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  • Ben Brode

Best Afghan Food in Orange County

There's actually a few Afghan places in the OC, but I've been going to Chili Chutney since it was a 2-table hole-in-the-wall next to a convenience shop in Lake Forest. They've since upgraded to a spacious dining room that can accommodate large parties. Several of the dishes are unlike anything I've eaten before, and the consistency of their food and the depth of the menu make this place Brode's Best.


What to order

Chili Chutney offers a fantastic lunch buffet, and many of my favorite dishes are available there. However, their very best dishes are only available off the dinner menu. Here's what to get:


One of the most unique flavors is the Aush soup. Absolute must-try, and a great starter for your meal.


Another great starter is the Banjan Borani. Slightly sweet.


The Mantu and Ashak are phenomenal dumpling dishes.


The restaurant was founded as a way to sell Chutney, and the chutney really is top notch. I basically put the green chutney on everything, though it's best on the Leek Boloni.


The shish kabob dishes are delicious, and my favorite is the chicken with bone.


The shining star is the Quabuli Pallow, a huge lamb shank covered in spiced rice. Truly incredible, though some people take umbrage with raisins on savory dishes. Not me!

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