The Farsi word ‘parwana’ might translate to ‘butterfly’ in English but to locals in Adelaide’s western suburbs and beyond, it’s a word that is increasingly synonymous with delicious, home-styled Afghan cuisine and its customary light and delicate spices, yoghurts, herbs, tomato-based sauces and skewered and grilled meats. 

That’s because on busy Henley Beach Road in Torrensville, you’ll find the migrant Afghan family behind Parwana Afghan Kitchen true to their motherland’s rich culture, spirit, history and cuisine. 

With mum Farida Ayubi ruling in the kitchen, dad Zalmai playing gracious host and siblings and other relatives adding to the family feel, it’s all about preparing – and sharing – food derived from old and authentic family recipes passed down through the ages. 

An evening in their company will take you on a fascinating journey down the Silk Road trading route of ancient times, where Afghanistan at the crossroads embraced – and went on to perfect – the spices and seasonings of Asia and the Mediterranean.  

From the floors tiled in vibrant geometric patterns to colourful walls awash with trinkets and treasures and a sprinkling of old family photographs, you’re transported into the Ayubis’ world the moment you enter – and happily immersed in it when you order abundant shared platters reflective of Afghan culture’s spirit of copiousness and generosity. 

Make sure the signature dish, the Banjan Borani, with its layers of eggplant in a rich tomato, garlic and onion sauce topped with yoghurt and mint, is among the order. Alcohol, though, is strictly bring-your-own, but if you do go down the BYO route, you’ll feel good knowing that the Ayubis donate all corkage fees to charities supporting Adelaide’s homeless. 

One final word: it’s popular, so avoid disappointment by booking. 

For more information: 

Durkhanai Ayubi 

Parwana Afghan Kitchen, 124B Henley Beach Road, Torrensville 

T: 8443 9001  

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