Mixed Berries Jam, Persian and Healthy Style

Traditional Persian jams are made with whole or cut fruits rather than crushed fruits; they usually have no additive to make them jelly like and as a result any kind of fruit jam preserves that fruit’s look to a large extent.  It is hard to find this type of fruit jam in the market in Montreal, giving me one more incentive to make them at home from scratch.

For this particular jam, I used the four berries currently in season in Montreal:  Strawberries, black berries, blue berries and raspberries. You could certainly go with your own choices.  Also for this particular jam, I have deviated from traditional Persian jams by making it less sugary/sweet. I have used brown sugar instead of white sugar and only to a much less degree, and used maple syrup to get to the desirable thickness and sweetness. I am pretty happy with the result: Not as thick as a traditional Persian jam but much tastier! Give it a try to see for yourself!

Ingredients (for three standard jam bottles, 250 ml each)

  • 10 cups of Strawberries, black berries, blue berries and raspberries (in equal proportions)  washed and drained.  Only strawberries need cutting; keep the rest whole.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup

Method:

Place the cut strawberries and blue berries in a not-too-deep copper or enamel pot. Sprinkle ¾ of sugar on top, close the lid, shake well and leave it in the fridge overnight. Place black berries and raspberries in a normal bowl with lid, sprinkle the remaining ¼ of sugar, shake well and leave it in the fridge.  The reason we separate the berries is that the former berries are tenderer and require less cooking time.

Come morning, you will notice the sugar has been melted and mixed with extracted fruit juice. This is all juice you would need to cook the fruits in; no water is added.

Place the pot over medium heat with closed lid for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid, add content of your bowl (raspberries, black berries plus their juice) to the pot and simmer for about an hour, or until most juice is evaporated.

Add maple syrup and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, until all berries are mixed and you get a fairly thick jam.

To bottle, use standard (250 ml) jam bottles. Pour in the jam while it is still very hot. Secure the lid and turn upside down till it gets cold. This is to sterilize the lid’s inner part and the upper part of the bottle, thus helping jam to remain bacteria free and long lasting.

Place the bottles in the fridge once cooled. Enjoy mixed berries jam with your breakfast or even with an afternoon tea.


Moment Photography30

Summer Solstice, sunset in “lac des Deux Montagnes”, at 8:47


Curry Vegetables Stew

This is a modified version of an eggplants curry which I once tried in an Indian restaurant and absolutely loved. It is made of my favorite vegetables eggplants, portabella mushrooms, red potatoes and tomatoes; it is also aromatic and absolutely gorgeous looking. So, give it a try if you are in for fried garlic, turmeric, black pepper and curry. As a stew, it is best served with white rice.

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »


Here we come again Summer!

The Victoria Day on May 21st in Canada is the official start of the gardening season – when the earth is warm enough for planting and there is no danger of overnight frost. The long weekend is marked by glorious display of breathtaking colorful annual and perennials and small yet vibrant sidling of virtually any vegetable and herb you might fancy growing in your backyard or balcony. Please click on the first image below to start the slideshow!

Read the rest of this entry »


Moving  back to the old house

My dear friends, between today and April 20th, I will be moving my English and Persian blogs back to the wordpress.  My current host is Hostgator, which I am not finding very useful given the limited amount of activity I am engaged in.

So, fingers crossed, the transition should be smooth and my readers will be automatically redirected to the new site, which is different in appearance but identical in content. I will try to replace and fix missing contents and categories, should it be necessary.

PS I found in my ebook files, this drawing by my good and talented friend Vahid Dastpak. And figured it somehow reflects my decision to go back to the good old wordpress.com !!

See you soon!


Rose Tea for this Norooz

Spring and the Persian new year is just a few days away; that, plus the company of good friends at Persian Food Bloggers ( #Persianfoodbloggers #PFBNowruz) give sufficient motivation to post again! Consider my reflection on Rose gardens and rose tea, a trip on memory line rather than a tea recipe, as I am sure everyone knows how to make tea 🙂

rosetea_M

Meymand is a village close to my old hometown Shiraz in Iran’s southern province of Fars; it is well-known for its rose gardens and rose-water produce.  The roses blossom around April when Rose Festival is held.  This is also the time when the main bulk of rose flowers are picked and prepared either for distillation or to be dried for culinary and medicinal purposes.  The rose gardens remain well and yielding till the end of the summer,  providing an ongoing source of rose flower extract , called golaab in Persian. Read the rest of this entry »


A Food Trip in Iran

That time of the year again, around spring and Persian New year, Norooz –   the perfect time to find the motivation to write, to post, and to cherish and share the wonderful moments where people, plants and beautiful customs come to a renewed life one more time.  Below is a selection of pictures taken by my sister, in several Iranian cities, including Shiraz, Yazd, Booshehr, Dargahan and Tehran,  during the months of March to April 2016.

A Food Trip in Iran from Afsaneh Hojabri on Vimeo.