Sometimes I am reminded of previous posts and today I’ve been thinking about gol ab and rose petals.
Originally posted on Persian Cuisine from Javane's Kitchen:
The process of extracting oil from Damask rose petals was first practiced in Iran mainly for its perfume and then from rose petal oil came rose-water or golab. Both rose petal oil and rose-water are now used the world over for cooking, beauty preparations and for the relief of medical conditions .
Rose water or golab has a very distinctive smell and flavour is used extensively in Persian deserts, such as ‘shir berenge’ or rice pudding, in jams and ice creams such as bastani ba faloodeh ( my personal favourite) , pastries such as ‘ baamiah’ and ‘halva’ and in cookies such as ‘naan berenji ‘ the list is endless.
Rose water also has symbolic meanings within Iranian traditions and culture. It represents cleansing and as such is often placed on the ‘haft sein’ table at new year or Naw rooz ( a table containing 7 traditional items beginning with the letter S). The Rose water is for collection all sickness be it in mind, thought, deed, or in the physical body and/or it’s sprinkled into the air. Rose water is symbolistic within the Zoroastrian religion and in ancient Iran newly arrived guests are greeted with sweets made with rose-water and sprinkled with rose-water as they entered the house. Some Zoroastrians still keep a ‘golabaz’, a traditionally shaped vase with rose-water in it and greet their guests in the traditional ways. I also have memories of using rose-water to lightly cleanse and freshen up furniture and draperies before receiving guests and especially at Norooz. In Avestan, the language of the Persian prophet Zoroaster, “rose” is varəda.
I made a new batch of advieh today. Should be enough to keep me going until autumn Keep it in a dark, cool space in an air tight container to help keep it fresh.
Originally posted on Persian Cuisine from Javane's Kitchen:
If you ask anyone who has never eaten Persian food before they always imagine that it’s heavily spiced, a lot like Indian food! And then they’re always surprised to learn it isn’t!
Persian cooking is made with a delicate balance of sweet and sour, hot and cold and the flavours are subtle and memorable. Quite unlike most other middle eastern food, Persian cuisine has a flavour all of its own. Often we take a recipe and ‘Persianise’ it, like Spaghetti ! We add what we think it lacks to create a better balance, or a taste that we prefer.
The ingredients of Persian food are largely the same ingredients that food all over the world is made from and yet when we add spice to a recipe, it literally transforms it. In Persian cooking we use fruits, herbs, flowers and ground roots to create a delicate aroma and a rich flavour. Each spice has a purpose and is helpful in maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul.
Been thinking about Kookoo all day!!! Now I just have to make this tomorrow and take it cold for my lunch at work on Friday
Originally posted on Persian Cuisine from Javane's Kitchen:
Protein packed and full of healthy fresh green herbs and nothing could be easier than making kookoo. Kookoo makes a great lunch or light supper or even something to take out with you on a picnic as it can be eaten hot or cold and both are equally delicious. Kookoo can be made in less than 30 mins and cooked either in the oven or in a pan on the cooker, which ever you prefer.
~HOW TO MAKE LIQUID SAFFRON~
liquified saffron is essential to Persian cooking. You will use it in rice dishes, Khoresht and for deserts and even in your chai. It gives Persian food its unique and subtle flavour and sets it apart. I always keep my saffron in an airtight container in a dark cupboard to ensure its rich yellow colour and to avoid it loosing any of its strength of flavour. saffron is very expensive to buy so you want to take care of it. I personally only buy Persian saffron because I know its good quality and I’ll get the results and taste I want. Spanish saffron is widely available in the UK and I buy this only if I run out ( which almost never happens ).
- Take a really good pinch or of saffron and place it in a pestle and mortar, add a tiny pinch of sugar or salt ( use which ever will suit your recipe) and grind. I use a pestle and mortar but many people use small food processor and powder up bulk batches of saffron strands at a time .
- Place the ground or powdery saffron in cup and add a little boiling water and stir and then cover and allow to infuse for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the richer the color.
Once you’ve made liquid saffron you can keep it in the fridge for about 2-3 days, but remember to cover it with cling film or keep in an air tight container!
Fact: Saffron is said to help ward off mild depressive thinking. I dont know how true this is but just the colour alone makes you think of sunshine and that makes me smile
This is a wonderful dish that everyone loves and so versatile. I love to take it for lunch when Im working.
Originally posted on Persian Cuisine from Javane's Kitchen:
This recipe is very simple and easy to make. It’s really a meal in itself, delicious for lunch or dinner and ideal for a buffet at a party. I have made it for picnics with kotlets and stuffed it into pitta bread for a working lunch. Its versatility is vast. It’s very similar to Russian Salad but personally I have never felt the need to try that. I am always being asked to make Salad Olivieh for parties and gatherings. Everyone loves it. It’s completely gluten-free which is always a bonus for me.
