Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The word “dumpling” usually invokes images of fried Chinese wontons, Japanese gyoza, and steamed Korean mandu. But did you know Afghan cuisine also has a couple takes called aushak and mantoo? Both can be sampled at Adams Morgan’s Michelin-recommended, family-run Afghan restaurant. Lapis’ aushak ($12) are pillowy pockets of deliciousness stuffed with sautéed leeks, doused in a bright, savory split pea and tomato sauce, and then crowned with dollops of tangy yogurt and a sprinkling of dried herbs. Mantoo come in beef ($12) and shrimp ($13) flavors and with different sauces. You won’t want any other kind of dumplings after you’ve tried these delicate nuggets.