Afghanistan's prized porridge may take patience to get, but it's worth the wait

It took three visits and several personal requests to the head cook at Kabul’s women-run Bost Restaurant to finally be served a piping hot, hard-to-get bowl of kachee, a kind of porridge made by Afghans exclusively during winter after the first snow has fallen. The first two times, I was turned away, albeit politely. “It’s a winter food!” the restaurant manager—one of the only three male staffers at the women’s restaurant—explained. “But, winter is already here,” I tried to reason from below three layers of woollen and thick jackets. “No, it hasn’t even snowed yet,” he insisted. The head cook, a middle-aged woman in her mid-40s agreed with him. It was me against the Kabulis who pride and cherish their white gold. As the popular Afghan saying goes: “Kabul can be without gold, but not snow.”

In fact, kachee is among the canon of the Afghan delicacies prepared to welcome the advent of rough winter days. No one truly knows its origins but they seem to all agree that it is the speciality of the Kuchis, a nomadic tribe in Afghanistan.

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