For as long as I can remember, my family has occasionally made a sweet bread called Afghan rote. I think my parents got the recipe from a friend, and we have made it ever since. Now it has been entered into the family recipes. I think of it as a dessert, but I have read that it is an Afghan food Afghans usually have it with breakfast, or it is eaten with tea. I don’t drink tea or coffee, but I think rote and coffeecake are delicious. This is like all other easy bread recipes except for the inclusion of cardamom.
Afghan flatbread, afghan kebabs, and Afghani naan all are popular ones in Afghan cuisine. But this golden brown rote is more like a good-to-go dish and easy to make. Except for cardamom, you do not need to worry about the ingredients. It is easily available at a grocery store. And so I thought about presenting the recipe for Afghan sweet bread.
Afghan Rote Secret Ingredient
Rote is primarily flavored with cardamom powder. It is among the popular dishes in afghan. Because of the cardamom, it is more expensive than the average spice. But you can make it on special occasions. I’m going to share a little information about it for you to make it seem worth making the investment. Cardamom is likely one of those spices that Christopher Columbus sailed around the world trying to find. It hasn’t become as popular in the West as cinnamon and other spices to which cardamom could be compared. Like cinnamon, a little cardamom goes a long way.
There are a number of delicious dishes that cardamom can be used in preparing. Basically, if you buy cardamom to make this rote, and you like spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, then you will not regret it. The best part is you can make this afghan meal with an oven. I love Indian food, and a lot of Indian dishes include cardamom. All of the sweet or spicy Afghan dishes or recipes contain cardamom. In South Asia, you will find various types of spices even in tea, especially in Afghan culture. I had a tea-less Chai frozen yogurt at Yogurtland yesterday that was delicious, it had cardamom.
When my dad sent me this recipe he attached this little poem he wrote. He is a therapist who works with soldiers and their families.
- 1 package dry yeast or a little less than 1 T (no need for a quick rise yeast)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp - baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup oil
- poppy seeds
- Mix warm water and yeast (dough doesn't have to rise) in a large round bowl.
- Add wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- The dough will look and feel like cookie dough.
- Grease your pan if your oven proof pan needs it.
- Press out dough onto pizza pan or cookie sheet with clean hands. I used a baking stone.
- Scour dough with fork in perpendicular directions.
- Top with poppy seeds according to your preference.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.
- Allow it to cool, and cut it into squares to serve....at least that how we do it. To store, use dry airtight storage conditions.
This afghani food does not require an extra food processor except for the hot oven. If you are trying it for the first time I recommend you use less cardamom powder or you will feel overwhelmed with the smell. Remember to add little oil to the baking pan so that it does not stick. Consider making a good shape before baking. The bread will not rise so a round circle will look good. Generally afghans don’t use it on the bread, but you can try dried fruits on it. In case you do not have poppy seeds use sesame seeds. It won't change the taste. Don't over bake it or you will find the bottom crust burnt. It depends on the strength of your oven.
Enjoy this rote, Afghan bread,
And remember those
who foreign soil still tread;
And their families at home,
who also serve.
Our heartfelt thanks,
Our prayers, our support,
They well deserve.
-Kelvin Clark 2008
Forrest lives in Colorado with the wonderful Katie Clark and their two sons. Forrest was raised in North Carolina, graduated from BYU with a degree in political science, and loves to dabble in lots different things. Plus, he is a big MLS fan.