Queens man finds niche with Afghan food stand at Smorgasburg
First-generation Afghan-American Mohibullah Rahmati, who was born in Woodside, Queens, and still lives there, has found a niche in the city’s food truck world – selling traditional Afghan food.
Working from a former mail truck in Chelsea, Manhattan, and from a stand at Smorgasburg in Fort Greene, Rahmati’s specialty is mantu, a type of beef dumpling, according to The New York Times. The dumplings are served with “garlicky yogurt, oddly punchy and soothing at once, and a rubble of split peas in a rich korma of tomato paste and onions caramelized to a near burn.”
Among the other dishes he serves, the Times said, are kofta, or ground meat and onions bound by chickpea flour; chicken thighs cooked in their own fat; and potatoes and peas. Each dish comes with a sweet mixture of carrots and raisins as well as a spicier mixture of red onions and tomatoes.
The name of Rahmati’s truck, Nansense, is a play on “naan,” the Afghan word for bread, the Times said. The bread itself comes from New Kabul Bakery in College Point, Queens, owned by Rahmati’s two older brothers.