Parwana Afghan Kitchen is run by the Ayubi family and shares the ancestral recipes of family matriarch Farida Ayubi. It first opened its doors in Adelaide’s western suburbs in 2009. Since inception the restaurant’s vision has been to take diners beyond confining narratives of Afghanistan to the depth, beauty and richness of Afghan identity embedded within its cuisine, while enabling the Ayubi family to remain tethered to ancestral identities otherwise scattered through the impact of forcible displacement.
Over the years Parwana has grown – offering a lunch spot and a sweets offshoot and, in 2020, through the global publication of Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen.
Farida Ayubi remains Parwana’s chef. She fled Afghanistan with her young family of four daughters and husband Zelmai Ayubi as refugees during the Cold War era in 1985, arriving in Australia two years later. Leaving almost everything behind during the upheaval of war, a key thing she carried was her love for – and inclination towards – traditional Afghan cuisine, which formed the centrepiece of the family’s life. Farida and family continue to share with diners the beauty, depth and joy of Afghan cuisine. She has received numerous accolades including a Most Inspiring Women of South Australia award.