Sunday, October 31, 2021


 Next up was supposed to be Albania, if we were going to go in alphabetical order.  However, we have some wonderful neighbors who have a subscription to Universal Yums, and they shared over half of their snacks from the Indonesia box, along with the cool pamphlet and map.  So fun!!  We learned that Indonesia is made up of thousands and thousands of beautiful islands located between Southeast Asia and Australia with hundreds of different ethnic and linguistic groups.

Video List

We had so much fun with the food, thanks to our generous friends who shared their snacks with us!  You can see some of the snacks on the Universal Yums Indonesian Snacks page.  We weren't a fan of the Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies, but the Sweet & Spicy Chili Corn Nuts were a hit, as were the Strawberry Cow Gummies.

For our actual Indonesian dinner, we weren't able to find a solely Indonesian restaurant here in San Antonio.  Instead, we ordered Indomie instant noodles (Mi goreng flavor) from Amazon and found a recipe for chicken satay online at Allrecipes.  This particular recipe used ingredients that we had.  There were some more authentic recipes that we were interested in, but we weren't able to find Indonesian sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) or birds eye chilis locally, so we opted for the Allrecipes version.

The ramen was delicious!  If you use all of the seasoning packets (there are five!), it is quite spicy, but it is a more subtle burn that doesn't drown out the delicious flavor.

The satay was yummy, but the peanut sauce that goes on top is more of an acquired taste that my kids weren't crazy about.  There are so many other Indonesian foods I wish we could try (see here and here), but we had a blast with the ones that we did!

Saturday, October 9, 2021


We had already been planning on going through the countries alphabetically when the US withdrawal from Afghanistan hit the news.  We were horrified when the country fell quickly to the Taliban and have been participating with local initiatives to contribute to the resettlement of Afghan refugees to our area.  All of this made our study of Afghanistan both timely and personal as we tried to understand the country, its history and heritage, and what might be in store for them in the future.

 Video List

Here are some other good videos that we didn't have time to get to as a family:


When it came time to experience the food of Afghanistan, I was thrilled to find out that there was a restaurant of authentic Afghan cuisine not far from where we lived!  Called Azro, it even offered curbside pickup through their online ordering option (not available from the website, but if you search up the restaurant using Google, you will see a big blue "Order Online" button in the Google sidebar about the restaurant - use that).  The food was amazing, every member of the family loved it, and it is one of our all-time favorite country meals so far!

Here is what we ordered (going L to R, top to bottom):

  • Borani Badenjan - a chunky eggplant spread that was really similar to the eggplant salad we had from Iraq and soooo delicious!
  • Borani Kadoo - similar to the Borani Badenjan but with pumpkin instead of eggplant, it had a milder and sweeter taste
  • Mantoo - steamed dumplings filled with ground beef, it had cilantro in it (which most of our family isn't a fan of, but wasn't overpowering in this dish) / We couldn't help but make the connection with Korean mandu, which are also meat-filled dumplings
  • Appetizer Sampler - Bolani Gandana (leek turnovers), Bolani Kachaloo (potato turnovers), Sambosa (pastries filled with ground beef very similar to Indian samosas), and Aushak (Afghan-style ravioli similar to the Mantoo)
  • Combination Kabab - Kabab-e-Morgh (chicken - red from spices), Kabab-e-Gosfand (chunks of lamb), Kabab-e-Kofta (ground beef), and Kabab-e-Qaburgha (lamb chop - bone-in) served over a bed of brown rice (brown from spices, not what we think of as brown rice)
  • Flatbread - just called Afghan bread on the menu, it is very similar to Indian naan
  • House Salad - similar to other Mediterranean salads, it has a yogurt dressing and cucumbers (light and refreshing!)
  • Kabuli Palow - since we already had lamb with the kababs, we opted for chicken with kabuli rice for this entree / This was the standout star of the meal!  Kabuli rice is spiced and cooked with carrots and raisins and almond slices.  Although the presence of raisins in rice gave my kids some hesitation at first, we all tried it and agreed that it was amazing!  And the chicken was super tender and tasty.
Not pictured was our desserts.  We ordered the coconut cake (because how can you go wrong with coconut cake?) and ferni (milk custard pudding made with almonds, cardamom, and rosewater and sprinkled with crushed pistachios).  Both were quite good!