Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (dolmeh barg kalam) for Mehregan

Here we are again with the King of all Seasons, Autumn; Autumn, a spring fallen in love, as Iranian poet ErfanPour describes it. پاییز بهاریست که عاشق شده ‌ست.  And here we are again, with the much loved and cherished Persian Fall Festival, Mehregan, the ancient Persian tradition to celebrate September Equinox, honor the god of justice, Mehr, and to be grateful for the harvest season and fall products.

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Eggplant wraps, Iranian style

As a Persian saying goes “My eyes sees, my soul desires”, I initially just saw a picture of someone’s platter of eggplant wraps posted on her fb page.

The picture, posted from Tehran, did not contain any recipe and I was not personal enough with the owner to ask for one. So, I started looking into Persian food sites and blogs for the recipe without much success. Although the food itself is not Persian, the method of wrapping looked quite “Persianized”, pretty much in grape leaf dolemh fashion. I did however come up with a lot of scattered info, which coupled with my impression of the initial picture and some culinary creativity resulted in what you see and read below. It was my first experiment with eggplant wraps and I am delighted to say it turned just perfect – both physically and sensually.

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Smoked meat @ Montreal Schwartz

If you find yourself in downtown Montreal, passing through St. Laurent in Plateau area, make sure you’re hungry. Because right there is located Canada’s oldest Deli, the world famous Schwartz’s, offering the classic, Hebrew tradition smoked meat. And it is offering plenty of it in one single sandwich!

You simply cannot miss the deli, as no what matter what time of the year, there is always a lineup in front of it. If you are willing to settle for a take out, you would be waiting less, but having the meal inside the tiny, crowded space is a part of the tradition if you ask me. Read the rest of this entry »


Smoked salmon bagel sandwich

Okay, there is no secret about this tasty fast sandwich – ideal for brunch if you ask me. I recently made a fuss over it and just had to share the pic and recipe!

Ingredients, let’s say for three:  Bagels of your choice, 3, split and toasted inside. Cream cheese, 2 tbsp.  Sliced smoked salmon, 300 gr. Caper, or caper berries, 7-8, sliced. Few slices of red onions.

Method: Everything is pretty much prepared if you followed the ingredients part! Just spread cream cheese, cover with salmon and top with onion and caper. It is great with fresh apple or orange juice!


Kookoo sabzi, the many faces of it!

Do you remember my version of kookoo sabzi, or herb-omelette? Here it is if you don’t.

There are many versions, of course- and this video and article posted at Radio Free Europe and the references that the article makes are among my favorites. Read the rest of this entry »


“Kotlet, the greasy companion”

[This post contains excerpts from my culinary memoir]

Kotlet, an Iranian version of  cutlet, is a perfect candidate for supper which also falls somewhere between an elaborate, home-made food and a delicious fast food for people of all walks of life, and is-always linked to community, intimacy and fun. It is the food one always chooses as a companion to a family picnic, as an on-the-road meal, and the food of choice on back-breaking days (Pizza just would not measure up!) Indeed kotlet has a great cultural significance- in my eyes anyway. Read the rest of this entry »


Egg and spinach breakfast (nargesi)

This simple and pretty breakfast is called naregsi in Persian, alluding to narcissus flower or narges.

Ingredients (1 Serving): Read the rest of this entry »


Stuffed grape leaf (dolmeh2)

When I was growing up in Shiraz, we had a house on Hedayat Street with several fruit trees in its backyard. Most vividly, I remember our grapevine.

My mother planted it at a cozy corner as soon as we purchased the house and in a couple of years it grew into a tall, wide tent of green grapes, providing Mom the supplies to cook stuffed grape leaves (dolmeh barg-e mo) at least twice a year. She did it once in spring when the grape leaves were so small and tender she had to stack two leaves to cover the cracks and wrap one tiny dolmeh – the way she shaped them in squares, rather than rolling them up like cigar. Before the end of the season in late summer, she also picked another round of leaves for freshly made dolmeh. Read the rest of this entry »


Stuffed vegetables (dolmeh1)

Basically, any vegetable that can be filled (eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, onions) or can be wrapped (grape leaf, cabbage) with specific filling makes the gorgeous looking and savory dolmeh. This dish is not specific to Iran, but Iranians have their own ways of preparing it.

The filling for all types of dolmeh is the same and the preparation methods are quite similar. The cooking time for different vegetables is different though. The point is that once you prepare the filling, it is a good idea to make plenty of it and make a little bit of extra effort to use a diverse set of vegetables. The result will be quite impressive I assure you 🙂

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »


Kookoo Sabzi, herbed omelette

This is the first method I make this dish (second and third will followw in the following months)

Ingredients: Parsley and scallions, chopped (1 big bunch each); cilantro and dill, chopped (1/2 bunch, each); fenugreek, dry or chopped (1 tablespoon); lettuce, chopped (two leave), eggs (5-6); red onion, thinly sliced (1 medium); cooking oil, turmeric, salt and black pepper. Read the rest of this entry »