Faloodeh is an experience you will never regret. It has its roots back in ancient Persia and is particularly associated with Shiraz. With a consistency of something between a slush puppy and sorbet, it’s memorable because of the rice noodles and refreshingly delicious due to the sweetness of the rose-water and sourness of the limes . The combination of these three ingredients makes it distinctive and fairly unique to Iran. I’ve never come across any one who doesn’t love it at first bite. …..
This is my recipe for Faloodeh, you will no doubt find other versions but this is easy. Add lime or lemon juice, it works well with the sweetness of the rose-water and add sour cherry syrup, pistachios and mint to garnish. Perfect desert for any time of the year and delightfully refreshing in the summer months!
Faloodeh – Rice Noodle Sorbet
~Recipe for use with an ice cream maker or by hand ~
- 2 cups of caster sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of rose-water
- 1 Vietnamese rice noodles (vermicelli) broken into 2 inch pieces.
garnish: pistachios, sour cherry syrup, any berries, fresh lime juice and lime wedges.
- Boil the rice noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds (or according to instructions) and no more or they will be too mushy.
- Remove the noodles from the pan, rinse under cold water and put to one side.
- Place the sugar and water into a pan and bring to the point just before it boils.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the rose-water and set aside.
- Allow it to cool off completely.
- Pour this mixture into an ice cream maker and turn it on. Allow it begin to set then add half of the noodles and then follow the same process again.
- Set the Ice cream maker to ‘sorbet’ setting, turn on and relax !
- OR combine the mix as above, place in a bowl and allow to begun to set in the freezer. After about an hour, remove from the freezer and gently using a fork, disturb the setting process and then place back in the freezer and repeat a few times until you’re happy with the consistency.
For garnish: Traditional: Lime juice , mint, and pistachios. As an alternative try sour cherry syrup juice, Mango syrup or any seasonal berries raspberries are delicious or mango and strawberries, blueberries or any fruit you fancy.
Nooshi joonet ~ you’re going to enjoy this !
BEFARMAID SHAM click here
Dear friends I know that you are probably all familiar with the TV show COME DINE WITH ME. MANOTO TV has made a series in farsi. The show is all in farsi language and Im afraid there aren’t any english subtitles but you might still enjoy them and you can watch some of the dishes being prepared.
I hope you enjoy. Happy viewing
Masterchef UK is into its second day. Afsaneh Kaviani made an amazingly delicious looking saffron Ice cream and Baklava….. oh was my mouth was watering !! Afsaneh made it through to tomorrow and Im looking forward to see what else she is going to come up with. Well done Afsaneh.
Meanwhile here is the link to her recipe.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a bowl of soup on these cold wintery days. Pumpkins are seasonal so we have to make good use of them while we can!! Today I wanted to experiment a little and thought I spice up my usual pumpkin soup recipe and persianise it! So here it is. It’s very easy to make. There are no hard and fast rules about ingredients or measurements of, it’s very relaxed and delicious. Hope you enjoy.
~ INGREDIENTS ~
- 1/2 pumpkin seeded and cubed.
- 1 Large onion diced
- 2 Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped.
- 3-4 Garlic cloves diced.
- 1 Red pepper seeded.
- 1/2 cup of liquid saffron.
- 1/2 stock ( I used chicken stock but what ever you have is good)
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of advieh
- 1 dried lime.
- Place the oven on about 200 degrees. Brush the peppers with a little olive oil and bake until the skin begins to blacken. Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a plastic bag. Put aside to cool.
- Using a little oil, fry the onions and garlic until it begins to turn golden.
- Add the cubed pumpkin and sweet potatoe, salt, pepper, turmeric, the saffron, chicken stock and the dried lime. If you haven’t got dried limes, use lime juice or powdered lime.
- Pour enough hot water on to cover the vegetables and leave to simmer until the veg is soft, usually around 20 mins.
- Go back to your peppers and peel the skin off.
- If you want smooth soup, blend everything together. If you like your soup lumpy just chop the red pepper flesh as small as possible and add.
Hey presto ….. a delicious sweet and sour soup, warming and thoroughly nutritious. Garnish with chopped corriander. Just what you need on a damp winters day. Eat now, serve for supper or take it for lunch the next day. BTW it freezes well too.
~Nooshi joonet ~
I just love persian ‘Dolmeh’ and the recipe is well overdue here on my Persian food blog. So here it is, inspired by my dear friend Haroot far away in Tehran and I just wish he was here to enjoy it with me!
This is the basic recipe to use with peppers, aubergine, tomatoes or large onions and will serve approx 2-3 servings. It takes around an hour to prepare and 2 hours to cook.
- 2 peppers
- 2 aubergines
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 courgette
- 1/2 cup rice ( I used Thai but any is good)
- 1/3 cup of split yellow peas.
