~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
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
~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!
The sun is shinning and my thoughts turn to sharbat e ablimu, such a refreshing drink for hot weather such as we are enjoying ( for a change) here in the UK. It couldn’t be easier to make and by making the concentrate or syrup instead of following the traditional recipes for lemonade, you will have enough to last for a week.
~~SHAHBAT E ABLIMU~~ LIME ONADE ~~
- 10 cups of sugar ( ochhh not for those watching their weight )
- 4 cups of water
- The juice of 20 fresh limes or lemons
- Squeeze the limes by first rolling them on a hard surface with your hands, then extract the juice in the normal way … engage someone with strong hands! It gets tiring.
- Place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the fresh lime juice passing it through a strainer into the sugary water
- Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. it should have become a thicker syrupy mixture.
- Allow to cool
- Store in a clean bottle with a lid and keep in the fridge.
- In a jug, add 1 cup of syrup to 3/4 pint of water and mix well. You may want it stronger so just increase the amount of syrup.
- Add a few ice cubes and decorate with a sprig of mint and sliced limes
~Nooshi joonet ~
I really love to eat dolmeh, any dolmeh and the great thing is, you can use almost any vegetable for dolmeh. Dolmeh y Kalam is a recipe I learnt from sister-in-law who is from the north west of Iran and so this recipe is probably a regional variation. You can substitute the cabbage leaves for aubergine, potatoe, peppers, onions and leave out the meat if you want to make it vegetarian. There are specific differences in the herbs you use but this is the basic method and recipe for dolmeh in general.
This is not a recipe for those who are new to Persian cooking as it’s quite fiddly and time consuming. All in all you probably need to set about 3 hours aside, at least an hour is needed for the preparation alone.
~~DOLMEH Y KALAM~~
- 1 large white cabbage
- 1/2 lb minced beef or lamb
- 1 large onion
- 1/4 cup split yellow peas
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cummin
- a good handful of flat leaved parsley
- a good handful of tarragon
- a good handful of dill
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- Core the cabbage and place in a large pan of boiling water. After a few minutes you will start to see the leaves of the cabbage falling away. Help ease them off being careful not to damage or tear the leaves or burn your self.
- Allow the leaves to sit in the simmering water for about 5 mins or so until the stalky bit has began to soften.
- When soft, remove from the water and put to one side to cool.
- Cook the split yellow peas in 2 cups of salted water until soft. Drain and put to one side.
- Cook the rice in salted water until soft to bite, drain and put to one side.
- Chop the onion and cook in a tablespoon of oil, add the meat and brown off.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir in. Remove from the heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, meat and split yellow peas and stir gently.
- Add the cinnamon, cummin and salt and pepper and stir.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a heavy bottomed non stick pan ( one with a lid) and heat. Take a few of the cabbage leaves ( I usually use any that have been damaged or the really small ones as they are difficult to stuff) and place at the bottom of the pan. This prevents the dolmeh from burning.
- Take a desert spoon of the meat and rice mixture and place at the stalky end of the cabbage leaf. Gently begin to roll the leaf, being careful to tuck the sides in as tightly as possible so that none of the mix will escape during the cooking process. This is quite difficult at first and it will probably take you a few times to get the hang of it. Don’t try to put too much meat mix in the leaf or you will have difficulty in rolling it.
- Arrange these in the pan layering them on top of each other.
- Add 1 cup of water and two tablespoons of lime juice, a pinch of salt and cover with pan lid. Alternatively you can cook them in the oven at about 200 oc. Some people like to cook this is tomato juice and to add a little sugar.
- Now leave to cook on a low heat for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours, checking periodically and basting with the juices.
- When cooked, gently remove from the pan and place on a serving dish.
Serve with salad, and natural yoghurt.
~Nooshi joonet ~
This is my other halfs favorite kebab. He’s got it down to a fine art after many experiments, all of which were delicious in their own way but he tells me its about how well it keeps it’s shape on the skewer! I will get to that later! I just eat them but thought I would share his recipe with you.
Kebab koobideh is made with minced meat. Either lamb, beef or chicken which ever is your preference. We use beef because we eat so much lamb and chicken and beef makes a change. Koobideh is famous in Iran and there are variations such as adding chopped parsley. This is the basic recipe but enjoy experimenting.
~INGREDIENTS~ ( serves 2)
- 1 lb minced meat
- 1 onion grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoons of sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
- Get your charcoal ready about 30 mins before you plan to cook.
- Take the minced meat, add the grated onion and all the ingredients and mash it with your hands for several minutes until it becomes a paste.
