De naam Silk Cooking is afgeleid van de term Silk Road die in de oudheid werd gebruikt om de handelsroute van Azië naar Europa aan te duiden. De handel op de zijderoute speelde een belangrijke rol in de ontwikkeling van beschavingen zoals China, het Indiase subcontinent, Perzië, Europa en Arabië, waardoor er langeafstands-, politieke en economische interacties tussen de beschavingen ontstonden. 

Afghanistan was een van de belangrijkste landen waardoor de route reisde. Als gevolg van culturele migraties van de zijderoute werd de Afghaanse cultuur beïnvloed door de diverse tradities van reizende kooplieden.Afghaanse kooktradities zijn geïnspireerd op China, Italië, India, Griekenland en buurlanden uit het oude Perzië. De combinatie van deze culturen zorgt voor diversiteit en innovatie in de kookmethodes en recepten van de Afghaanse keuken.

De Silk Cooking set, ontworpen door Massoud Hassani in 2010 als afstudeerproject aan de Design Academy Eindhoven. Het Silk-kookproject combineert traditionele kookmethoden die in het oude Afghanistan werden verbouwd, met moderne materialen en ontwerpen. De set brengt vergeten kookmethodes nieuw leven in die onze moderne samenleving zouden kunnen verrijken en een gezonder dieet zouden kunnen aanmoedigen.

De Silk Cooking set bestaat uit 4 hoofdproducten. Hieronder leest u meer over elk product.

Batghar is a cookware based on one of the traditional cooking methods in Afghanistan which involves using hot sand for cooking. Batghar is adapted to fit the modern kitchen at the same time retaining the main advantages compared to regular cooking involving oil or steam. Instead of sand the Batgar is using pebbles which can be heated up to 300 degrees and stay heated for 2-2.5 hours. The food which is cooked can be packed in aluminium folium and cooked in a way which allows all the vitamins and juices to stay with the meal. Thanks to the temperature of pebbles the meal can be ready in 15 minutes instead of 1 hour. Apart from that, temperature retention allows to save energy by heating up the Batghar only once and using it for cooking several dishes.After the cooking is finished, pebbles can be easily removed from the pot and cleaned.


Unlike the other pieces in the set, Aftawa does not serve any cooking purposes. It is inspired by the Aftawa lagan, which is a hand washing dish. In some villages in Afghanistan, people do not have access to proper plumbing system and therefore water becomes very precious for them. As a substitute they use Aftawa lagan to wash their hands during the meal. In a richer community during the meal there are two specially trained persons who use Aftawa lagan to wash the hands of people who are sitting at the table.Aftawa is a is inspired by the traditional Aftawa lagan, but designed to fit European community. It reminds us of the importance of water. It can be used on the table during the meals or other events.


Naanwai is another piece in the Silk Cooking set which was inspired by Tandoor, a 1 meter deep ground oven made out of raku clay,which is used to bake bread. The temperature inside Tandoor is so high that it allows the bread to be baked only in few minutes.Naanwai is a substitute for Tandoor that can be used in modern kitchen. First we put Naanwai on fire to preheat it to the required temperature. After the temperature is reached we flip around the upper part, which absorbed the heat, and we put the pastry into it and flip it back. With this method the bread can be cooked within 5 minutes.


Awang is a masher with a container of 1.5 litres which can be used for various products ranging from garlick to watermelon. The person can easily make fresh watermelon juice without losing any of the taste qualities. Since the watermelon consists of 91% water almost the whole initial weight of the watermelon can be turned in to juice, at the same time leaving the seeds out.


“Thinking about our children and future grandchildren, who will be born in Europe, I have put together an Afghan cookbook of traditional recipes. I want to be able to transfer some of our traditional eating culture to them.” Parwan HassaniThe Silk Cooking book intends to revive Afghan traditions in the minds of our future children and to bring Afghan cooking to Dutch people who want to try our recipes and would like to know more about our eating culture. At this time, people know only of war in our home country, and they know hardly anything about our traditions and the delicious recipes and eating culture which has endured the endless years of devastating war.For Afghan people, it is customary that all people eat together. The dining table and eating together is very important in our country. We serve the food on big platters and people sit around it and put the food on their own plates like a buffet. All the children sit at the table. The person who brings in the meal says, ‘bevar ma jin, esh te haaie gub.’ This means: ‘Please and enjoy the meal’.In their early childhood, children learn so much from their parents and other family members, such as respect for elders and table manners. They learn the customs of the country. Everybody waits to start eating until after the oldest member of the party has begun, and after that the others and the children are allowed to serve themselves and begin to eat. During the meal it is pleasant being together while everyone talks with others. After the meal the oldest say:’goda ja sjukker’ meaning ‘thank God for this delicious meal’ and they bring together their two open hands to their faces. Then everyone may rise.

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