Abgoosht Bozbash (Herbs Abgoosht)

Tags

, , , ,

Though abgoosht bozbash and ghormeh sabzi (the most popular Persian khoresht) both share the same major ingredients, they completely differ in taste and cooking method. In abgoosht, all the ingredients are added to the pot without pre-cooking them first, whereas in khoresht the meat and herbs are sautéed then braised in an aromatic fried-onion base. Abgoosht has considerably more liquid and, just as with ghormeh sabzi, can be prepared with red kidney beans or black-eyed peas.

Abgoosht Bozbash (Herbs Abgoosht)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time:  2 hour 30 min
Ready in: 3 hour
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2½ pounds beef shanks
1 large onion peeled
2½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 cups water
1 bunch fresh green onions
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1 small bunch fresh or 1/3 cup dried fenugreek
6 large dried Persian limes or ¼ cup lemon juice
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans drained

INSTRUCTIONS

Place meat, water, onion, salt, pepper and turmeric in a large pot. Bring to a boil, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour.

While meat is cooking, clean and chop the herbs. Add the fresh chopped herbs and limes to the pot, discard the whole onion. Pierce the limes a few times with a fork prior to adding them to allow the cooking liquid to permeate the fruit, hydrating it and releasing its complex flavors. Cook for 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender. Add potatoes and beans, cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Optional – To serve this dish as a broth and koobideh (mashed meat with beans), transfer the content of the pot to a mesh strainer, placed over a bowl, to strain. Return to the pot leaving the broth in the bowl. Remove all the bones and limes, the seeds are bitter if eaten. Mash to a coarse consistency using a potato masher or a meat pounder.

Advertisements

Vegetarian Khoresht Beh (Quince Stew)

Tags

, , ,

Vegetarian Khoresht Beh (Quince Stew)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time:  50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 4 to 6 serving

INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons regular olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion chopped
½ cup yellow split peas
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)
2 large quinces

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a medium pot. Add chopped onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until slightly golden, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Add split peas, salt, turmeric, cinnamon powder, pepper and water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until split peas are tender. Split peas used in this recipe are the “slow cook” type available at Middle Eastern markets or online. Regular split peas, found at most supermarkets, tend to cook faster and fall apart in Persian dishes. If using “regular” split peas adjust the cooking time.

Half way through cooking, peel the quinces, cut into quarters and remove their cores. Chop the quarters into 1-inch cubes. Quince turns brown quickly if not used right after cutting. To prevent oxidization, keep them in a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice, ¼ cup lemon juice to 1 quart of cold water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add chopped quinces and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly golden.

Add lemon juice, saffron and chopped quinces to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the quinces are cooked through.

Some varieties of quince are very sour unlike the ones used in this recipe. Taste the sauce before adding lemon juice. If the sauce is too sour omit the lemon juice and if needed add a little sugar to balance the flavors.

Adjust the seasoning and serve with basmati rice.

Khoresht Beh (Quince Stew)

Tags

, , ,

Khoresht Beh (Quince Stew)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time:  1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons regular olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion chopped
1 pound stew meat
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)
2 large quinces

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a medium pot. Add chopped onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until slightly golden, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Add meat, salt, turmeric, cinnamon powder and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, stir occasionally. Stir in water, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook for 1 hour or until meat is almost fork tender.

Half way through cooking, peel the quinces, cut into quarters and remove their cores. Chop the quarters into 1-inch cubes. Quince turns brown quickly if not used right after cutting. To prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice, ¼ cup lemon juice to 1 quart of cold water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add chopped quinces and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly golden.

Add lemon juice, saffron and chopped quinces to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until quinces cook through.

Some varieties of quince are very sour unlike the ones used in this recipe. Taste the sauce before adding lemon juice. If the sauce is too sour, omit the lemon juice and if needed add a little sugar to balance the flavors.

Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over basmati rice.

Koofteh Berenji (Rice Meatballs)

Tags

, ,

Koofteh berenji, a Persian meatball dish, is made of a kneaded mixture of ground beef or lamb, rice, aromatic herbs, yellow split peas and spices. The meat mixture is usually stuffed with dried fruits and nuts, firmly shaped into orange-sized balls and simmered in a rich tomato sauce. As with all recipes, there are many variations of this dish. Although the main ingredients are ground beef and rice, various combinations of herbs, fillings and spices are used in the recipes. Some of the most common herbs used are fresh or dried parsley, tareh (chives), marzeh (savory), dill, cilantro and mint. The meatballs are stuffed with fried onion, zereshk (barberries), walnuts, dried plums, dried apricots, dates, raisins, whole cooked eggs or a combination of these ingredients. The sauce is flavored with saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, rice advieh (rice seasoning), cumin or coriander.

