We unexpectedly decided to make our first meal yesterday. I got off of work around 2:00 p.m. and we decided that it would be the best day to do it because January was already slipping away from us; JL will be starting classes next week and I am getting a lot of hours at IKEA the next 3 weeks.

We decided that we would try the Halal store that is near his house first for some of the ingredients. It turned out to be a meat market and just carried very limited things. So, we headed to the speciality grocery store, Phoenicia. There we were able to gather all of the items that we needed to make our meal.

Sasha Martin had SIX items on her blog that she made for her first adventure. She had all the basis covered! But I decided for my first time I was just going to chose 2 options to make. I made Kabeli Palau which consists of basmati rice and chicken with carrots and raisins. I also made noni bread.

A few weeks ago I had grocery list all planned and my choice of foods all planned. But I forgot to plan the timing and order of making the food. I completely ignored the times that she had for prep time and cook time. So, I started with the kabeli palau and then realized I should have started with the noni bread. So bread was our dessert, oops 🙂

Lesson 1: I will know for the next meal to spend a little more time studying timing! 

The Kabeli Palau turned out awesome. The steps were easy and I knew how to do everything! It was time consuming for sure though. Also, something that I wasn’t expecting when making it was I would have to touch a whole chicken..the little wings were flapping everywhere as I THREW it into the pot (I may have screamed a little as I did it)….I really hate touching uncooked meat.

Lesson 2: Get over having to touch nasty meat and wobbly winged chickens. 

img_2747The amount of ingredients for the two items didn’t seem to excessive for me either!

We decided that we would be food connoisseur and examen are food. This is our attempt to be food journalists:

  • The main ingredients are also the basic ingredients of Colombia (and many other countries) – rice, chicken BUT the spices that are in the Afghani food made it something completely different….duh…we are so smart!
  • We found the food to be sweet but salty! Great flavors blending together.
  • Lastly, We at first thought the crunch came because the rice wasn’t cooked all the way..and then we remembered that it was probably the almonds on top!

Lesson 3: We need to learn how to describe the food a little better!!

When it was all said and done I was very please with this dish! It is a dish that we feel like we would for sure make again. A change we would make is to not purchase jumbo raisins (it’s the only thing the store had).


Noni Bread: 

As I said previously, I should have started the bread before the rice dish in order to let it rise. We ended up eating it MUCH later than our main meal! I have never really made bread before so I knew that this would be a challenge.

The whole time I was making it I kept thinking that it would not turn out for many reasons.

  • The dough was too sticky – I was suppose to use a mixer with a dough handle for 10 minutes, but I don’t even have a hand mixer. So, it was not kneaded for as long as it should have been.
  • We initially forgot to get the yeast at the store, so JL had to run to the store to pick some up while I continued to cook.
  • Because of the stickiness and because I did not have a rolling pin the dough was too thick and it was hard to roll out. I used an old glass bottle as my rolling pin but it stuck to the jar pretty well, I had to keep using flour and water to try to get them flattened.
  • Because they were made too thick I was worried that they wouldn’t get cooked all the way through but they turned out MUCH less doughy then I thought they would!

We really liked the bread and I would for sure make it again with my new found knowledge!

Lesson 4: Learn from the many mistakes. Get a rolling pin!!

The Basics

  • I started making dinner at 5:30 p.m., we did not sit down to start eating until 8:00 p.m. So, it took some time. (Hopefully the times will shrink as we go!)
  • We estimated that the meal cost about $40 to make but we will be able to eat it for several days because it made a lot! (Bonus! Leftovers!!)
  • Fun Fact: Dancing to Afghani music will cooking makes the time more enjoyable. Make sure you add this ingredient.

Lesson 5: I can do this!!

Next up: Albania