Only five days left till the Persian new year, Norooz, celebrated by some 187 million people across the globe on the first day of spring, this year on March 20th. And right now, in every Iranian’s household at least one person is quite busy (you know who that person is, right) – from shopping new cloths, to cleaning house to preparing haftsin table, tending to sabzeh and of course painting hard boiled eggs. Watch my brief video clips here here for a colorful introduction of Norooz celebration and here for a “very fast” preparation of Norooz table! Don’t forget to check out the links below for Norooz-special blogs by my friends at #PersianFoodBloggers.
From ancient time, dyeing and decorating eggs has been a significant symbol in many cultures around the world – from the Zoroastrian Norooz dating back to over 3000 years ago, to the Jewish Passover to the Christian Easter, eggs are painted in solid or multicolored often to symbolize rebirth. In my youth time, my older sisters used to dye Norooz eggs by wrapping them in color bleeding pieces of brightly colored cloths, tightly sewing them in and hard boiling them in salted water. The cooled eggs would then emerge from the wet cloths delicately colored and patterned. In my household too, we usually take the egg painting quite seriously, often going to some length to actually paint the eggs in detailed and complicated designs. Watch some of those here. Read the rest of this entry »
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 🙂
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 »
With the spring just three days away, here I am again celebrating the arrival of the much cherished Persian New year, Norooz, along with some 187 million other people in 15 countries across the globe, including a handful of my good talented Persian Food Bloggers – this time with a rather sophisticated Persian dish, a Southern Iran’s specialty called ghlayeh mahi, a spicy, thick fish stew. #PersianFoodBloggers, #PFBNorooz
Norooz which marks the beginning of the official calendar year in Iran and Afghanistan coincides with the Vernal Equinox, as you might know – this spring on Sun 21 March 2016 at 8:00 AM Iran time ( 12:30 AM Montreal time, where I live). Norooz is also the most cherished tradition observed and honored by people of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds inside and outside Iran. If you are interested to get a bit more familiar with Norooz traditions from a personal point of view, I urge you to visit my Norooz post from last year roundup, or watch a short colorful video clip from a few years back. Read the rest of this entry »
At the end of the Norooz festivities, on the 13th day of Spring, or sizdah-bedar, literally ‘thirteen to out’, Iranians, by tradition, go outdoors for a family picnic to play games, dance, ramp around and, of course, eat. Lettuce and “sekanjehbin”, a heavenly tasting syrup made of vinegar and honey, is among the popular food item for this day. Other foods of the day include noodle soup, and broad-bean mixed rice, layered with large cubes of lamb or beef.
Spring is around the corner, so is the Persian New Year, Norooz. Thanks to the Iranian Diaspora and their constant social activism, non-Iranians are probably more familiar with this tradition more than ever before. This year I am honored to have joined another collective effort by a group of Persian Food Bloggers to celebrate our beloved New Year by each one presenting the recipe for one type of Norooz-related sweet or food and the memories surrounding it. My contribution to this collaboration is “toot” or mulberry sweet. Please find, at the end of this post, links to all the recipes #PersianFoodBloggers #PFBNorooz
No element of Norooz, however, could be fully appreciated without being put in its proper context! So, first, here you go again, my few introductory words coming from a passionately held belief in Spring, Norooz and all the hope and inspiration that come with it. Read the rest of this entry »
I must start by admitting that in the past 30 or so years of preparing my family’s Norooz /Nowruz table on 20 March for Persian New Year, I have never bought goldfish, despite the widespread practice. When I was younger, I discouraged and prevented my parents to do so and when I was younger still, I used to dread waking up one morning after Norooz Day and finding the goldfish floating sideways on the top of the tank – a fact that was bound to happen sooner or later and ruin the rest of my holidays. See? Super-sensitive to the core since time immemorial! Now, back to our discussion:
In the past few years an increasing number of bloggers and online campaigners have been urging people in Iran to stop buying goldfish as a part of their Norooz table (haft-sin). The reasons given against buying goldfish is manifold with the focus being on the unethical nature of the practice. [Sight of relief. Finally!]
I mean, common, is it so hard to figure out? A goldfish imprisoned in a jar is the saddest thing in the world! Why do I want to exhibit it in my exhilarating colorful Norooz table? By the same token, Norooz itself is much more than a celebration of Persian New Year; it is the celebration of nature, of the re birth, and rejuvenation, of hope and wealth, health, beauty, purity and happiness that comes with it. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure a captive goldfish does not belong there!
And I am not even talking about the miserable conditions that the poor thing is industrially farmed before being sold; the conditions that it is being kept during its short life at hands of curious children, examining it every so often, etc.
According to online campaigners, each year five million goldfish are killed around Norooz. FIVE Million only in Iran. That’s too depressing. No, I would say, keeping goldfish is not refreshing on any happy Noroozi table in any part of the world. Read the rest of this entry »