Koofteh Berenji (Rice Meatballs)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 2 hour
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS For meatball

Rice:
½ cup long grain basmati rice, rinsed
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt

Split Peas:
½ cup yellow split peas, rinsed
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt

Herbs cleaned and finely chopped:
1 small bunch fresh parsley leaves, about 1 cup
1 bunch fresh green onions, 8 to 10
¾ cup fresh tarragon leaves or ¼ cup dried
¾ cup fresh marzeh (summer savory) or ¼ cup dried

1 pound ground beef 85% lean
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
2 eggs
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For Sauce
4 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
4 cups water

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the meatballs:

Bring the rice ingredients to a boil in a small pot. Lower heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool. Steaming rice “kateh” keeps the flavor and nutrition intact and helps bind the meat ingredients together.

Bring the yellow split pea ingredients to a boil in a small pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the peas are almost tender. Strain and set aside to cool. Split peas used in this recipe are the “slow cook” type available at Middle Eastern markets or online. Regular split peas, found at most supermarkets, tend to cook faster and fall apart in Persian dishes. If using “regular” split peas adjust the cooking time.

When rice and peas are cool enough to handle, combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands knead the mixture as you would a dough until it’s pliable and easy to shape. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Using wet hands firmly shape each portion into a ball. Place meatballs on a large platter.

If your meat mixture is too dry to handle and falls apart, try working it longer. The heat from your hands and the starch released by the broken rice grains help bind the ingredients better. If that doesn’t work add one more egg. On the other hand if the mixture is too wet and loose to handle, either chill in the refrigerator for up to an hour or add rice or chickpea flour (just enough to absorb the moisture). Using fresh and fattier meat and making smaller meatballs also help. Mixing all the ingredients prior to adding ground beef and eggs incorporates them evenly.

To make the sauce:

Heat oil in a pot large enough to hold the meatballs. Add chopped onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until slightly golden, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to create deeper flavors and color in the sauce. Stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, lemon juice, saffron and water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil.

To assemble the dish:

Gently slide the meatballs into the simmering sauce, one at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pan. The meatballs expand as they cook. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs occasionally to keep the meatballs moist.

Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste. To serve, place the meatballs in a bowl and pour the sauce over them.

Chocolate Almond Macaroons

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

You won’t have to worry about storing these macaroons because there won’t be any leftovers.

Chocolate Almond Macaroons

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 12 macaroons

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups finely ground blanched almond
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat. If using a parchment paper spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Add almonds, sugar and cocoa to the bowl of a food processer. Pulse on highest speed for 1 minute. Add egg whites and vanilla extract; pulse, scraping sides of the bowl, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is pasty. If you don’t have a food processer mix the ingredients with a spoon.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet spreading them apart.

Bake macaroons in a 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Macaroons are done when they have cracked lightly across the top. If using a parchment paper, slide it onto a well dampened towel. As soon as the paper is moist, remove the macaroons; be careful not to let them absorb any moisture.

Blanching and grounding whole almonds

Braised Chicken Breasts

Braised Chicken Breasts

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 55 min
Ready in: 1 hour Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or the back of a frying pan, and working from the thickest part of the breast outward, pound the chicken breasts lightly to an even thickness. Ponding will even out the thickness so that all parts cook evenly.

In a deep nonstick pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add chickens, slightly brown on both sides for about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, saffron, butter and chicken stock. Cover, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; cook for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with zereshk polo, sabzi polo, baghali polo, reshteh polo or other mixed rice dishes.

Reshteh Polo (Rice Pilaf) in Rice Cooker

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reshteh polo is a delicious Persian rice pilaf made with a very thin pasta (reshteh). In Iran, they actually use a roasted rice reshteh for this dish, but I prefer the taste of homemade roasted vermicelli. If you don’t have a Persian rice cooker, cook the rice kateh style and add the reshteh to the rice. If cooking your rice the polo style, add your reshteh before straining the rice.

