Stuffed whole chicken breast, Banoo style

When I was a teenager, I used to accompany one or more of my family members in our trip to Bushehr, an Iranian southern city on the northern coast of Persian Gulf and the birthplace of my parents. The six-hour drive from my city Shiraz was always very exciting to me as the road wound its way through long and deep valleys and green mountains. My fondest memories of those trips, however, relate to a remarkably delicious on-the-route food that we used to have at a very special location called Banoo Teahouse.

Banoo which in Persian means “lady” belonged and was run by a middle aged woman and there was nothing ordinary about it. Banoo lived with her children in two adjacent rooms at the end of a gravel courtyard (no adult male on the site, except for a couple of roosters freely chasing after hens) Across from Banoo’s living quarters and closer to the road stood one single stone building with high wooden roof. That was her teahouse, or more precisely her diner – open 24/7 serving tea and hooka plus a spicy type of stuffed chicken for lunch and dinner (In traditional Persian cuisine, stuffed chicken consists of raisin and semi-dried prune, and is on sweetish side, but I will get to it soon enough!) Read the rest of this entry »

How to cook a tender breast chicken

If you know the answer to the title’s question, I would love to hear your solution. Mine is very simple, so simple it had skipped my mind to make it into a blog post until a friend asked about it just recently.

 Traditional Persian cuisine rarely involves the use of oven. So, to cook breast chicken, to accompany for instance lentil mixed rice or barberries mixed rice, we either fry, boil or use a combination of the two methods. These methods however, are best suited for very young and small chickens. On the other hand, I personally find most of the packaged breast chickens available in the supermarkets a bit too big and old, resulting in a dry and bland chicken dish if I were to boil and/or fry them. So, here is my simple solution to get a really tender and juicy chicken breast dish.

Read the rest of this entry »

Creamy, crusty French tomato soup

Have you ever searched the words “Tomato soup” in the internet? The variation is amazing, isn’t it?


Well, I was looking for a particular type – the creamy type with a crust on top, and came up with California-based Bistro Jentil’s  world’s famous tomato soup. Chef Jason Hill has been kind enough to explain the details of this recipe in a video.  And I did as he (and the recipe) said, except for replacing butter, reducing cream and simplifying it a little bit. The result was absolutely amazing, both the look and the taste. And my pictures are the proof I hope! Making this VERY French soup is not complicated at all, although it does involves several steps over two days (in my experience) for the best result.   Read the rest of this entry »

Salmon, a different oven-baked style!

ere is my recipe for a common dish – oven-baked salmon which is twice as appetizing and delicious when marinated with dried dill and served with snow peas, citrus and herbs.

Ingredients: (serving 2).

Read the rest of this entry »

Homemade pizza

I use the recipe for barbari bread to bake thin crust pizza at home, without having the professional equipment such as pizza stone. It turns pretty decent and does not take much time.

Ingredients for Pizza dough: Bread Flour: 3+1/4 cups.  Water: 1.5 cups. Active Dry Yeast: 1 pouch or 2+1/4 tsp. Baking Powder: 1 tsp. Salt: 2 tsp. Sugar: a pinch. Whole wheat flour: 1/2 cup. Read the rest of this entry »

Oven baked fish & vegetables

Ok, some non Persian cuisine for a change, but colorful and gorgeous looking all the same!

Ingredients: Tilapia or Haddock, 4 fillets. Red onion, 1 medium sliced. Bell peppers, 2 different colours, sliced. Cherry tomatoes. Lime juice, salt, pepper, oil Read the rest of this entry »

Barbari Bread

Make me very tenderly, and stretch me very long… bake me to the end of love!  Recipe In Persian

I took this recipe from a friend of mine who has in turn taken it from somewhere else but developed it over the years (yes, years!) to the point of perfection. When I first went through his well-organized and gorgeous pictures, I noticed he must be in love with barbari bread or with baking in general, or perhaps just in love! The instructions he gave for treating the dough with tenderness, and forming it with bare hands and fingers, and the evocative descriptions of the bread’s scents and sights were all indications of a very special type of bread and bread making. Well, I tried his recipes a couple of times, before I really came to the conclusion that yes, to bake this barbari in its perfectly original taste and texture, you must absolutely be gentle, caring and patient- you must be truly in love with it! Try it and you will know what I mean.

Read the rest of this entry »