Upscale Afghan cuisine has adopted a lot of British and Indian desserts—divinely delicate flans, rice puddings flavored with rose water. But in most poor Afghan towns and villages, the dessert I ate most commonly consisted of sugar-coated almonds, green raisins, and caramels imported from Iran. Jelebi was the first locally prepared sweet dish ordinary Afghans ate that I had tried; it is popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India. It's supersweet, and probably should be served with a glass of milk or unsweetened hot tea. Jelebi is supposed to be eaten so hot it burns the roof of your mouth (which kind of goes against the idea of something that is supposed to be a treat, but that's life in a war zone, I suppose), but in Jalalabad, our crew would often buy a couple of pounds of the rings, put them in a big plastic bag, and then pick at them during our long daily drives around the violet and yellow filigree of mountain roads, listening to Najibullah's war stories and laments, sound tracks to Indian movies, and distant explosions of American ordnance outside Tora Bora.