- Leave in the bowl for about 10 -15 minutes so that it becomes warm and this will make it easier to form around the skewers.
- After 15 minutes or so, make several balls with the meat paste and roll into sausage like shapes about 6 inches long.
- Using the flat sword like skewers, form the meat paste around onto the skewer and then leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool and set around the skewer.
- Use this time to prepare a baste of 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/2 cup of lime or lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Now your ready to grill. Place the skewers approx 3-4 inches over the coals and grill for about 5 minutes each side and don’t forget to baste!
- Remove from the skewer onto a dish and sprinkle with sumac just before serving.
Serve with saffron rice, flat bread, herbs and or salad and of course mast or natural yoghurt.
~Nooshi joonet ~
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.
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of advieh
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 cup of coriander ( if you prefer you can use dried herbs, simply use 1/2 the amount and soak in water first. Remember to squeeze the water from the herbs before you use them)
- 1 cup of parsley
- 1 cup of dill
- a tablespoon of fenugrek
- 1 onion thinly sliced or grated
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Take the six eggs and place them in a mixing bowl
- Add the salt, pepper, advieh and baking powder and beat well
- Sift the flour and beat into the mix
- Add the chopped herbs, chopped onion and crushed garlic and mix well.
- If your going to cook in the oven, put it on at about 200.c.
- Add a few tablespoons of oil into a baking dish and put into the oven to warm
- When ready add, add the kookoo mix into the bowl and leave to cook for about 10 mins.
- After 10 mins, add a little more oil if needed and leave to cook for a further 10- 15 mins until set and nicely cooked.
Serve with mast ( natural yoghurt) and a fresh salad.
Chicken is relatively inexpensive at the moment with many of the larger supermarkets offering bargain packs. I usually stock up when they offer these bargain packs and freeze for later use and some how we ended up with a freezer full of chicken!
Chicken is light on the stomach, packed with protein, easy to prepare and cook and great for the bbq! Of all the different ways to use Chicken in Persian cooking , Joojeh kebab is one of my personal favorites.
There are a number of ways to make the marinade. This is my favorite but alternatively you could omit the olive oil and add mast or natural yoghurt. Another variation…some people add a teaspoon or two of turmeric.
- Make sure you marinade the chicken for at least a few hours before. I often leave mine over night.
- It’s important when cooking chicken on the bbq to get the coals good and hot to avoid undercooked meat and food poisoning ! Be sure to leave your coals until they are red, this can take up to 30 mins or more.
- Make sure you thoroughly cook the chicken.
~Ingredients for the marinade~
- Liquid saffron ( use 1/2 teaspoon of saffron, grind and add half a small cup of water)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion roughly sliced
- 3 tablespoons of Olive oil
- Roughly chop the onion. Your going to discard it later so don’t worry about it too much.
- Make the liquid saffron
- Cut the chicken into bbq size chunks and flatten.
- Combine all the ingredients and leave to marinade over night for maximum flavour.
- When your ready to bbq, place the chicken onto the skewer and grill each side until golden. Dont forget to baste with the marinade juices.
Serve with saffron rice and a nice fresh green salad.
Nooshi joonet …. Enjoy
Tahdig or taadig is the crusty bit at the bottom of the rice. There isn’t really a name for it in english AND it’s pretty unique to Persian cooking. It’s completely delicious and I guarantee everyone will want it. When my children were little they used to almost fight for the last piece of tahdig…. it’s that delicious.You can make Tahdig with a few different things but in this recipe Im going to explain how to make it using potatoes.Once made, you can either serve the Tahdig separately or use the crispy potatoes to add some decorative touch to your rice dish.
~WHAT YOU WILL NEED~
- A heavy bottomed non stick saucepan with a lid.
- A padded lid … I wrap and secure a teatowel around the lid.
- A medium-sized potato thinly sliced
- Hot water
- Liquid saffron
- Having boiled the rice in water until its soft to bite ( see how to make ‘perfect Persian Rice’) drain it and place to one side.
- Use a good non stick saucepan and add a little oil, a desert spoon of butter and melt.
- Add a few drops of liquid saffron and stir in or swirl it in the pan until its infused.
- Then add a little water, empty into a cup and put to one side.
- Returning to the saucepan, add about 2 tablespoons of good vegetable oil, sunflower oil is good and heat.
- Add a drop or two of liquid saffron.
- Turn up the heat to full and add the sliced potatoes and allow to sizzle a little for a few minutes.
- Then spoon the rice on top.
