Cherries ring in the summer for me, whether sweet or sour, as the season begins in June/July. Did you ever hang the most beautiful double or even triple red cherries over your ears right and left, and it made you feel beautiful? This childhood memory is anchored deep in my memory. Tart cherries are a mouthwatering combination in savory stews, and so is my recipe of today, Khoresh-e Albaloo – Lamb meatballs in sour cherry sauce خورش آلبالو. In this dish, tart cherries stand in the spotlight and complete the taste of the lamb meatballs. The preparation is simple, super quick, and will blow you away. Watch my Video on Instagram
Tirgan Mobarak! Happy Tirgan! Like all our Persian festivals, at Tirgan, there is a lot of dancing, singing, and reciting poems. It’s tradition to splash water on each other (Ab Pashi) on this day. We also eat certain foods, such as my Soup-e Esfenadj – Spinach Soup for Tirgan. The recipe is super simple! The soup includes fresh baby spinach, potatoes, onions, and oriental spices. It’s vegetarian, as I made it with vegetable stock, but you can also use chicken stock. Add a blob of Greek yogurt, fresh mint, and a few drops of good olive oil to garnish. This creamy, healthy, and delicious soup is on your table in no time.
The temperatures have risen, and I am in the mood for a cooling ice cream. The golden Yellow Bastani Sonati – Persian Saffron Ice Cream is one of the most popular ice creams in Iran. Whether young or old, men or women, everyone loves Bastani Sonati – Persian Saffron Ice Cream. Bastani means ice cream, and Sonati is traditional, so translated, it means traditional Persian ice cream. Nothing is better in the heat than having the aromatic saffron ice cream melt in your mouth. In Bastani are little frozen pieces of cream and pistachio slivers hidden. As a child, and even today, I still get excited when I discover a tasty bite of delicious frozen cream or a slivered pistachio in the ice cream. HOMEMADE BASTANI SONATI Throughout Tehran, we have a lot of ice cream stores that sell Bastani, but many Persians also prepare it at home, as there is nothing better than fresh homemade Bastani. Last summer, I made saffron ice cream without eggs; today I have a recipe with eggs. In my …
Kabab Koobideh – Grilled Minced Meat Kabab کباک کوبیده is the ultimate favorite dish of all Persians and our National dish. It is no wonder why it is on the menu of every Persian restaurant, both in Iran and all over the world. Kabab translates to grilled, and Koobideh originates from the Persian word koobidan, which means to beat. Nowadays, the meat is passed through a meat grinder and used as minced meat for Kabab Koobideh. Traditionally, the meat was placed on a flat stone and smashed with a wooden mallet. According to the legend, ancient Persian soldiers used to grill the meat on their swords before going to battle. The challenge with Kabab Koobideh is that it does not fall off the wide, flat skewer (Seekh) while grilling over hot charcoals.
Do you want to spice up your yogurt and set the scene? If so, I have the perfect recipe for you. You only need a few ingredients: sautéed baby spinach, Greek yogurt, sautéed caramelized onions, and spice it up with turmeric and cinnamon for a mouthwatering flavor. Borani Esfenadj – Persian Spinach Yogurt Dip is quickly prepared, delicious, and healthy. Spinach adds a lovely green color to your yogurt, and turmeric turns it all yellow. I love to use Greek yogurt as it is creamy and has many health benefits. The key to this recipe is the fried caramelized onions since they add sweetness and a special kick to this yogurt. Watch my Video on Instagram
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.