Stocking Pantries for Our Afghan Friends and Neighbors

In her roles as an Ambassador for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (, Pixie created a list of food-related items to assist our Afghan neighbors and friends as they resettle to life in the United States. These items will help to continue the connection our new friends have with their homeland.

Spices & Herbs:

whole or ground bay leaves, black pepper; cardamon; cayenne pepper; chili powder; cilantro; cinnamon; cloves; coriander; cumin; curry powder; dill; fenugreek; garlic; ginger; mint; nigella seeds; paprika; poppy seeds; saffron; salt (Kosher); sesame seeds; and turmeric.

Veggies, Fruits & Nuts:

  • cabbage; carrots; cauliflower; celery; chilies (fresh long green and red, dried red chilies); cucumbers; eggplant; jalapenos; leeks; lettuce (romaine); mushrooms; okra; onions; peas; peppers; potatoes (russet potatoes; sweet potatoes) pumpkin; radishes; scallions; spinach; squashes (butternut; zucchini; summer squash); tomatoes; and turnips. 
  • apples; apricots; cherries (Bing cherries; sour cherries); dates; lemons; limes; grapes; oranges; pomegranates; prunes; raisins; rhubarb; quince; and sour cherries.
  • almonds; cashews; pine nuts; pistachios; and walnuts.

Beans & Meat*:

  • beef; chicken; eggs; lamb; goat; and turkey
  • chickpeas; lentils; mung beans; red kidney beans; and split peas (green or orange). 


* – meat must be halal (lawful per Islamic dietary laws).

Other Food & Pantry Items:

baking soda; baking powder; barley; butter (unsalted); corn flour; cornmeal; feta cheese; flatbreads (lavash; nan bread; pita bread; tortillas); flour (all-purpose; rice flour; chickpea flour (besan); whole wheat); milk (whole); oil (olive oil; vegetable oil); rice (white short or long-grain; basmati; brown rice); rosewater; sugar (brown sugar; cane sugar; coconut sugar; Confectioner’s/powdered sugar); tea (black tea; green tea); tomato paste; apple cider vinegar; yeast; and yogurt (plain).


  • Nan bread and chai tea are two of the most important items in Afghan culinary traditions.
  • Lamb kabobs cooked over charcoal grill or broiled is the most favored meat dish.
  • Rice dishes are served at most meals.
  • Salads are tossed with fresh lemon juice.
  • Many desserts are fruit-based.
  • If possible, purchase groceries from Middle Eastern or Indian food markets as they typically provide widest variety at lowest cost.

Online resources for recipes and culinary traditions, please go to; and


Parwana, Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen by Durkhanai Ayubi, Recipes by Farida Ayubi

Afghan Food & Cookery by Helen Saberi.

Salaam aalaikum – Peace be upon you.


Pixie Millet – February 2022

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Charis M says:

    This is so helpful as we get ready to welcome an Afghan family! Thank you!

    1. unitedinfood says:

      Thank you Charis, that’s great to hear! Best wishes to you and the Afghan family. Kind regards, Pixie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s