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.
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
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 ~
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.
The word ‘kebab’ is originally PERSIAN …. of course it is, that’s why Persian kebab is the best you will ever taste! It’s history apparently goes back to the middle ages when Persian warriors roasted meat over an open fire on their swords! Although now there are many varieties of ‘kebab’ from almost every corner of the globe you care to think of. However I have never tasted any better than Persian kebab, be it chicken, lamb, beef or koobideh (minced meat ).
The secret to an excellent kebab is the marinade. For an authentic taste of ‘Persia’ you will need to marinade your meat for at least a few hours but over night is preferable. The second important factor is the cut of meat.
~Recipe for Koobideh ~
- 450 gr’s ground beef or lamb ( a little fatty)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 onion grated
- Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead until all the ingredients adhere.
- Allow to sit for at least a few hours.
- Wet your hands and divide the mixture into 4 balls and roll into a sausage shape.
- Mould this onto a thick flat skewer ( available at almost all Iranian grocery stores)
- Cook for about 4-5 minutes over well prepared glowing charcoals on a supporting arrangement as above ….. you will need to have started the charcoals about 30 minutes before.
- Baste with melted butter and lime juice and turn frequently until the meat is seared ( cooked on the outside).
- Before serving, remove from the skewers onto a serving dish, sprinkle with sumac and lime juice.
- 450 gr’s of lamb steak or tenderloin trimmed and cut into 2” cubes
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of natural yoghurt
- Combine all the ingredients and marinade for at least 8 hours but preferably over night. Keep in the fridge.
- To cook, thread onto wide flat skewers leaving a small gap in between each piece of meat and roast over well prepared charcoals for about 4-5 minutes each side until seared but remaining tender on the inside.
- Baste with a mixture of melted butter, saffron and lime juice.
- immediately before serving, remove from the skewer onto a dish, sprinkle with sumac and lime juice.
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 ~
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~
Following in the theme for the week here’s a quick and easily produced meal for when your hungry and in a bit of a hurry. It takes no more than an hour from start to finish, it’s filling, and very, very delicious. The recipe below is for two just multiply the ingredients as needed.
HALIM E BUDEMJAN
- 400 gr’s minced meat ( either lamb or beef)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 medium aubergines
- 1 cup of kashk
- 1 teaspoon of advieh
- 1 cup of lentils ( cooked)
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste.
For the garnish:
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic sliced
- 3 tablespoons of dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts ( optional)
- Bake the aubergine in the oven until soft. This usually takes 45 mins on 20
- Peel the aubergine, mash and put to one side.
- Fry the meat until brown, and salt, pepper, saffron, lentils, 3 cups of water and allow to reduce.
- Add the aubergine and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Then add 1/2 cup of kashk ( you can use kashk straight from the freezer and I freeze it in 1 cup quantities).
- Finally add the advieh, stir in well.
- Allow to simmer for a few minutes and then put to one side.
4. Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the remaining kashk, bring to the boil and then place to one side.
Now make the garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Be careful not to over fry it as you want it brown and crispy but not burnt.
- Add the turmeric and dried mint, stir well, remove from the heat and put to one side.
Bringing it all together
- Place the meat mixture into a serving dish.
- Pour on a little of the liquid kashk ( you need to keep some in reserve to serve with the meal)
- Then decorate with the garlic and mint garnish by spooning it on
- Use the remaining oil from the pan you fried the garnish in to spoon over the top and add walnuts if you wish.
Serve with a small bowl of the liquid kashk, a fresh green salad, naan or pitta bread.
Nooshi joonet ~ Enjoy
In Iran we fully believe in the power of hot and cold foods, much like the chinese do. In fact legend has it that our ancient ancestors shared this food knowledge with the chinese , but we won’t get into that here! Iranians believe that food is fuel and either weakens or strengthens the body and these beliefs go way back to ancient times and originate from the Zoroastrian religion.
THE THINKING BEHIND THE THEORY
The description ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ doesn’t relate to the temperature of the food but rather to the effect the food has on your body. Everything we eat is broken down by enzymes in our stomachs and that has an effect on our cells and ultimately on how we function. Enzymes react to ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ food. For example, ‘cold’ food like cucumber or Salad Olivieh slows down the digestive process, which in turn slows us down, requiring us to expend additional energy to continue digestion and will lead to feeling sluggish or tired. On the other hand, ‘hot’ food speeds up the digestive process, increases our metabolic rate and we are more alert and ready to take up our busy lives.
