The long, lazy days of summer have quickly been replaced by cooler days packed with school, homework and activities. Despite best intentions, family meals are often rushed with too little time to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal. Zamarod Afghan Cuisine specializes in family meals cooked on-premises from natural ingredients, making it a great option for families on the run this fall.
According to Dor Niaz, owner and chef at Zamarod, fall is the most seasonal time of year for Afghan food. “Many of our dishes incorporate traditional autumn ingredients, such as pumpkin, apples, nuts and warming, fragrant spices. Rich stews featuring slow cooked meats in a savory sauce are comforting dishes well suited to cooler days. And, of course, the classic Afghan favorite, Kadu Chalaow, with sautéed pumpkin topped with seasoned yogurt and a tomato sauce is perfect for October.”
Offering meals for either take-out or to be enjoyed in the cozy dining area, Zamarod’s menu features Afghan specialties including grilled meat kabobs, thick fragrant stews, as well as a wide variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Almost all of the soups, sauces and main dishes are made in-house, which helps ensure they are fresh and healthy with a fraction of the salt and fat often found in other restaurants.
Zamarod’s large portions and simple flavors make it a popular stop for families trying to keep up with the voracious appetites of young athletes after a practice or game at nearby Great Falls sports fields.
“Afghan cuisine uses spice blends to add dimension to a dish but not heat so they suit a wide variety of palates, even young picky eaters. We either marinate or slow cook our meat ensuring that the result is tender and juicy. All of my dishes are made from recipes passed down through my family for generations. I wanted to create a place to enjoy simple home cooked meals that the whole family can enjoy together,” Niaz adds.
Niaz follows Halal, which means animals were treated humanely and not procured from commercial meat processing plants, and vegetarian dishes are truly vegetarian with no meat-based broth.
“Zamarod is Great Falls’ best kept secret,” Hillary Facchina said. “We love that just five minutes away we can enjoy a homemade meal in a relaxing atmosphere. Although it is not food I grew up with, the fact that it is made fresh in the restaurant makes it taste like home.” Facchina adds, “It’s also a great value. The portions are huge. We never leave hungry and always have enough leftovers for another meal the next day.”
Zamarod Afghan Cuisine (www.zamarodafghancuisine.com), located at 10123 Colvin Run at the corner of Walker Road, is open for lunch Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner Monday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday until 8 p.m.
Lisa Stewart is a FamilyandForks.com food blog writer.