Vegetarian Delights of NYC -- Bolanee Kadu


Jack-O-Lantern fritters are crunchy and sweet (click to engorge)

The meatiness of Afghan cuisine can be a turn-off to vegetarians, and the smell of lamb grilling over charcoal is a feature of most of the city's kebab houses. But dig deeper at Balkh Shish Kabab House and find that strictly vegetarian dishes constitute half of the menu, many of them influenced by Persian cuisine.

There are plenty of dishes featuring vegetables stewed with herbs, dumplings stuffed with scallions, and homemade noodles dressed with kidney beans and yogurt. Yum! But my favorite vegetarian Aghan dish continues to be bolanee kadu -- thin rectangles of pastry stuffed with perfumed pumpkin, folded over and fried crisp. And the yogurt dipping sauce makes this a nicely balanced small meal. 23-10 31st Street, Astoria, Queens, 7`8-721-5020



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