Our bodies need a balance of both ‘hot and ‘cold’ food to function at their best. So for example when I make salad Olivieh, I decorate it with a ‘hot’ food, like walnuts or add carrots . Another example is Khoresht e Feseenjun where the two main ingredients are pomegranate ( cold) and walnuts (hot). Salad is made more balanced by adding herbs, which are hot. Rice is ‘cold’ which is why we eat our khoreshts or stews spiced with saffron and turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, salt and pepper. And you thought it was just to make it taste delicious! Rose-water is ‘hot’ and sugar is cold, which is why our sweet dishes like Nan e Berenji use rose-water. Yoghurt is cold which is why we add mint! Lamb and chicken kebab with rice …. Get the idea! It’s about creating a balance, or making what we eat neutral.
There are times when we need to eat ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ food like when we have colds and illness. I’ll save that for another post.
- All herbs except coriander
- All spices except sumac
- Chicken and lamb
- Dairy is generally cold, except goats cheese which is neutral, Kashk which is hot and ghee.
- Most nuts
- Wheat flour
- chick peas, yellow split peas.
- Most vegetables except: carrots, radish, okra, onions, garlic, red and green peppers,
- Most fruit except apples, dates, quince.
- kidney beans, lentils
- Goats cheese
Love life, eat well and cook Persian!
Khoresht e Feseenjun is an exquisite Persian dish made with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste. Although it actually doesn’t look so great, it’s to die for. It’s more a dish that you would make for a special occasion rather than everyday. Typically it’s made with poultry, chicken turkey or duck or you can substitute the poultry with meat balls. The dish is intended to be both sweet and very slightly sour.
KHORESHT E FESEENAN or PERSIAN WALNUT AND POMEGRANATE STEW
- 1 kilo gr chicken or turkey
- 2 large onion
- 500 gr’s of ground walnuts
- a generous pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 teasp of turmeric
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 teasp of salt
- 5 tablespoons of pomegranate paste or 2 cups of pomegranate juice.
- 6 glasses of water
- Place 6 glasses of water in a pan and bring to the boil.
- Add salt, ground walnuts, pomegranate paste and sugar
- Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 3/4 hour. The oil from the walnuts will come out and help to thicken the khoresht.
- Meanwhile chop the onions and fry in a little oil until golden
- Add the chicken pieces ( or meat balls ) and brown off
- Add the turmeric and stir in
- Add these to the khoresht and leave to simmer on a low heat for about another 40 minutes
- Just before serving sprinkle with a few chopped walnuts.
Serve with plain white rice and a fresh salad.
HOW TO MAKE POMEGRANATE PASTE
It’s not always easy to find Pomegranate paste unless you live near an Iranian grocery store. But don’t worry it’s really very easy to make yourself. Here’s how:
- Take about 6 cups of pomegranate juice and bring to the boil
- Add a little salt and a little lime juice ( or lemon juice) to taste and simmer for about 3/4 hour or until the sauce thickens.
- When thick remove from heat and pour into a jar with an airtight lid.
- Allow to cool and store in the fridge.
Nooshi joonet. Enjoy.
Nan e Berenji originates from the Kermanshah region of Iran. Pure delight for me because they are made from rice flour. These delicious little cookies melt in your mouth and are just perfect to nibble on with your afternoon tea. They are just the right size for little mouths too… the children in our family adore them.
I know this recipe looks long and complicated but it’s not. There are three parts to it, unless you already have ghee, in which case there are only two.
NAN E BERENI
- 240 mls or 1 cup of ghee or clarified butter
- 720 mls or 3 cups rice flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1.5 teaspoons of cardamom powder
- poppy seeds to garnish
- the syrup (below)
Method for clarified butter:
- Either use ghee or clarify your own butter by heating it slowly over a low heat until it boils.
- Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and remove the bubbly froth
- Remove from heat and put to one side.
- Once it settles and hardens you will have ghee.
Ingredients for the syrup:
- 1.5 cups of sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 8 tablespoons of rose-water
- 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice
Method for syrup:
- Add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to the boil.
- Allow to simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat.
- Add the rose-water and lime juice and leave to cool.
Method for the cookies:
- Pre heat the oven to 180 c and prepare a biscuit baking tray by lining with grease proof paper. Place to one side.
- Make the syrup and leave to cool.
- Take a bowl, preferably a plastic one and beat the egg yolks until thick and creamy
- Add in the cool syrup and place to one side.
- In a another bowl add the rice flour, butter and cardamom and beat well.
- Add the egg yolks and mix for 15-20 minutes to create a dough and to ensure there’s lots of air in the mix.
- Knead the dough briefly. It should not be sticky at this point.
- Take a teaspoon of dough and roll into a small round shape and then flatten slightly and arrange on the baking tray leaving a distance of about 2.5 cm’s between each cookie.
- Decorate the biscuits if you wish and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Cook in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes.
- Remove carefully as they are quite delicate and allow to cool.