Restaurant: The Helmand
Location: 143 First St, Cambridge, MA 02142. (617) 492-4646
Date: October 18, 2017
Rating: I miss real Afghan like this
During my quick trip back to Boston I had a night by myself in Cambridge. Google turned up a well reviewed Afghan place and since our LA “go to” Afghan went out of business (sigh) I had to try it out.
I put them all on the bread. I love the combo of these 3 sauces.
Bowlawni. Brick oven baked twin pastry shells, one filled with pumpkin the other filled with spiced potatoes. garnished with yogurt and mint. The yogurt is basically lebneh (love it) with that thick texture. These were surprisingly great. Thin crispy bread with savory stuffing, not unlike a flat samosa.
Aushak. Afghan ravioli filled with leeks and scallions, served on yogurt-mint topped with ground beef sauce. Flatter dumplings. Similar sauces. A bit more meat in the sauce. Great texture and bright tomato/yogurt flavors.
Sheerberaing. Rice pudding, served with pistachio and cardamom. Pretty much exactly the kind of rice pudding I was looking for. Very firm (I hate it too runny) with that pistachio and cardamom (and maybe a hint of rose water) flavor.
Overall, I didn’t have that many dishes but what I had was excellent. I saw all these nice kabobs and stews going to other tables too — but with only one person the huge portions would have been too much for me. Service was very nice and attentive too. Clearly a well run family restaurant.