Fish Ghalyeh, (ghlayeh maahi) for Norooz

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 »


Remembering scents

Sensory cues are powerful mediums for setting moods and evoking emotions because they possess within themselves the magical quality of carrying small pockets of memories across time and space -memories inhabited by peoples, places, and events; memories which might be pleasant or sad; familiar or rare.

To me, the scent of cinnamon and apple promises the prospect of baking in a cozy kitchen on a beautiful cool autumn day.  The scent of old vinegar, when trapped in a cabinet, always transports me back in time to my childhood when I visited my aunt’s old house and held my breath while playing seek and hide in her food storage lined with tens of “torshi” ceramic jugs. Read the rest of this entry »


Moment Photograhy27

Red & Roses


Beautiful BC indeed!

I finally got to travel to Vancouver after so many years of residing in Canada and so many attempts to go and visit there. The nature and the city is diverse, lively and just magnificent!  Here is a small sample of what I captured through my lenses At: Suspension Bridge, Granville Island, Victoria Ferry, Butchart Garden, Sea to Sky gondola and trail, Whistler Village, Stanley Park, English Bay Beach and more!

Please click on the first image to activate the slide show!

… and a very short video

Some of Vancouver’s (urban) Nature from Afsaneh Hojabri on Vimeo.


Sizdah-bedar

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.


Toot (Mulberry Sweet): A Norooz delicacy

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 »


Bushehr, the city of fish & warmth

[Please click on the first image below to activate the slide show!]

I miss Bushehr, the seaport where in my parents were born and my family’s heritage is anchored. I miss its narrow rundown alleys, its hot humid climate, and the noisy air-conditioners waging war with the heat most of the year.

I miss my long walks along the shore where people camped and fished and worried and laughed, and where, came the evening,  the flaming sun on the horizon touched down and sank into the sea, with that unique almost audible “jzzz….”

I lovingly miss Bushehr’s fresh vegetable market tainted with the stink of fish and shrimp.

And above all, I miss the taste of those hard-earned, deadly spicy-hot foods, offered in the crowded sofreh with open hearts and smiling faces.

[Pictures taken by my sister, in 2012. Thank you Pari!]


Moment Photography26

Above the Clouds


Dubai, a vertical mosaic

Please check out my 8-minute video clip ,with sound and music, of this amazing city on Youtube, made originally for Radio Koocheh, Afsaneh_Khaneh


Rugag bread in the making

About three decades ago, I spent ten days in a small town in the Fars province, called Laar.  I was visiting my eldest sister, who was living there temporarily to teach English to high school students.  The tall, talkative old landlady who had rented one room in her big house to my sister was called Madar-e Fazlollah.

She made me an unforgettably unique and delicious breakfast from an egg and some bread she baked on a small taveh–a flat, sometimes slightly curved, round iron griddle.  By the time my sister left for work each morning, Madar-e Fazlollah had already made her quick and sloppy run of daily sweeping around the house.  She then settled on a short stool in front of a stand-alone oil burner, topped by her taveh, in the middle of her large, walled yard under a four-story-tall palm tree. Read the rest of this entry »