Eat Drink Jax interviews Makial Anwar, co-owner of Kabob-e.
Talking about Afghani food with Makial Anwar, co-owner of Kabob-e
1. Tell us about Kabob-e.
Kabob-e is a new fast food restaurant serving authentic Afghani food. We are the only establishment in Jacksonville where you can get Afghani food.
2. When did Kabob-e open?
The doors of Kabob-e were opened for business on August 3, 2012.
3. Where does the name of your restaurant come from?
In Farsi, the word Kabob-e translates to mean the place for kabobs. To a true Afghan, kabob-e brings back warm memories of delicious tastes and smells. Back in Afghanistan, before the wars, Kabob-e was the place to go for kabobs. The aroma and smoke coming out of kabob-es filled the air two streets down. Whether you were hungry or not, you could not pass a kabob-e without going in and biting into the juicy and delicate kabobs. While brainstorming, Kabob-e was mentioned and everyone had a smile on their faces and we all knew what we were all thinking. Kabob-e it was. We gave the e a dash and tilted it a little just to give it a little character.
4. Do you serve lunch and dinner?
Yes, we serve both lunch and dinner. We are open Mon-Thurs 11 am - 9 pm and Fri- Sun 11 am - 10 pm. Our lunch and dinner times are very busy but we also have people coming in throughout the day. We do not close between lunch and dinner and are open 7 days a week. We do take out and dine in. Our business right now is half take out and half dine in.
5. What is Afghani food?
Afghani food is very unique. It is very different in taste. It has an addictive taste that you crave after. It is very tasty. Afghani food consists of rice, stew, kabobs, and unique appetizers. Generally, many of the dishes include rice as the center of the entree. On top of a big platter of rice you put small portions of kormas, which are stews. Stews can be made from just about anything. At Kabob-e we have spinach, chick pea, potato and eggplant. The Afghani rice is very different than any other rice and has a special taste. We use Basmati rice which is skinner and longer than regular rice. The rice is usually rinsed and allowed to soak in water overnight in order for it to tenderize. You have to make sure it is boiled just the right way. If it boils too much it gets ruined. My husband Zabeh knows how to cook it just right. Qahbulli Palow is rice that has carrots and raisins over it. This has to be the best combination of flavors in your mouth. The taste of rice mixed with the sweetness of carrots and the tenderness of warm raisins is an unforgettable blast in your mouth.
There are many different types of kabobs. We have kufta kabobs which are made with ground meat and spices. We prefer lamb over beef. The taste of lamb is very different and more tender than beef. Our tikka kabobs are made of lamb and customers love them.
6. Can you tell us about your marinades?
The marinating process takes about two days. Back in New Jersey, my husband Zabeh was known for his marinating style and how juicy his kabobs were. Two days prior Zabeh takes the meat and marinates it in his special spices and leaves it in the refrigerator to soak up all the tastes. The meats are pure Halal meat and the ingredients are all fresh.