Reshteh Polo (Rice Pilaf) in Rice Cooker

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

For rice:

3 cups long grain basmati rice*
5 ¾ cups water
1½ teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter

For reshteh and raisins:

2 cups reshteh (Capellini Spezzati or angel hair pasta broken into pieces)
1 tablespoon oil
1½ cups raisins
1 tablespoon butter

Saffron (optional)

* Measure the rice and water using a regular measuring cup. The measuring cup packaged with the rice cooker is smaller than the standard U.S. measuring cup.

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the rice into a bowl; cover with cold water. Swish the rice around gently with your hand; drain and repeat until the water is clear. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky. Strain the rice thoroughly to get rid of the excess water.

Combine all the rice ingredients in the pot of the rice cooker. Use a Persian rice cooker which is designed to cook light and fluffy rice with tadig (crispy crust). If you don’t have one use a regular rice cooker.

Cover the pot, plug the rice cooker in. Turn the machine on and start the cooking cycle following the manufacturer’s timing.

While rice is cooking toast reshteh in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the reshteh turns golden brown, keep stirring to prevent it from burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and raisins in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 1 minute or until the butter melts. Remove from heat and set aside.

Half way through cooking, when rice starts to rise to the top of the water, stir in toasted reshteh and gently mix to combine. Add raisins, cover and cook until the cycle finishes. Optional: place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with the lid to absorb the steam.

To serve, gently spoon the rice mixture onto a serving platter lightly mixing the ingredients. The bottom of the rice develops a crisp crust that can be served on a separate plate.

Optional: Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water.  Mix in 1 cup of cooked rice and use for garnish.

Serve with braised chicken thighs or breast.

Kalam Polo (Cabbage Rice)

Tags

, , , ,

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hour 30 mins
Ready in: 2 hour 45 min
Yields: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

For meat mixture:
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons oil
2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Persian Advieh polo (rice seasoning)*
¼ teaspoon ground saffron (optional)
2½ cups water
1 medium head green cabbage
2 tablespoons oil

For rice:
10 cups water
3 cups long grain basmati rice washed and drained
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter melted

INSTRUCTIONS

Meat Mixture:

Heat oil in a deep nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is slightly golden. Add meat, cook for 10 minutes or until juices are gone and meat is slightly browned. Stir in tomato paste, salt, pepper, turmeric and advieh. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors. Add 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 50 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, remove the outer layers of cabbage. Place on a cutting board, cut in half. Remove the core; cut into ½-inch thick slices. Cut cabbage slices into 1- inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan, add chopped cabbage; cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Take off heat.

Add saffron and cabbage to the meat. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat is fork tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. The meat sauce cooks down to about ½ cup to ¾ cup. If there is too much sauce, cook for few minutes longer without the lid to reduce the sauce.

Rice:

Bring 10 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large nonstick pot. Add rice; stir and return back to a boil. Lower heat to medium; cook for about 6 to 7 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a fine mesh colander.

Assembly:

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the same pot. Add a layer of rice to the pan followed by a layer of meat mixture. Continue to alternate the layers until all the ingredients are used including the meat sauce. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, all the way to the bottom of the pot to allow steam to escape. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with a lid to absorb the steam. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Pour butter and remaining oil (2 tablespoons) over the rice. Lower heat to medium low, cook for 50 minutes.

To serve, gently spoon the rice mixture onto a serving plate lightly mixing the ingredients. The bottom of the rice develops a crisp crust that you can serve on a separate plate.

Optional: Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water.  Mix in 1 cup of cooked rice and use for garnish.

*Advieh Polo is a spice blend made of cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, ginger, cloves and rose bud petals. It can be found in the Persian or specialty stores.

Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

For Rice:
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1½ quarts (10 cups) water
2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For Topping:
¾ cup zereshk (barberries), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon ground saffron

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the rice into a bowl; cover with cold water. Swish the rice around gently with your hand; drain and repeat until the water is clear. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky. Strain the rice.

Bring 10 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice; cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour in the rice. Cover; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.

Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice. Reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook for 50 minutes. The dishtowel is used to keep the steam from escaping and to absorb the water that condenses on the inside of the lid, preventing it from falling back into the pot. This results in drier and fluffier rice.

To make the topping for rice, place butter, zereshk and sugar in a skillet over medium low heat. Heat just long enough for butter and sugar to melt. Remove from heat.

Dissolve ¼ teaspoon saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water in a small bowl. Add 2 cups cooked rice, gently mix to combine.

To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Add saffron rice and top with zereshk.

Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pan and serve on a separate platter. If tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust.