- 1 lb of minced beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup of chopped parsley ( jafari )
- 1/2 chopped chives (tareh)
- 1 cup of chopped mint (nanar )
- 1 cup of chopped tarragon (tarhoon )
- 1 cup of chopped dill (shivid)
- 1/2 teaspoon of saffron dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
- 2 tablespoons of tomatoe paste
- 3/4 spoon of advieh
- 1 cup of tomatoe juice
- 1/2 cup of ghooreh or lime juice
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Method ~First preparation!
- Clean all your vegetables and herbs
- Remove the tops of the peppers and de seed, remove the top of the tomatoes and the aubergine (put to one side~ keep the tops of the veg as you will need them for a lid later!). Scoop out all the flesh from the veg and keep for later use.
- Peel and chop the courgette and chop the tomatoe and aubergine place in a pan and fry in olive oil until golden then put to one side.
- Blanche the peppers in boiling water for 5 mins and brown the aubergine off in a frying pan. The tomatoes can be used as they are.
- Wash the rice and split yellow peas and cook together in boiling water for approx 15 mins. If you are using a different rice, adjust your cooking time accordingly. The rice should be al-dente.
- Brown off the minced beef and onion, adding the tomatoe paste at the end. Stir in.
- Chop all your herbs. If you’re using dried herbs, soak first.
- Take a large bowl and begin to combine all the ingredients: Add the herbs to the rice stirring in gently. Then add the cooked vegetables you put to one side earlier . Add the meat and onions, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and the advieh. Mix in very gently and by this time you will be pretty exhausted so take a break with a cup of tea and leave to stand for 10 minutes. First put the oven on at about 180 degrees.
- Now you feel refreshed begin by stuffing the peppers, pressing the mix into the pepper gently with the back of the spoon. Place in an oven proof dish. and place in your pre heated oven. The peppers are going into the oven first as they take longer. The other dolmeh will be added in a while .
- Now prepare the sauce: Take the tomatoe juice ( or whizz a can of plum tomatoes), add the ghooreh or lime juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, the saffron water, the sugar and cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of oil and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the sauce to the oven proof dish with the peppers after about an hour and place in the other dolmeh. Continue cooking for approx another hour.
The vegetables should be tender before you remove the dolmeh to serve and test the sauce as you may want to add more salt according to you own taste.
Serve with flat bread and natural yoghurt. Nooshi joonet
Koofteh or persian meatballs will vary depending where you are in Iran. I haven’t made koofteh for years and had almost forgotten how to make them and how they tasted.
It was such a wet and miserable summer afternoon here in the UK yesterday and in a creative mood, I thought I would cook something to warm us up. So this is my version on a theme. This recipe is my own as it doesn’t strictly follow any of the other recipes I have and it doesn’t have a name as such… any ideas will be gratefully received
- 350 gr’s of mince lamb or beef.
- 2 onions finely grated
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup of yellow split peas
- 1 and 1/2 cup of herbs fresh or dried ( equal parts of parsley, tarragon, chives and coriander) You can really use any herbs but DO use tarragon. If you’re using dried herbs, soak for 20 mins.
- 1 heaped tsp of advieh
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- salt to taste
- a generous grind of the pepper mill
- 1 small egg beaten
* Variations~ Add cooked rice to the meat balls or dates and add zereshk to the sauce.
For the sauce~
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of saffron and add 1 cup water
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of lime juice.
- 1/2 cup of remaining herbs
- Cook the split yellow peas for about 20 mins, removing the scum that forms on the top. Drain but retain the water and put to one side.
- If you’re using dried herbs, soak in warm water for about 20-30 mins. Then squeeze out the water and place the herbs to one side.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic. For adding to the meat I usually whizz them up.
- Add the onions and garlic to your minced meat, with turmeric, advieh, salt and pepper
- Now thoroughly mix these together. I use a potato masher as it easier than trying to stir the ingredients together.
- Add the 2/3 of the split yellow peas and 1 cup of the herbs and gently turn over with a wooden spoon.
- Finally add enough of the beaten egg to bind the whole mixture together.
- Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat.
- Taking a handful, roll into balls and coat in seasoned flour ( I use a wheat free flour but you can use wheat flour). You can make the meat balls any size you prefer I like mine about the size of a ping pong ball.
- Place the meat balls into the pan and cook until golden.
- Once golden, remove from the pan and leave on kitchen towel to soak off excess oil.
For the sauce ~
- Cook the onions and garlic in a little vegetable oil until golden.
- Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric, salt and pepper and 1 tsp of advieh.
- Taste the sauce and make any adjustments you want to make.
- Add the split pea water retained earlier
- Add the liquid saffron, the rest of the herbs and split yellow peas and then finally add the meat balls in gently.
- Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 30-40 mins.
Serve with rice or bread, natural yoghurt and a dish of herbs.