- Using a wooden spoon, just go around the edge, pushing the rice away from the side of the pan to avoid too much crisp rice… you only really want the bottom to become crispy.
- Pour on most of the oil, butter and water you put to one side earlier … you should see some steam rising now.
- Once you see some steam, cover with a padded lid ( I use a teatowel wrapped securely around the lid) this helps absorb any condensation and prevents it from dripping back onto the rice.
- Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave for about 3/4 of an hour to an hour. You might have to experiment a little as it depends on your heat settings.
- When your rice is ready, spoon the rice onto a dish until you reach the bottom of the pan. Then carefully remove the potatoes.
~Now you have ‘TAHDIG SIBZAMINI’ … WELL DONE!~
Nooshi joonet . Enjoy
This rice dish is traditionally eaten at norooz, the Persian new year but why not eat other times too because it’s too delicious not to! In this recipe I use gluten free noodles because I have coeliacs disease, an allergy to Gluten but if you can substitute them with wheat noodles.
~~RESHTEH POLOU OR PERSIAN NOODLE RICE~~
- Basmati rice 1 cup per serving
- 1 handful of reshteh per three servings For coeliacs use rice noodles or gluten-free spaghetti.
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 small onion
Follow the recipe for making Persian rice to step 3 and then place to one side.
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and then pre soak for at least 2 hours in salted water.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a teaspoon or 2 of salt according to your taste and then add the rice.
- Allow to bubble away until the rice becomes soft to bit. You should see the rice grains grow in length but dont allow them to become fluffy.
- Now drain and rinse and place to one side to finish draining.
- Meanwhile break the noodles into pieces. It doesn’t matter what size
- Chop and gently fry the onion in the butter and oil and add the noodles until golden
- Combine the rice and noodles in one pan as from step 4 and continue through the rest of the instructions to step 14.
- Some people like to add cinnamon and raisins which is delicious and you can sprinkle these on just before serving.
This is one of those recipes you can make in stages which was perfect for me yesterday as I had my 2 yrs old grand-daughter visiting for the day. Having tucked away a good helping of Lubia polou for lunch her nose was twitching at the smells coming from the kitchen! I had already cooked the meat earlier and only needed to add the split yellow peas and budemjan which was useful as 2 yr olds haven’t got much patience! She then proceeded to tuck into 2 good helpings of Khoresht e Gheimeh Budemjan and I think if her mother hadn’t arrived, she would have demolished the lot!
~~KHORESHT E GHEIMEH BADEMJAN~~
- 400 gr’s of lamb cut in small cubes
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 2 medium-sized budemjan or aubergine ( eggplant)
- 1 cup of split yellow peas
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of advieh
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground saffron to make 1 small cup of liquid saffron.
- dried limes ( limu amani)
- 1 cup of tomato paste
- A little oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pierce the limu amani with the tip of a knife before you add to them to the khoresht as it helps the the flavor of the limu to infuse into the khoresht
- Wash, peel, quarter and then slice the bademjan ( aubergine). Spread onto a large flat plate and sprinkle with salt. Turn and sprinkle with salt again. Leave for 30 mins and then rinse. Pat them dry before frying. This helps to remove the bitter taste.
- Chop the onion and gently fry in a little oil until it begins to turn golden
- Add the meat, garlic, salt and pepper and the turmeric, stir well and continue to cook until the meat is brown
- Cover with water, add the lime juice, tomato paste, saffron and advieh and simmer gently over a low heat for about an hour and a half or until the meat is tender. You may need to add a little more water.
- Meanwhile boil a pan of water, add the split yellow peas and cook for 20 mins. Add the split yellow peas and stir in.
- Take a fry ing pan, heat some oil and when hot place the sliced aubergines in the oil and cook until golden. Dont forget to turn them.
- About 15 mins before you are ready to serve add the aubergine but avoid stirring incase you break up them up. just allow them to sit on the surface of the khoresht and absorb the flavours.
- This dish is always better served the next day!
~Serve with saffron rice, salad, herbs and natural yoghurt and you have a feast~
~Nooshi joonet. Enjoy ~
I thought I’d have a go and make something new for our family Easter meal and settled on ‘Shirin Polou’ as it looks so delicious in all the pictures I see . The other thinking behind this choice was that it’s full of fruit and nuts and somehow captures the taste of summer, which is a great thought and something to look forward to!
I once had Shirin Polou back in Iran…. a long time ago but I’ve never made it myself. So it was a little bit of trial and error and learning as I went along. My only error was not to make enough liquid saffron but the recipe below should be fine. In the end it turned out well…. according to my resident expert!