This rice can also be prepared in a rice cooker or in kateh style, then topped with saffron rice and zereshk. Serve with chicken breasts or thighs.

Khoresht Esfenaj and Aloo (Spinach Stew)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Khoresht Esfenaj and Aloo (Spinach Stew)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 50 min
Ready in: 2 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons oil (divided)
1½ pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into 1½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups water
2½ pounds (about 12 cups) spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
¾ cup dried Persian Aloo Bukhara or dried plum
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onions; fry, stirring occasionally, for about 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Add meat, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink. Add 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover; cook for 1 hour.

While the meat is cooking, add spinach to a large nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, over high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until all the liquid is gone and the spinach is reduced in volume. Add the remaining oil (2 tablespoons), fry for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tip: spinach releases a lot of liquid during cooking (12 cups spinach wilts down to 2 cups). Higher cooking temperatures, a larger pan surface, and cooking in batches not to crowd the pan will help speed up the process.

Rinse and drain the Persian Aloo Bokhara or the plums.

When meat is almost cooked, stir in spinach, Persian aloo and 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Cook, covered, over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is cooked. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve khoresht esfenaj and aloo (spinach stew) with chelo, polo or kateh (Persian rice). Be careful of the pits.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Tags

, , , ,

Homemade Chicken Stock

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hour
Ready in: 2 hour 10 min
Yields: 7 to 8 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 chicken back bone, neck and wings
1 large onion, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
3 celery stalks, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2½ quarts (10 cups) water

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot; bring to a boil, skimming off  any scum that rises to the surface. Cover, cook over low heat for 2 hours. The longer it simmers, the more reduced it will become and the more intense its flavor will be.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Let it cool.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Remove the solidified fat from surface the next day. Fat hardens and solidifies when chilled and becomes easier to remove.

Store chicken stock in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

KuKu Sabzi (Herbs Frittata)

Tags

, , , , ,

Kuku sabzi is a traditional Iranian egg dish made with more greens than a frittata. This dish can be prepared in advance and served warm or at room temperature.  To learn more about this dish visit Yumivore blog :).

KuKu Sabzi (Herbs Frittata)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch fresh dill
1 bunch green onions/scallions
1 bunch fresh or 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek
4 cloves garlic
8 eggs
1¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash the herbs, drain and chop them. Peel and chop the garlic, add to the herbs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk eggs, salt, pepper and flour in a bowl. Pour over chopped herbs and garlic; mix to combine.

Pour oil into an 8-inch ovenproof baking dish, covering the sides to prevent sticking. Pour the herb mixture into the baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in the lower 1/3 of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top is puffed and golden brown.

Cut into 6 sections and serve hot or cold.

For stovetop cooking, heat oil over medium high heat in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Add herb mixture; cook, covered, over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is firm and puffed. Cut into wedges; carefully turn the pieces over, one wedge at a time. Add additional oil if needed. Cover, cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.

Serve kuku sabzi (herbs frittata) as a side dish with sabzi polo (herb rice).

Mahi Azad (Pan-Fried Salmon)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Mahi Azad (Pan-Fried Salmon)

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 salmon fillets
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Pat dry salmons with a paper towel. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the salmons in the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the salmons over; cook 3 more minutes or until they feels firm to the touch.

Transfer to a plate and serve.

Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch parsley (2 cups chopped)
1 bunch cilantro (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch fresh dill (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch green onions/scallions (1½ cups chopped)
1 bunch fresh fenugreek (1 cup chopped) or 1/3 cup dried fenugreek
4 cloves garlic
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
3 liters (12 cups) water
3 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons butter melted
saffron (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash the herbs, drain and chop them. Peel and chop the garlic, add to the herbs.

Bring water and salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice; stir and return back to a boil. Lower heat to medium; cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Add chopped herbs and garlic; gently stir to combine. Drain in a mesh colander.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil to the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour rice mixture into the pot. Cover; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.

Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice. Reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook for 50 minutes.

Serve sabzi polo (herb rice) either by placing it on a serving platter or unmolding it. To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pan; lay them over the rice or arrange them on a separate plate.

If the tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink filled with few inches of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust or place the pot on a wet towel.

To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter upside down on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan. This will keep the tadigh intact.  Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water, mix with 1 cup of sabzi polo. Use for garnish.

Serve sabzi polo (herb rice) with mahi, pan-fried salmon, braised chicken breasts, braised chicken thighs or braised beef.