Nooshi joonet ~ enjoy
Iran has an amazing geography. With 12 different geographical environments and 5 major climates it’s host to 7500 plants, of which 1800 possess medicinal properties. It would take forever to list them all so here are some of the few which can be easily located where ever you happen to be in the world.
KONDOR or frankincense. Use of this herb goes back to ancient Persia. The most commonly used part is the milky sap or resin which is often used as a salve for skin irritations and wounds. It’s thought to have a rejuvenating effect and is therefore excellent for acne, scars and injuries. Frankincense can also benefit the emotions and those with nervous disorders such as anxiety or generalised nervousness. It’s thought to be an aid to a poor memory and lethargy. And among its other attributes, Frankincense is good for gum disease, indigestion problems, ulcers and as an eye wash.
SANDAL or sandalwood is often thought only to be a pleasant smelling inscense but you might be surprised to know that it is also a disinfectant and helps prevent simple herpes, eg mouth ulcers. The useful part of the sandalwood plant is the oil from the woody part. Other uses include UTI infections like cystitis, skin irritations, and digestive problems.
AZARIYUN or marigold is widely used the globe over and many countries have culinary uses for it. It is also brilliant as a salve for skin conditions such as acne, eczema and general rashes and open wounds. It’s something we can all grow in pots or in our gardens.
To make a salve simply add 2 handfuls of Calendula leaves and flowers to 1 tbsp lanolin, 5 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp beeswax and heat gently. Mix together; take off the heat and leave to set. The following morning re-heat the mixture and pour into a sterile jar and leave to harden.
Ahura Mazda the Zoroastrian prophet advocated the beneficial use of the following herbs. Many of the herbs were incorporated into Zoroastrian rituals which can still be found on the ‘Haft sein’ table at new year.
HAOMA or Ephedra . Indigenous to Iran this is a small plant with yellow flowers. It was also found to have an intoxicating effect and then said by Ahura Mazda to be a ‘waste of time’ causing the consumer to be become irrational.
Widely used for muscular and bronchial complaints, headaches, as an antiseptic, aid to digestion and a blood purifier. It’s now thought to have properties close to penicillin and can be used for hay fever, asthma, and for colds and fevers.Interestingly enough it is thought to be very useful in loosing weight but before you rush out to find it, there is a recommended limit of 150mg per day. Generally it’s an all round healer as it’s supposed to promote the bodies natural ability of the body to fight invading diseases through a natural antibiotic called interferon.
SEER or GARLIC Most people are aware of the benefits of regularly eating garlic. It’s a natural form of antioxidant and thought to be helpful in preventing general infections and fighting off free radicals.
OOUD or ALOESWOOD. This is fairly rare and expensive so perhaps not so easy to come by these days. although the oil available usually through chinese websites . It used to be grown in Iran and is now generally found in SE Asia . However it was thought to be useful in the treatment of the nervous system and was great for the treatment of anxiety and cardio vascular problems such as rapid heart beat. Yves Saint Lauren uses the oil is some of its perfumes!
CAUTION: ALL OF THE ABOVE HERBAL REMEDIES CAN HAVE SIDE EFFECTS AND SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN CONSULATION WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND A HERBALIST.
~Khask e Budemjun~
- 2 large aubergines
- 2 large onions chopped
- 4-6 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/2 cup of liquid whey ( then add 2 tbsp of water)
- vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of dried mint
- 30 mls of liquid saffron
- Peel the aubergine and slice into 2 inch lengths, sprinkle with salt and leave for about 30 mins until the bitter juices have drained. Wash and dry with a paper towel.
- In a little oil gently fry the mint until dark, drain and place to one side.
- Fry the chopped onions until golden and place to one side.
- Fry the chopped garlic until golden and place to one side.
- Fry the aubergine until golden.
- Add the onion and garlic, sprinkle on the salt, pepper, sugar and some of the mint leaving enough to garnish before serving.
- Add one small cup of water, enough to almost cover the aubergines.
- And finally gently pour on the saffron liquid.
- Leave on a low heat to cook for about 30 mins or until the aubergines are cooked.
- Use a masher and mash
- Transfer to a serving dish and pour on the whey. This can then be kept warm in an oven until ready to serve.
- Before serving garnish with mint alone or add walnuts and dates for a change.
~Nooshi Joonet ~
Tip : If you brush the aubergine in egg white before frying it prevents the aubergine from too much oil absorption.
This video courtesy of Press TV ( who I really can’t endorse because of their political affiliations) demonstrates how to make Khask e budemjun.
My recipe is a little different to Salomes but try both versions and see which you prefer!
I was very surprised to discover that Lorraine on GMTV featured persian cooking on her show today. The cook makes lubia polou……. love the way he makes it look so easy… well it’s not hard. Thought he did well, using advieh ( you can find the recipe here). I love lubia polou but not sure if I’d eat it for breakfast though!