~~SHIRIN POLOU OR JEWELLED RICE~~
- 1 cup of basmati rice per person + 1 extra
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 cup of orange peel
- 1 cup of thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup of sliced almonds and pistachio nuts
- 1 cup of barberries
- 3/4 teaspoon of ground saffron
- salt to taste
- 1 thinly sliced potato for the taadig
- 1 teaspoon of advieh
- 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee
- Cut the peel from the orange and slice into small slithers
- Slice the carrots into thin small slithers
- Soak the barberries, rinse and drain
- Roughly chop the pistachio nuts into medium-sized pieces.
- Grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar in a pestle and mortar, add to 1 medium cup of boiling water, cover and leave to stand.
- Thoroughly rinse and then pre soak the rice for at least 2 hours
- Boil up a large pan of water add a teaspoon or two of salt according to your own taste.
- Add the rice and allow to simmer until the rice has grown and is soft to bite.
- Drain and rinse and then put to one side.
- Meanwhile, place the orange peel in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about a minute then drain. This is to remove the
- Combine the orange peel, carrots, raisins, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins. Drain and put to one side.
- In a large pan add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat.
- Add a few drops of saffron and if you want to make a good taadig, add some thin slices of potatoes.
- Add a layer of rice, then a layer of the carrots, orange peel and raisins.
- Continue to alternate the layers as above, ending with a rice layer.
- Add a teaspoon of advieh, a tablespoon of ghee or butter, cover with a padded lid and cook on a low heat for about 50 mins.
- 5 minutes before your ready to serve take the sliced almonds, pistachio nuts and barberries and cook in a pan over a low heat for a minute or two. Add the saffron liquid and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Place half of the nuts, barberries and saffron onto the rice and gently begin to spoon onto your serving dish. When you reach the bottom of the pan, remove the taadig and place around the rice or serve separately.
- Finally take the remaining nuts, barberries and saffron and place on top of the rice.
Shirin Polou is usually served at a celebration of some kind.
Nooshi joonet. Enjoy ….. we did!
Lubia Polou is a complete meal in itself with the tangy taste of limes and the sweetness of cinnamon. Completely gluten-free and a great meal for kids. You can make it with lamb or minced lamb or beef, which ever you prefer but this recipe uses minced beef. Simply replace with the meat of your choice.
Lubia Polou is ideal for lunch or dinner and is a balanced ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ dish. I wish I could capture the smell in my kitchen right now, package it up and sell it!
- 400 gr’s minced beef ( or small cubes of lamb or minced lamb)
- 4 Cups of basmati rice
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 packet of fresh green beans ( you can used tinned or frozen ) cut into inch length
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of advieh
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground lime powder or 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 small cup of liquid saffron
- A little vegetable oil
~To make the taadig~
- 4 good tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon of saffron liquid
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Thoroughly wash and re soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours beforehand.
- Rinse and leave to drain.
- Put a little oil in a fry pan and begin to brown the onion.
- When becoming a little golden, add the mince and garlic, salt and pepper and continue to fry until brown.
- Add the green beans, tomatoes, cinnamon, 3/4 spoon of advieh, lime powder and a cup of water. Mix well.
- Bring to the boil, cover and turn down the heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 mins or until the green beans are soft. You may need to add a little more water depending upon your heat setting.
- Meanwhile boil up a large pan of water and add 1-2 teaspoons of salt according to your taste.
- When boiling, add the rice and leave to bubble away for a few minutes until the rice has expanded and is soft to bite.
- Remove from the heat, drain and rinse in tepid water. Put the side to continue draining.
- Now prepare to make the taadig and bring it all together ~ Your meat should be almost cooked. Your rice is standing by!
- Take 4 tablespoons of yoghurt and add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid saffron and 3 tablespoons of rice. Mix well.
- In a large pan, add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat.
- Add the rice and yoghurt mix. It should sizzle a little.
- Add a layer of rice, then a layer of meat and finally another layer of rice.
- Sprinkle the last of the advieh, a touch of cinnamon and either a little butter or ghee.
- Cover with a padded lid ( a lid securely wrapped in a tea towel) this finishes the cooking process and prevents condensation from dripping back onto the rice.
- About 1/2 hour before serving pour on remaining the liquid saffron, cover and leave to cook on a low heat for about 40 mins.
- Spoon the rice onto your serving dish, and serve the taadig on a separate dish.
Serve with a fresh salad, a dish of sabzi khordan and naan or flat bread like pitta.
~Nooshi Joonet~ Love life, eat well and cook Persian~