Recently I had the opportunity to taste a most delicious dish, a dessert to be exact, at a the Halal Kabab House in Alexandria, Virginia. When it comes to desserts I can be a little skeptical or shy away completely primarily due to my lack of trust in sweets. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth and have a long list of ingredients that aren’t favorites for my taste buds. Sometimes it’s all in the texture of the dessert like any other food that can turn anyone on or off, but in this case I was very pleased with the new item.
ferni – dessert, pudding garnished with pistachio nuts
For me to say that ferni is a Farsi word may be a little incorrect so I would double-check, but I did ask the woman working the counter the differences between Afghan Farsi and Iranian Farsi. She noted Afghan Farsi is more like British English (more proper and by the book) where Iranian Farsi is like American English (loose with more slang). In any case try the dessert if you ever happen to have the chance.
Farsi is only one of the langs spoken in Afghanistan and usually around areas bordering Iran and varies slightly. The CIA Worldfact book lists (Afghan Persian) Dari and Pashtu as official languages. Excellent sites for learning Persian online include a personal favorite called Easy Persian and Farhangsara. Both sites have an excellent beginner’s guide into the language and use images, sound and music to assist you in the process. Check out Lonely Planet’s Farsi (Persian) Phrasebook for a shorthand guide at the ancient lingo.