibak for lunch. It was today that I tried Afghan Pilov for the first time, in a local restaurant, Horam Restaurant.
Horam Restaurant in Haibak, Samangan
Horam Restaurant is a typical Afghani Choyhana style restaurant. There are restaurants like it all over the country. They are typically male only, though some have female sections for the ladies to eat. This was by the main street in the town of Haibak in the Samangan Province of Afghanistan.
I had lunch here with Noor my guide, Sakhi my driver and Reza, my new Afghan friend. We wash our hands with water out the front, a trait that exists in every single restaurant in Afghanistan.
We enter the restaurant, take our shoes off and get a table and seat at the back.
Tea arrives first. In Afghanistan, the tea always seems to come in a flask with glasses depending on how many are at the table. In our case, 4 of us and we share the tea while we order our meals.
Afghan Pilov consists of long grain rice with oil and fat, served with lamb and vegetables in it. It comes with a side salad and some bread.
As you drink the tea, the waiter will top more up for you.
The price is 130 Afghanis for everything, so that’s $2 US Dollars roughly.
The Pilov was excellent and I loved my time touring Afghanistan. If you want to head to Afghanistan to check it out, you can read my Afghanistan border crossing guide and Afghanistan Visa guide. Here are the details for booking a tour with Untamed Borders:
Untamed Borders Ltd
FF134, Dean’s Trade Centre, 1st floor, Peshawar Cantt, Pakistan
Phones : +92 (0) 345 9397639, +92 (0) 333 9397639, +92 (0) 345 9400025
Untamed Borders, 12 Harnet Street, Sandwich,
Kent, CT13 9ES, United Kingdom
Phone : +44 (0) 1304 262002
Here are some videos of the day I ate Pilov in Horam Restaurant in Haibak, Samangan, Afghanistan: