worldly wednesdays: afghanistan osh pyozee (stuffed onions)

Welcome to Worldly Wednesdays where we will explore foods from every country on earth. We have decided to tackle this task by going alphabetically through a list found on a fantastic website called One World-Nations Online. According to OWNO “there are now 195 independent sovereign states in the world plus about 60 dependent areas, and five disputed territories”

We are committed to this project and want to include everyone. As our families pointed out, that will take about 260 weeks! We think it is a worthwhile venture in order to bring us closer together.

Alphabetically, our first country is a sovereign state and has been in the news quite a bit for us Americans. Afghanistan: a country torn by war for decades. It is a severely beautiful, mountainous, arid country that is land locked on the South/Central Asian continent.

It took a while to decide on the right dish to represent Afghanistan’s culture. It was sheer luck that we stumbled upon a dish called osh pyozee (stuffed onions). It just sounded delicious. This would be the representative meal. After a bit of research we discovered that osh pyozee is a meal made by Jews from Bukharan and Calcutta. The Afghan people also make this meal, putting their own touch on it.

In today’s environment it was important for us that this meal is both one savored by the Islamic Afghan people and by Jewish peoples. Today, September 28th, at sundown, Rosh Hashanah begins. Let us use this meal to reflect upon the fact that no matter what religion we have commonalities. Food truly does bridge the gaps of culture, politics and religion.

One World – Nations Online has been, so far, a holistic and philanthropic project, dedicated to art, culture, history, and the uniqueness of a nation and its people.

“Winner of the Babycakes giveaway is Macaroon number 77 in our comments list” Congrats Macaroon!

Osh Pyozee (Stuffed Onions)

2 large (abt 1/4 lb ea) onions, peeled
4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

STUFFING
1/2 lb ground beef
3 tablespoon raw rice, rinsed, cooked until very; soft, drained, & mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cuminseed
10 medium pitted prunes, cut length- wise int; o halves
2 tablespoon corn oil

1. Make a 1/2-inch deep incision into side of each onion. Bring water & salt to a boil over moderate heat & drop in onions. Cook for 2 mins, turning them w/slotted spoon during that time. Remove onions & peel off each layer until you reach center. Set aside onion layers & centers.

2. Put beef into a bowl w/rice, salt, pepper, & cuminseed and mix well. Take 1 heaping ts beef mixture & half of 1 prune. Stuff 1 cooked onion layer & roll it up. Do this w/all stuffing & onion layers.

3. Oil a skillet & lay stuffed onions & centers in it, cover, and cook over very low heat for 2 hours. The onions will become quite dark but not, of course, burned. This is top-of-the-stove cooking. Another method is to put stuffed onions into a baking dish, cover tightly, & bake in preheated, 250f. oven for 2 hrs. Serve warm. Serves 6 w/other dishes.

NOTE: It is also possible to accelerate cooking time. Add 1/2 c water to skillet & cook, covered, over moderate heat for 1 hour. All liquid will evaporate & onions will be browned. Recipe: “Sephardic Cooking” by Copeland Mark — 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India — Copyright 1992 Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, N.Y. David Pileggi

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35 comments

  • September 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm //

    this is refreshingly different, it’s always great to discover different culinary cultures. Thanks!

  • September 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm //

    I love cooked onions with beef so the added flavor of the prune on top with it sweetness sounds so delicious. I’ve never seen a dish like this before and it is so fun to learn about the culture behind it.

  • September 29, 2011 at 3:01 am //

    What a recipe! I don’t think I’ve ever seen or tried anything like this. I love onions though and the rest of the ingredients sound fabulous. I will have to add this to my t0-try list.

    • October 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm //

      Hi Russell, we love onions too, and having them stuffed is extra special.

  • September 29, 2011 at 3:33 am //

    What an interesting project. I’ll look forward to reading about the other 259 countries. This recipe looks like something I will also try at home.

  • September 29, 2011 at 7:20 am //

    dear Lord, that sounds just different and delicious! …..YUM!!!!

  • September 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm //

    Love your idea of posting recipes from different countries. It’s so interesting how different cultures, countries, and even just areas of a country have their own unique food, ingredients, and recipes. Looking forward to your next posts.

    • October 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm //

      Thank you, we are so excited too, it’s a tall task but we can’t wait to share each new recipe with all of you.

  • September 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm //

    This is GREAT! I like that you decided to be diplomatic and go alphabetically! I look forward to your next entry!

  • September 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm //

    I absolutely love the flavors in Afghani food and think this post is super timely! These stuffed onions sound absolutely delicious!

  • September 30, 2011 at 12:20 am //

    I love the new series – and will diligently be here for all 260 weeks! And these stuffed onions are a great way to start =)

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm //

      Hi Peggy, that’s wonderful to hear, we are just as excited, to learn and share along the way.

  • September 30, 2011 at 12:41 am //

    What a great idea! I can help you with Turkey’s but you have a long journey till T. This looks beautiful, did not know onions can be stuffed :)

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm //

      Hi there Tartepink, it is quite a hike till “T” day = )

  • September 30, 2011 at 7:28 am //

    a TOTALLY NEW recipe for me! It looks and sounds delicious

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm //

      Thank you Anh!

  • September 30, 2011 at 11:55 am //

    Looking forward to the good reads and photographs– best!

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm //

      Thanks Nicole.

  • September 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm //

    What a FANTASTIC idea! I LOVE it! And this dish sounds amazing. I love stuffed onions and the stuffing of these is so mouthwatering… Bookmarked! :-)

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm //

      Hi Manu, thank you for taking the time to comment. Who knew you could stuff onions?

  • September 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm //

    Love this post! One of the reasons I love to travel is to open my eyes to other cultures & try to get a better understanding of them. I agree..food does bridge the gap between cultures. Through food you can find so much about a culture because it’s usually wrapped up in tradition & religious beliefs. Kudos to you ladies for doing this!

    • October 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm //

      Hi Sandy, we are so happy you like our new addition, we hope to learn and to share through this huge endeavor.

  • October 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm //

    Just mouthwatering…looks so easy to prepare and delicious!

  • October 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm //

    What a fantastic project. I love it. This recipe looks incredible. So good.

    • October 2, 2011 at 10:47 am //

      Thank you Beth!

  • October 3, 2011 at 11:09 am //

    This is very similar to a dish I ate while in Iraq in 2008. I had never seen stuffed onions before and found them delicious. I’m glad to have a recipe (although I’m not sure I’d like to relive my time there…) love your website!

  • October 3, 2011 at 11:52 am //

    These onions sound like a treat just for me! Handsome hates them – but lucky me – he has school late a few nights a week!

    • October 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm //

      Shucks Kita, at least that’s more for you to enjoy! Thank you so much for commenting.

  • October 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm //

    I love to try food from all over the world. This is perfect for me! Thanks for sharing!!!! I’ll have to give this a try.

  • October 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm //

    Stuffed veg gets my vote any time – and I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a recipe from afghanistan. Time to rectify.

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:22 am //

      Hi Sally, this was our first time too, and it was truly delicious, please let us know if you give it a try? Thank you so much for commenting.

  • October 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm //

    Those stuffed onions are calling my name! Love the flavor combinations, I need to make these soon!

  • October 7, 2011 at 10:59 am //

    I love learning about foods from all different cultures – thanks for sharing this stuffed onion recipe.

  • October 8, 2011 at 12:17 am //

    I love this post! Your take on international cooking is insightful (and looks tasty!). I’m looking forward to next Wednesday’s post!