Ariana Afghan Cuisine

The kitchen behind the second metro-area restaurant dedicated to the cuisine of Afghanistan doesn’t layer flavors with as much sophistication as its local predecessor, Shami Kabab in Duluth. But it still turns out traditional dishes worth discovering: crisp, oval-shaped naan; long-grain rice baked in meat stock; sweet pumpkin simmered with olive oil; and a large variety of kebabs, including a hamburger-shaped spiced ground beef variation that comes to the table sizzling.

Start with dumplings like fried aushak (filled with leeks and covered with meat sauce) or the beef-stuffed mantoo, both topped with homemade yogurt and dried mint; the combination of ingredients evokes the culinary traditions of Persia, India, and Turkey while still being distinctly Afghan. You won’t have trouble spotting the restaurant: Its building, right off the Roswell Road exit on I-285, practically straddles the expressway.