Morgh Schnitzel (Chicken Schnitzel)

Tags

, , , ,

Breaded chicken is a popular dish around the globe.  It consists of pounded chicken cutlets that have been breaded in crumbs and then fried until the coating is golden brown and brittle. The same preparation technique is used in Germany for a dish called Wiener Schnitzel which is usually served with fresh lemon juice. If you want to work ahead, you can coat the cutlets in crumbs up to 4 hours ahead. Store them on a wire rack in the fridge. But try to serve them freshly fried when their coating is at its crunchiest.

Morgh Schnitzel (Chicken Schnitzel)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hr
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
3 whole eggs beaten, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cups all purpose flour
1½ cups Italian bread crumbs
Salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder
½ cup oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or back of a frying pan, and working from the thickest part of the breast outward, pound the chicken breasts lightly to an even thickness. Ponding will even out the thickness so that all parts cook at the same rate.

Place flour, eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels for an even coating. Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Season the bread crumbs with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano if using plain bread crumbs (optional). Seasoning the bread crumbs with herbs adds extra flavor.

Dredge both sides of each chicken breast in flour, shaking off the excess. Quickly dip in egg mixture, coating both sides. Finally, dredge both sides in bread crumbs, shaking off the excess. Breading chicken creates a crispy outer layer and keeps the chicken moist.

To keep the flour and egg from clumping around your fingers, use one hand for dredging the chicken in flour and the other hand for soaking in the egg and dredging in bread crumbs.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add chickens in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook each side for about 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain. Repeat until all the chicken breasts are browned.

Tip – To get a thinner breading on the chicken breast, add 1 tablespoon water for each egg, whisk to combine. The more water you add, the thinner the breading.

 

Khorak Morgh (Persian Chicken Dish)

Tags

, , , ,

Khorak Morgh (Persian Chicken Dish)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 large chicken thighs, washed and drained
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground saffron
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
1 pound frozen cut green beans
5 small carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (2 cups diced)
3 medium potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (2 cups diced)

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil in a deep nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are slightly golden. Stir in tomato paste and chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add water; Cover, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; cook for 15 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, saffron, lemon juice and the remaining tomato paste; stir to combine. Layer green beans and carrots on top of the chickens; do not mix. Cover; cook for 20 minutes.

When the vegetables are almost cooked, add potatoes; cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Kabab koobideh (Persian Kabab)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Kabab koobideh(Persian Kabab)

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds fresh ground beef
1 large onion
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Peel and grate the onion using a metal grater; drain in a sieve to separate the onion pulps from the juice. Discard the juice. The juice from the onion can make the meat mixture too wet making it hard to hold its shape on the skewer.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, knead for about 5 minutes or until well combined. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

To shape the kabab, take a handful of the meat mixture, wrap around the skewer like a hot dog. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the meat around the skewer forming an evenly long and flat shape. The meat has to be evenly balanced on the skewer to keep its shape on the grill. Gently pinch the meat into sections using your thumb and forefinger.  To avoid the meat from sticking to your hands, dip your hands in warm water before handling the meat.

Preheat the grill. Remove the grate if using long flat skewers.

Place the skewers over the grill. To prevent the meat from falling off the skewers, keep turning the skewers over during the first few minutes of cooking to let the meat cook evenly on both sides. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

If grilling the kababs without the flat skewers, keep the grate on the grill. Take a handful of the meat mixture; form into 5-inch oblong shapes. Grill 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the meat is cooked through.

Grill some onions and tomatoes to serve with the kababs (optional). Sprinkle kababs with sumac to add tart and lemony kick (optional).

Serve with chelo-polo (plain rice).

Chelo-Polo (Plain Rice)

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Chelo-Polo (Plain Rice)

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 cups basmati rice rinsed and drained
1½ quarts (10 cups) water
2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons butter melted
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Pinch of ground saffron

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the rice into a bowl; cover with cold water. Swish the rice around gently with your hand; drain and repeat until the water is clear. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky. Strain the rice.

Bring 10 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice; stir and return back to a boil. Lower heat to medium; cook for about 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.

To make tadigh, a golden crispy crust, dissolve a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt, whisk to combine. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in the same pot used to cook the rice. Pour in the yogurt and saffron mixture followed by the rice. Cover; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the rice starts to steam.

Add the remaining oil and melted butter on top of the rice. Reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook for 50 minutes. The dishtowel is used to keep the steam from escaping and to absorb the water that condenses on the inside of the lid, preventing it from falling back into the pot. This results in drier and fluffier rice.

When rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest, undisturbed with the lid on, for at least 5 minutes. This results in a uniform texture, with the bottom layers as fluffy as the top, and also helps to free the crust from the bottom of the pan.

Serve the rice either by placing it on a serving platter or unmolding it. To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid. Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pan; lay them over the rice or arrange them on a separate plate. If the tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust.

To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter upside down on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan. This will keep the tadigh intact.

Perfectly cooked rice has distinct and tender grains, not mushy, and is light and fluffy.

Persian Macaroni (Persian Spaghetti)

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Persian Macaroni (Persian Spaghetti)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time:  1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
8 tablespoons oil divided
1 pound ground beef
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground saffron (optional)
1 can green peas drained (optional)
1 pound spaghetti

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, tomato paste, salt, pepper and turmeric; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in oregano; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until meat is slightly browned. Stir in saffron and green peas, remove from heat. Fresh or frozen peas (1½ cups) can be substituted for canned peas and 1½ teaspoons fresh chopped oregano can be substituted for dry oregano. To add more moisture to the pasta, add about ½ cup hot water to the meat and simmer it for up to 10 minutes while the pasta is cooking (optional).

Bring 6 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in a large nonstick pot. Add pasta to the boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. Cook for 8 minutes or until the pasta is “al dente”, firm but not hard. Drain in a colander.

Add 4 tablespoons oil to the same pot used to cook the pasta. Layer pasta and meat in the pot, alternating layers until all the ingredients are used. Place a clean dish towel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until it starts steaming. Lower heat to low, cook for 30 minutes. For potato crust, place ½-inch thick slices of potato on the bottom of the pot.

To unmold the pasta, place a round serving platter upside down on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan. This will keep the tadigh intact.

Serve with Cucumber and Tomato Salad.

Ash Mash (Mung Bean Soup)

Tags

, , , , ,

Ash Mash (Mung Bean Soup)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hr
Ready in: 2 hour 10 mins
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion peeled and chopped
¼ cup oil
1 cup mung beans rinsed and drained
1 cup long grain basmati rice rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons salt (use less if stock is salty)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 quarts (16 cups) low sodium chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian and vegan version)
5 medium turnips peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cans kidney beans drained and rinsed (2½ cups cooked)

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Mix in turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour in rice, mung beans and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes.

Add chopped turnips, cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Mix in cooked beans; cook for 20 more minutes or until turnips are cooked and the ash has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Depending on the age and brand of rice and mung beans, the consistency of the ash may vary slightly. If the ash is too thin at the end, increase the heat and simmer uncovered until the desired consistency is reached, stirring frequently. If it is too thick, thin it with a little water. The ash can be made up to 2 days in advance. If necessary, thin it with water when reheating.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad (Persian Salad)

Tags

, , ,

Cucumber and Tomato Salad (Persian Salad)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 0
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

6 large Persian cucumbers or 2 English cucumbers
4 large tomatoes
1 small red onion
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup or less fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Rinse cucumbers and cut the ends off. Peel and dice into ¼-inch cubes. Rinse and core tomatoes. Dice into ¼-inch cubes. Cut the ends of onion, peel and and dice into ¼-inch cubes.

Combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the salad and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

To make chopped onions less pungent, place in a colander and hold under cold running water for few seconds. Spread on paper towel to drain or pat dry before using.

Polo (Rice) in Rice Cooker

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Polo (Rice) in Rice Cooker

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 cups long grain basmati rice
5½ cups water
1½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Measure rice with a regular measuring cup. The cup packaged with the rice cooker is different size than a standard U.S. measuring cup. Use a Persian rice cooker which is designed to cook light and fluffy rice with tadig (crispy crust).

Pour the rice into a bowl; cover with cold water. Swish the rice around gently with your hand; drain and repeat until the water is clear. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky. Strain the rice thoroughly to get rid of the excess water.

Combine all the ingredients in the pot of the rice cooker. Cover the pot; plug the rice cooker in. Turn the machine on and start the cooking cycle following the manufacturer’s timing.

When rice is ready, unplug the rice cooker.  Lift the pot out; remove the lid. To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan.

Experiment with the water to rice ratio to obtain the desired texture. More water results in softer and stickier rice; less water results in firmer more separate grains.

