With Spring just around the corner, home cooks will soon be looking to incorporate crisp seasonal produce and natural ingredients into traditional dishes.
One way to celebrate seasonal ingredients and enhance grilled meats and vegetarian dishes is developing a signature marinade. Tenderizing and imparting flavour, marinades created with fresh herbs and bright aromatics are lively, healthful and have incredible impact.
“In Afghan cuisine, we rely on fresh ingredients to build flavours and create balance,” says Sweeta Sediqui, Executive Chef at Naan & Kabob. “Rather than being spice-dominant, our marinades include vibrant produce such as a touch of green pepper, ginger, garlic, fresh coriander and turmeric that are soothing and delicious.”
Looking to prepare a marinade that celebrates Spring and draws inspiration from Afghan cuisine? The team at Naan & Kabob recommends including the following ingredient staples:
Fresh Coriander: Also known as cilantro, this polarizing ingredient is commonly used throughout Afghan cuisine. Coriander leaves have a unique herbal flavour with fragrant notes of citrus and pepper that pop within a marinade.
Onions: This popular aromatic is used widely throughout Afghan cuisine and is a staple when it comes to developing a good marinade. Rather than relying browned minced onions to impart flavour, squeeze ‘juice’ from onions and include within your marinade for a savory kick.
Bell Peppers: Available in a variety of colours, bell peppers have sweetness and natural acidity that pair perfectly within a marinade. Finely mince or puree peppers to ensure they meld with your marinade and impart full flavour.
Ginger: Fresh ginger is a pungent and zesty aromatic that can bring dimension into your signature marinade. Warm and spicy, ginger root provides a lemony snap and sharpness that can wake up everyday dishes.
Garlic: This strong aromatic is a must when it comes to building the perfect marinade. With a pungent kick that mellows and sweetens during the cooking process, garlic pairs well with practically any protein.
Turmeric: Sporting a signature orange hue, turmeric is an aromatic spice with an earthy flavour and kick like that of mustard or horseradish. Add turmeric to your next marinade to give your dish colour and a pleasant nuanced heat.
Cumin: This ground spice comes from a seed that is warm, earthy and has subtle notes of citrus. Aromatic and spicy, cumin is a distinct spice that will bring complexity to your next dish.
Cinnamon: Both sweet and spicy, cinnamon is a surprising marinade ingredient that can enliven the flavours within a savory dish. Add a touch of cinnamon into your next marinade for a warm and delicious taste experience.
About Naan & Kabob
Naan & Kabob is a premium family-run restaurant that opened in the summer of 2010. Created with a vision to become a culinary hub that connects civilizations through delicious food and an inviting setting, Naan & Kabob celebrates diverse cultures and delivers a welcome home away from home for all.
Using fresh halal ingredients that are preservative-free, Naan & Kabob crafts healthy Afghan dishes with vibrant aromas and exciting flavours. Naan & Kabob provides quality dine-in and catering services for its customers from several locations across Toronto, Markham and Mississauga.