Bamiyan dinner

Thursday, September 28th, 2006 | All Things, Eats, Friends

At our first group dinner, we were thwarted in our attempts to order the pumpkin dish at Pam’s. Talk turned to other pumpkin offerings around the city, and once JS described the pumpkin turnovers at Bamiyan, our next dining destination was set. Same crew as the last time, minus CC (who was in Barcelona for a conference), plus JG and HN.

Through the mosaiqued entryway, and we were ready for another culinary adventure. The restaurant itself is located in the heart of Curry Hill (a play on “Murray Hill“) — an area which is still sometimes referred to as “Little India.” Though nowadays that moniker will sometimes be applied to East Sixth Street, between First and Second Avenues (a.k.a. Curry Row ) or to the area in Jackson Heights, Queens, around Roosevelt Avenue and 74th Street. Point being that if you’re making plans to meet friends for dinner in “Little India,” it’s best to be specific.


Prior to this night, I’d not actually eaten much in the way of Afghani cuisine other than the Hells Kitchen kebabs, so this was something of a revelation. The cuisine melds together Middle Eastern, Persian and Indian influences. The last, particularly, at least in terms of the appearance and presentation of the dishes. The spicing of Afghani food is milder, though, and the flavors seem lighter, relying on just three or four complementary tastes to bring the dishes together.

As to be expected, there was an impressive array of shish kabob offerings (minced beef, lamb, chicken, filet mignon, cornish game hen, salmon…), but we were lured in by the pumpkin, and the Kadu  did not disappoint. The crispy turnovers were stuffed with creamy, sweetened, spiced orange flesh and served with a garlicky yogurt dip, sprinkled with fresh mint. Delicious, and possibly my favorite of the evening. We appointed JS in charge of selecting appetizers: the Bouranee Kadu (sauteéd fresh butternut squash), the Baunjaun Bouranee (eggplant slices layered with mint yogurt) and assorted dumplings (Mantoo and Sambusa ). There were grilled meat entrees, served with fragrant basmati rice (Chalows ), intermingling flavors of lemon, cucumber, saffron and coriander. Also the Asheh Keshida -– homemade “Afghan pasta” with tangy yogurt, butter and garlic sauce. And accompanying my meal, a pot of Shir-Chay: traditional Afghan tea brewed with milk, sugar, cardamom and rose petals. Could I replicate this brew at home with black tea, cardamom pods and rosewater? I’d like to try.

After dinner, CS, HN and I continued the evening with wine and beers at McCormack’s Pub across the street. The rugby game being broadcast inside reminded HN of home. The bar’s soundtrack of Morrissey/The Smiths, Joy Division/New Order and The Cure reminded me of high school.

The three of us shared a cab back to the Upper West Side, after which CS and I somehow ended up back on stools at our local haunt, sharing stories and sipping Diet Cokes late into the night.

There are 2 Comments ... Bamiyan dinner

October 6, 2006

I’m a bit miffed that I missed out on these gastronomical adventures. :p

November 26, 2009

I used to eat at Bamiyan all the time when I lived in NYC. Awesome food. Wish I could find a recipe for their Asheh Lubia.

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