Kateh (Steamed Rice)

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Kateh (Steamed Rice)

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 cups basmati rice rinsed and drained
5½ cups water
1½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the rice into a bowl; cover with cold water. Swish the rice around gently with your hand; drain and repeat until the water is clear. Rinsing washes off loose starch, making the rice less sticky.  Strain the rice thoroughly to get rid of the excess water.

Bring 5½ cups water to a boil, covered, in a 5-quart nonstick pot over high heat. Pour in the rice, salt, oil and butter; stir, bring the water back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook, uncovered, for about 15 to 18 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and tiny small holes develop on the surface of the rice. Do not stir the rice at this stage, as the rice grains are fragile and can break easily.

Reduce heat to low. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot, folding the corners to keep away from the heat source. Cover the pot firmly with a lid; cook for 40 to 50 minutes. The dishtowel is used to keep the steam from escaping and to absorb the water that condenses on the inside of the lid, preventing it from falling back into the pot. This results in drier and fluffier rice.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest, undisturbed with the lid on, for at least 5 minutes. This results in a uniform texture, with the bottom layers as fluffy as the top, and also helps to free the crust from the bottom of the pan.

Serve the rice either by placing it on a serving platter or unmolding it. To plate the rice, gently scoop it out onto a serving platter with a wide spatula, mounding it into the shape of a pyramid.  Loosen the tadigh (crispy crust) from the bottom of the pan; lay them over the rice or arrange them on a separate plate. If the tadigh is hard to remove, lower the bottom of the pot into a sink of cold water for few minutes to help release the crust.

To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter upside down on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together, as you would invert a cake pan. This will keep the tadigh intact.

Perfectly cooked rice has distinct and tender grains, not mushy, and is light and fluffy. The water to rice ratio can be altered to obtain the required rice texture. If the rice is overcooked (mushy), use less water next time; if undercooked (hard), use more water.

Soup Adas (Lentil Soup)

Tags

, , , , , ,

Nothing beats the chill like a steaming bowl of lentil soup. This homey lentil soup warms you from the inside out. It’s high in fiber, low in fat and tastes even better the next day. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers.

Soup Adas (Lentil Soup)

Prep time:15 min
Cook time:1 hr
Ready in:1 hour 15 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, washed, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (14 ½ ounce)
2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian and vegan version)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a 5-quart pot over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant and vegetables begin to soften.

Strain tomatoes preserving the juice. Add thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in lentils, preserved tomato juice, broth and lemon juice. Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cook until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Puree about 3 cups of the soup in a blender, return to the pot and stir before serving (optional).

Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Green Herb Stew)

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh sabzi is the most delicious and popular Persian stew in my opinion. It’s always a big hit with everyone at the parties. It can be made up to few days in advance and just reheated in the oven or microwave.

Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Green Herb Stew)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hour 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Meat
1 large onion chopped
5 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds stew meat
4 cups water
6 whole dried Persian limes pierced with a fork
1 can red kidney bean (15 oz.)

Herbs
3 bunches fresh parsley
3 bunches fresh green onions or Persian tareh
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh fenugreek or 1 tablespoon dried
1/3 cup oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 5 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onions; fry for about 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Add meat, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink. Add 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover; cook for 1 hour.

While the meat is cooking, cut the stems off parsley, cilantro and fenugreek. Wash, drain and finely chop them. Cut the ends of the green onions. Wash, drain and thinly slice them. Place all the herbs in a large nonstick frying pan. Add 1/3 cup oil. Fry on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until all the liquids have evaporated. Lower heat to medium, fry for about 10 to 15 more minutes or until the color changes to dark green. This is an important step in creating the aromatic and deep flavors in this dish.

When the meat is half cooked, add fried herbs and limes. Cook over low heat for 1 hour. Add cooked beans; cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the oil separates. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Tahchin Morgh (Chicken Tahchin)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tahchin Morgh (Chicken Tahchin)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 10 min
Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Chicken
6 large chicken thighs
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 onion peeled

Saffron mixture
2 cups yogurt
½ teaspoon ground Saffron
2 egg yolks

Rice
3 cups long grain basmati rice
1½ tablespoons salt
10 cups water
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) oil
2 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS

For chicken:

Wash chicken thighs; place in a large pan. Add 1 cup water, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 whole peeled onion. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; cover, cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until chicken is fork tender. Remove skins and discard onion. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, dissolve ¼ teaspoon ground saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water. Add 1 cup yogurt, stir to combine. Pour over cooked chicken. Season with salt and ground pepper.

