Sharbat- e Rivas – Persian Rhubarb Lemonade is finest ice-cold lemonade made from rhubarb. Make a delicious rhubarb syrup from fresh rhubarb stalks and sugar first. Pour right before serving, rhubarb syrup over crushed ice in a glass and top it with non-carbonated water, add a little lemon juice and a tiny bit of rose water, and enjoy. In Iran, we have temperatures up to 26 degrees in the spring. When we returned from school in the afternoon, we were welcomed by my grandmother with this refreshing drink, as it is an excellent way to refresh yourself. The spoon clinking against the glass when she filled the syrup with water, rose water, and lemon juice is like music to my ears and brings back sweet childhood memories.
Do you see the jewels glowing in the rice? All ingredients in Javahar Polo – Persian Jeweled Rice, look like gems and make the rice shine. Barberries and pomegranate seeds shine like rubies, pistachios glow as emeralds, saffron rice, carrots shine like gold, and almonds like pearls. Be sure to try the recipe, a 1001 Night’s Dream.
Nan-e Barbari is a Persian flatbread, usually 70 – 80 cm long, and tastes best fresh from the oven. It is most baked and sold in Iran. The bread is very similar to the Turkish flatbread, but not quite so thick and round but thin and oval. If you plan a trip to Iran, you should visit a Noonvai – a persian bakery. The bread is baked in the morning, at noon and in the evening ,fresh and in front of your eyes. Each bakery is specialized in one type of bread and bakes it in a stone oven. In Iran, we have four different types of breads baked in stone ovens, for example Nan-e Sangak is from rye flour and is baked on pebbles, Nan-e Lavash is wafer-thin patties made from wheat flour without yeast, and Nan-e Taftoon is from whole wheat flour.
Eid Mobarak! Today is Eid al Fitr and Reshteh Khoshkar is a crispy sweet specialty from Gilan in northern Iran, which is prepared for the sugar feast. The dough (Reshteh) is traditionally prepared from rice flour with water and filled with a mixture (Khoshkar) of walnuts, cinnamon, cardamom, and powdered sugar. The tricky part of these pastries is not the folding- method but the piping method. The dough is poured into a mold, then piped into a pan in a mesh pattern. The folding method is easy with this pastry, form them into packets and press the sides firmly. This dessert has warm properties and is very popular for preparation during Ramadan. Ramadan is this year from 22.03 to 21.04.23 and ends with a big celebration, namely Eid also known as Eid-al-Fitr. The homemade Reshteh Khoshkar – Gluten Free Sweet Pastries رشته خوشکار can be enjoyed not only during Ramadan, meantime they are available all year round.
Vavishka is a quick and easy Persian skillet dish, a speciality from Gilan at the Caspian Sea. In Gilan it is called “Vavij” or “Vabij” which means steaming. There are various versions of Vavishka. I prepared Vavishka from minced meat, onions, tomatoes, and seasoned it with turmeric, lemon juice, Advieh – a Persian spice blend and topped it with eggs. The unique flavor of this dish is the spice blend Advieh – the jewel among the spices of the Persian cuisine. It gives the dish a warm, sweet floral flavor. If you don’t have Advieh use these ingredients: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp mixed cardamom, 1 tsp rose petal powder, 1/2 tsp mixed saffron, 1/2 tsp mixed coriander, 1 tsp dried lime powder and some nutmeg. Vary the ingredients according to your own taste. It goes best with Nan-e Barbari – Persian flatbread, Nan-e Taftoon – Persian pan-fried Nan bread, Salad Shirazi – Persian tomato and cucumber salad and Sabzi Khordan – Persian herb platter, Sir Torsi – pickled garlic, Torshi – pickled vegetables or …
Valak Kuku is a delicious quick pan-fried egg dish blended with tasty wild garlic, eggs, crunchy walnuts, and tart barberries. Spices like coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric add this irresistible sweet and sour flavor. I soak the walnuts and barberries in boiling water, which gives the walnuts a nice fresh touch and makes them less floury, so try it out. For Sabzi Khordan – a Persian herb dish, I also soak the walnuts and enjoy the fresh taste. Do you want to learn more about wild garlic? I have posted about it here.
Finally, it’s wild garlic time, and you can only find it on the market a few weeks of the year, so I prepared several Persian recipes with wild garlic. I made Valak Polo today, a traditional Persian Rice Dish with Wild Garlic, Sumac, and Saffron. We serve Chicken or meatballs with this dish in Iran. I prefer to fish with Valak Polo, so I made it with salmon in a lemony marinade. The marinade is to die for and consists of rose petals, ground dried lime, bay leaves, sumac, cinnamon, grated zest of a lemon, lemon juice, and lemon pepper tossed in olive oil. Salmon tastes best when you marinate it for about 2 hours. If you like wild garlic, you might also like my creamy One Pot Past with green asparagus and wild garlic, as I also show you the place near my home where wild garlic grows. Watch Video on Instagram (Wild Garlic Rice Preparation) Watch Video on Instagram (Marinated Salmon Preparation)
Monday was the beginning of spring and the same time as our New Year Norooz. On this day, many dishes are prepared with fresh herbs traditionally, for example, Sabzi Polo – Persian Herb Rice سبزی پلو ، Sabzi Polo ba Mahi – Persian herb rice with orange stuffed trout, Kuku Sabzi – Persian Herb Frittata , Ashe Reshteh – noodle soup with herbs, and Sabzi Khordan – Persian herb platter. Sabzi means herbs, and polo means rice, that is herbed rice. Tender fresh herbs are the first signs of spring, and in my Sabzi Polo, chopped dill, parsley, cilantro, scallions, a whole bulb of garlic, ghee, and saffron add a delicious touch to the rice. As in many Persian dishes, the herbs in Sabzi Polo vary, and each family has its favorite recipe. Watch Video on Instagram
Toot – Persian Marzipan Mulberry شیرینی توت is served on Nowrooz day and persian weddings. Toot is a vegan, gluten free, and no-bake treat. Toot means mulberry in Farsi. Use different food color or saffron to pep up your Toot.
Nowrooz is coming, so let’s start thinking about Shirinipazi (baking cookies)! After all, we also have the ritual of baking cookies for Nowrooz as you do for Christmas. It’s about 6 Days from now to Monday, March 20 at 10:25 pm in Germany. I have some cookie recipes on my Blog for you for the holidays. For today, I have the recipe for gluten-free Ghorabieh – Persian Almond macaron قرابیه, a traditional treat from the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran. Ghorabieh is a popular souvenir from Tabriz and is one of the most expensive cookies baked in Persia.