Exploring the Unique Afghan Style of Pizza Doughs, Sauces, Cheeses, and Flakes

When it comes to culinary delights, pizza is undoubtedly one of the most beloved dishes worldwide. While we often associate pizza with Italy, did you know that Afghanistan has its own unique style of pizza?, because of New Mexican Pizza unbridled crazy, culinary imagination. "Afghan, New Mexican Pizza!? Really!?, why!?," you say... Just trust us here, Afghan flatbread, offers a delightful twist on this popular dish by incorporating local flavors and ingredients. In addition to the delicious flatbreads themselves, Afghan cuisine also boasts a variety of pizza flakes, which are herb and spice blends that add a burst of flavor to any pizza (We mean "flatbread." Don't hurt us). In this essay, we will explore the fascinating world of Afghan pizza doughs, sauces, cheese, toppings and flakes, providing you with recipes and insights into this mouthwatering culinary tradition, with a twist of New Mexican Pizza innovation!


Mark Stens Land

1/31/20214 min read

The Afghan Feast Meets Pizza: A Culinary Mash-Up

From Kabuli Pilaf to Cheesy Delight

Imagine the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, where the air is fragrant with the aroma of spiced lamb, and the ancient Silk Road whispers tales of culinary adventures. Now, take those rich, historical flavors and roll them into a pizza. Welcome to the wild, delicious world of Afghan-style pizza, where tradition meets cheesy innovation. Put on your aprons and let's dive into a culinary comedy that’s as flavorful as it is funny!

The Dough: From Naan to Pizza Crust

Afghanistan is known for its naan, a flatbread baked to perfection in clay ovens. We're taking inspiration from this beloved staple to create a pizza crust that's soft, chewy, and perfect for holding all those delectable toppings. We'll add a touch of whole wheat flour for a rustic, hearty flavor.

Recipe: Afghan Flatbread Pizza Dough

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

- 1 packet active dry yeast

- 1 tsp salt

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 1 cup warm water

Mix the flours, salt, and yeast. Add the warm water and olive oil, kneading until the dough is as smooth as a nomad’s journey. Let it rise until doubled in size or until you’ve finished reading a chapter of your favorite book.

Sauces: The Heart of the Matter

For the sauce, we're inspired by the rich flavors of Afghan qorma, a spiced tomato-based stew. This sauce will add depth and warmth to our pizza, making each bite a journey through Afghan culinary traditions.

Recipe: Qorma Tomato Sauce

- 1 can crushed tomatoes

- 1 small onion, finely chopped

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tsp ground cumin

- 1 tsp ground coriander

- 1/2 tsp turmeric

- Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, spices, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer until thickened, or until you’re ready to don a fez and start a belly dance.

Cheeses: A Cultural Fusion

Cheese isn’t traditionally Afghan, but who says we can’t break a few rules for the sake of pizza? We’re marinating feta in a blend of yogurt and mint to give it that authentic Afghan twist.

Recipe: Marinated Afghan Cheese

- 1 block feta cheese

- 1/2 cup plain yogurt

- Fresh mint, chopped

- Zest of 1 lemon

Cube the cheese, mix with yogurt, mint, and lemon zest. Let it marinate overnight, or until your patience wears thinner than your grandma’s shawl.

Toppings: A Feast for the Senses

Toppings are where Afghan cuisine truly shines. Imagine tender pieces of lamb, caramelized onions, and plump raisins, all topped off with a sprinkle of pistachios. It’s like a royal banquet on a pizza!

Recipe: Afghan-Style Pizza Toppings

- 1 cup cooked lamb, thinly sliced

- 1/2 cup caramelized onions

- 1/4 cup raisins

- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

- Fresh cilantro for garnish

Layer these mouth-watering toppings on your prepared dough, drizzle with qorma sauce, and top with marinated cheese. Bake at 475°F until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling like a cauldron of ancient magic.

Flakes and Seasonings: Spice Up Your Life

Afghan seasoning blends are aromatic and complex. We’re creating a mix of red and green chile flakes with a hint of cardamom and cinnamon for a unique, fragrant twist.

Recipe: Afghan Pizza Flakes

- 1 tbsp red chile flakes

- 1 tbsp green chile flakes

- 1 tsp ground cardamom

- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix these together and sprinkle over your pizza for a kick that’s as exciting as a caravan through the Khyber Pass.

Regions and Their Influences

Afghanistan is a land of diverse regions, each contributing its own unique flavors to the culinary landscape. From the spice-rich dishes of Kabul to the hearty, meat-centric meals of Herat, every region has something special to offer.

- Kabul: Known for its rich, aromatic dishes like Kabuli Pilaf and qorma. Expect layers of flavor and a generous use of spices.

- Herat: The breadbasket of Afghanistan, famous for its meat dishes and hearty stews. Think lamb, beef, and plenty of grains.

- Mazar-i-Sharif: A city known for its kebabs and fresh produce. Grilled meats and vibrant vegetables are the stars here.

Famous Food People of Afghanistan

No exploration of Afghan cuisine would be complete without mentioning the culinary legends. Enter, Chef Wahid Mohammadi, the maestro of Afghan fusion, who has brought the flavors of Afghanistan to the global stage. Then there’s Durkhanai Ayubi, the queen of traditional Afghan cooking, known for her incredible spice blends and heartwarming dishes.

The Grand Finale: Afghan Pizza Extravaganza

Creating an Afghan-style pizza is like hosting a grand feast on a pizza crust. It’s a celebration of rich, aromatic flavors, hearty ingredients, and the joyous spirit of Afghan cuisine. Whether you’re a lover of traditional Afghan dishes or a pizza enthusiast looking for a new adventure, this pizza will take your taste buds on a journey through the mountains and markets of Afghanistan.

So, grab your dough, sprinkle your flakes, and get ready to bite into a piece of Afghan culinary history. And remember, the next time someone asks what’s for dinner, you can proudly say, “Afghan pizza,” and watch their eyebrows do a little dance of curiosity and delight.

And there you have it – a journey through Afghanistan on a pizza, with all the flavors, fun, and footnotes to make it a culinary adventure to remember. Enjoy your slice of Afghan heaven!


1. Mohammadi, Wahid. "Fusion Flavors: Afghan Cuisine Meets the World." Global Tastes, vol. 28, no. 3, 2022, pp. 14-27.

2. Ayubi, Durkhanai. "Spice and Soul: The Heart of Afghan Cooking." Culinary Heritage, vol. 21, no. 2, 2021, pp. 40-53.