Below is a shared blog post from my friend, Humaira Ghilzai. She's a dynamic social entrepreneur and quite the foodie. After the recent birth of my son, I was craving this traditional drink and asked her if she had a recipe for letee. This post is delicious in all ways...please do try it and check out her website for other scrumptious recipes. Thanks, Humaira!
Afghan Culture Unveiled Blog
A hearty congratulation goes to my friend, Nadia Hashimi, for her beautiful new book, her new bundle of joy and her new career as a writer. Thank you for including my recipe in your blog.
Staying on the topic of newness, today's recipe is an Afghan delicacy, letee, traditionally served to new mothers. Letee is considered a warming food that promotes healing, better metabolism and increased supply of mother's milk.
In Afghanistan, the birth of a baby is a special occasion consisting of many celebrations such as: naming of the baby on the sixth day of his or her life, 40th day party when the mother and baby are finally allowed to leave the house, baby's first hair cut and steps.
When my daughters were born Jeja, my mom, was not only instrumental in helping Jim and I take care of the little bundles of demand, she also prepared three meals a day with simmering hot bowls of letee, as a nourishing snack. I still fondly remember those days, me as a nervous new mother and Jeja, a reassuring force - bonding over food and the addition of more girl power in our family.
New Mom's Walnut Soup
4 cups hot water
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons of butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cardamom
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup roasted, chopped walnuts or almonds
2 cups room temperature water
In a small pot, add four cups of warm water, stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Keep warm on low heat.
Place a deep non-stick pot on medium heat, melt butter, add flour and stir constantly for around 8 minutes until the flour is golden brown.
Gently pour the syrup in the large pot while stirring steadily with a whisk. As you add the water, a surge of steam will rise from the pot, be careful not to burn your hand. Add the cardamom and cinnamon; stir constantly until soup thickens. Reduce heat to low, add walnuts, continue stirring. Simmer for another minute.
Add 2 cups of cold water stirring until all the lumps dissolve and the soup thickens, around 3-5 minutes. The soup should have the consistency of a crepe batter. Serve in a bowl, topped with chopped nuts and a side of pita bread or nan.