For rice:

Bring 10 cups water and 1½ tablespoons salt to a boil in a 5-quart nonstick pot. Add rice; cook over medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes or until rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.

In a medium bowl, dissolve ¼ teaspoon saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water. Add 1 cup yogurt and 2 egg yolks; whisk to combine. Stir in 3 cups half cooked rice.

To Assemble:

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in the same pot used to cook the rice. Add saffron and rice mixture, covering the bottom of the pan evenly, followed by a layer of plain rice. Arrange chicken pieces over the rice, top with the remaining rice. Pour the remaining chicken juice, saffron and yogurt mixture over the rice. Cover, cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Place a clean dish towel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with a lid to absorb the steam. Lower heat to medium low, cook for 50 minutes.  Half way through cooking, add 2 tablespoons butter to the top.

To unmold the rice, place a round serving platter on top of the pot. Using pot holders firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together.

Ash Jo (Barley Soup)

Tags

, , , ,

Ash Jo (Barley Soup)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 2 hr 40 min
Ready in: 3 hr
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

1 cup barley washed and drained
1 cup lentils washed and drained
1 can pinto beans (½ cup dried)
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (1/2 cup dried)
3 bunches parsley
3 bunches green onion
2 bunches cilantro
3 bunches spinach
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large onions, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon dried mint
14 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
2 cups kashk

Garnish
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried mint
3 tablespoons oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Beans:

Bring barley and 14 cups broth to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat to medium low; cook for 1 hour. If using dried pinto beans and chickpeas, add them to the pan with barley, increase chicken broth by 2 cups. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Pre-soaking beans cuts cooking time significantly and gives the beans the moisture content they need to cook quickly and evenly without splitting open. To soak the beans overnight, place them in a large bowl. Fill with water, covering the beans by 4 inches. Prior to cooking, drain and rinse the beans. If you don’t have time for overnight soaking, place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Do not cover. Bring water to a simmer over medium high heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.

Add lentils and 3 cups of water to a small pan. Cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain, set aside.

Herbs:

Clean parsley and cilantro by cutting off the stems. Cut off the root ends of green onions. Wash, rinse and coarsely chop all the herbs.

Ash:

Heat ½ cup oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick frying pan. Add chopped onions. Fry for 20 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon dried mint. Fry 2 to 3 more minutes. Take off heat and set aside.

When barley is tender, add the herbs, cooked beans and onion mixture. Bring back to a soft boil; lower heat to medium low; cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the ash comes together, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking to the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. The ash comes together when the liquid thickens. If the ash is too thick, add more broth or water to thin it. If it’s too thin, simmer uncovered to reduce the liquid.

Garnishes:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped garlic. Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons dried mint. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the color of oil changes to green. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add 1½ cups kashk to the pan, mix. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Garnish with kashk, dried mint and garlic.

Adas Polo (Lentil Rice)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Adas Polo (Lentil Rice)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 15 min
Yields: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Lentils
2 cups lentils
6 cups water
Raisins
2 cups raisins
2 tablespoons butter

Meat
1 medium onion peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons oil
2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water

Rice
3 cups long grain basmati rice washed and drained
10 cups water
1½ tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons oil

Safrron Mixture
¼ cup water
¼ cup oil
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

For lentils: Place the cleaned and washed lentils in a medium size pot. Add 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.
For Raisins: Heat butter and raisins in a medium size skillet over low heat until the butter is melted. Take off heat and set aside.

For meat: While the lentils are cooking, heat 4 tablespoons oil in a medium size pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add meat, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat for 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender.

For rice: Bring 10 cups of water and 1½ tablespoons salt to a boil in a 6-quart nonstick pot. Add the rice, bring back to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes over medium heat or until the rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.
Assembly: Add 4 tablespoons oil to the same pot used to cook the rice. Layer rice, lentils, raisins and meat. Continue to alternate the layers until all the ingredients are used. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, all the way to the bottom of the pot to allow steam to escape. Cover, cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Dissolve saffron in ¼ cup hot water, mix with ¼ cup oil (4 tablespoons), pour over the rice. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with a lid to absorb the steam. Lower heat to medium low, cook for 50 minutes.
To serve, gently spoon the rice mixture onto a serving plate lightly mixing the ingredients. The bottom of the rice develops a crisp crust that you can serve on a separate plate.

This rice can also be prepared with chicken. For vegetarian version omit meat.