Afghan food is influenced by South and Central Asian, Chinese and Iranian cooking. The nation's culinary specialties reflect its ethnic and geographic diversity. Afghan food is prepared Halal according to Islamic dietary laws.
Afghans like their food neither too spicy nor too hot. Meals are eaten with the right hand, using bread as a scoop. Bread is eaten with just about everything. Afghan bread comes in slabs, or in round flat loaves that have been baked inside large clay ovens called tandoors.
The traditional meal is a rice and meat dish, known as "pilau", in which the rice has been cooked with other ingredients. Another popular Afghan dish is "aushak", dumplings with meat sauce and yogurt, sprinkled with mint. Afghan food also is made up of a wide variety of food ranging from rice, breads, pastas, to kebabs and meat based products. Because of cattle and sheep herding, dairy products are traditionally an important part of the diet. Yogurt and dairy products are common staples. There is also abundant use of nuts, vegetables, and fresh and dried fruits.
Snacks may include sugarcane, pudding, nuts, seeds, apples, grapes, apricots or oranges. Afghans drink copious quantities of strong black or green tea, spiced with cardamom or with sugar, milk or cream added depending on the occasion.
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