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
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.
First off, this is a short entry only because it is a part of a “lecture” I have given in Farsi at Radio koocheh 😉 all about apple or sib – its many miracles, icons, symbols and old and new appearance in Persian poetry and songs. But here is how I make apple jam:
Ingredients for a medium size jar: Apple: half a kilo, peeled, and sliced in equal size. Sugar, half a kilo. Lime juice, 1 teaspoon. Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon. Water, two full glasses (of 250 ml.) Read the rest of this entry »
Ingredients (for a big plate serving 1-2): Your favorite granola, ½ cup. Plain yogurt. ½ cup. Fresh apple, pears, pitches and melon, thinly sliced, ½ cup each. Some fresh blueberries, raspberries and one ripe, medium size strawberry, cut like a “fan” (This video shows you how, if you do not know already) . Hot chocolate, or honey or maple syrup., 1 tbsp. Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon.
My favorite type of jam, made from any type of fruit, is the ones made with whole or cut fruits, rather than crushed fruits with lots of jelly-like pectin in them. And cherry jam, or morabaay albaaloo as we call it Persian, is on the very top of my list followed by quince and carrot. My sister has a couple of happy cherry trees in her yard providing us all with our yearly consumption of home-made cherry jam. Here is how we make it, in traditional way, with N. Daryabandari’s useful tips and recipe:
Ingredients: Cherries, 1 kg, pitted and washed. Sugar 1kg.
Improve short term memory loss; Ameliorate age-related declines in neural and cognitive function; Protect against macular degeneration of the retina; Promote urinary tract health; Act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent and COX-2 inhibitor; Improve glucose metabolism through the activity of chologenic acid; Reduce the risk of some cancers (source and here).
I am not very good at making jams, but I do love them. I received this blueberry jam from a friend in Europe, which was such a nice surprise to begin with. Plus, the standard jam jar lasted five days between my husband and I; that is how delicious it was!
Here is some math, for a change, behind a typical load of our vegetable and fruit purchase and consumption. What you see here, nicely arranged for photography purpose!, makes 14 kg of fruits and vegetables, serving the two of us for one week (when added to other main ingredients such as rice, potatoes, meat, that is). It costs $33.35. How does it compare to your grocery shopping?? Good deal, is what I think!
Well, if I were to buy the same items in the same quantities from any major supermarket, first of all it is very unlikely that I could have found them all in one place. Secondly, it would have cost me at least twice this price and easily three times if I were not paying attention to the “specials” of the week. Read the rest of this entry »
This simple and pretty breakfast is called naregsi in Persian, alluding to narcissus flower or narges.
Ingredients (1 Serving): Fresh spinach, 100-120 grams, washed, drained and chopped. Egg, 1. Small Onion, ½, thinly sliced. Olive oil, 2 tbsp. Salt and pepper to taste.
Method: In a small pot, cook spinach over low heat for 2-4 minutes, until slightly smaller in volume. Do not add water, it will steam cook itself, just be careful not to lose the green colour of the leave by overcooking it. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze the spinach and drain the water.