Vegan stew, one type, three rules

Vegetarian, and vegan, stew-like dishes are healthy, easy and quick. Most important of all, when it comes to following a vegi recipe or inventing your own, sky is the limit!   Having said that, there are certain “rules” I always follow to in order to come up with a delicious AND pretty looking vegetable-based dish.

  1. Use at least one type of grains to supplement meat/protean.
  2. Use potatoes or one type of pasta to make the dish thick and filling
  3. Consider the cooking time of the vegetables being used and add each one to the main pot appropriatly. Mixing everything together at the same time will certainly destroy the look of the dish

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Pumpkin Stew

Have you got lots of pumpkins sitting around? I have got a solution!  Add this delicious meal to the list of your Halloween season dishes! It is a unique Persian dish particular to the southern province of Bushehr, called khoresh-e kadoo savaaheli.

Ingredients (serving 3):

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Celery stew with saffron

This past winter (hopefully passed!) I had my sister in law over for a week or so. One day she volunteered to make celery stew for lunch while my husband and I had a long rough day out.  I happily approved and we came home to a dizzying fragrance of steamed rice and perfectly settled hot stew with remotely detectable sent of fresh herbs and saffron.

At first I thought the thrill I felt upon sensing this welcoming food had to do with not having to cook when you are hungry, but rather coming to a homey and ready to be served meal. But when we started the meal I discovered that her method for making this particular stew was completely different than mine) which I have already shared here), and I must admit far too superior to it – to my taste anyway.   The proof to this last claim is that I followed her recipe and came up with the exact same delight.

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ghormeh sabzi, mixed-herb stew

Ghormeh sabzi, a mixed-herb stew or khoresh, is the signature dish of any Iranian’s kitchen. So much so there is even an anthropological article written entitled “Bastard chicken or Ghormeh Sabzi”, by Lynn Harbottle which I recommend if interested in the strategies Iranian women migrants in UK employ to keep their family healthy through good food and Persian cooking. Now, My recipe:

Ingredients: (serving 5-6) Read the rest of this entry »


Celery stew

This is one of the few khoreshes without tomatoes! At least this version of it.  Two more things: My experiment with making traditional Iranian stews without meat (in fact, by replacing meat with some sort of beans) has been very successful.

 

However, celery stew (khoresh karafs) is one of the few, in my opinion, that won’t turn great without meat. And it absolutely must accompany plain rice!

Ingredients(serving 4-5 ) Read the rest of this entry »


Red-lentil stew, vegetarian with tamarind

Daal adas is one of the rare meatless Iranian stew and is very popular in South and South-west Iran  (Bushehr, Hormozgan and khuzestan provinces), where food is generally more spicy than other parts of the country.

Like any given khoresh or dish, daal adas is prepared in different ways in various households. The way my Bushehri mom used to cook it, often when she was in hurry, is the one I came to like and learn.

Ingredients: (serving 4-5):

  • Red lintel, 2 cups.
  • Onion, 1 medium, thinly sliced.
  • Potato, 1 medium, skinned and cut in four pieces.
  • Garlic cloves (ideally green or fresh) 3-4 cloves, finely minced.
  • Tomato sauce 1/2 tbsp. (or one cup of V8).
  • Tamarind sauce, 3 tbsp (see note and picture below).
  • Turmeric, ½ tbs.
  • Powdered red pepper, 1/4 tbsp.
  • Salt, to the taste.
  • Cooking oil, 5 tbsp.
  • Water, 4 cups, or 3 cups if you are using V8

Note: I buy fresh tamarind from Middle Eastern stores; they taste wonderful (more sour than sweet) and are very rich. For this recipe, I use one long pod, skin and soak it in 2-3 tbsp of hot water. After 15 minutes, I just squeeze the pod and use the extracted juice for my daal stew.

Method: Wash the red lentils in cold water by raking with fingers and rinsing until the water runs clear. In a pot, add lentil, potatoes, water/V8, , and salt. Bring to boil and turn to medium heat and cook for half an hour or until the potatoes are soft. With the back of a spoon smash the potatoes against the pot and turn off the heat.

While your lentil is cooking prepare your piaz daagh: That is, in a frying pan sauté onions in hot oil until slightly golden. Stir frequently. Add garlic and sauté just long enough to release the scent. Be careful not to burn them or let them turn brownish because black spots would not look nice in the stew. Add turmeric and red pepper and mix well for two more minutes while still frying. Add fried onion and garlic, as well as the tomato’s paste (if you did not use V8) and tamarind sauce to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes until you get a homogeneous thick soup. Taste for adjustment. It is ready to be served, with plain rice, of course!

 


Eggplant stew or khoresh-e bademjaan

General Note: (this seems an old note, but it is not!) Whether for lunch or dinner, one of the most mainstream Iranian main dishes consists of rice – plain, white chelow, or mixed polow— and a meat stew (khoresh). Now…, chelow must always accompany khoresh, while polow, layered with cooked or fried grains, vegetables, prunes, fruits or meat forms a complete dish.

Like mixed polow, Khoresh comes in tens of various tastes, colours and aromas, although they are all started in the same way and follow the same pattern: That is, lamb, beef, veal or chicken is used as the stew base (1), using four ever present ingredients: cooking oil, fried onion or piaz daagh, turmeric and all spice or advieh ( 2). The differentiating element of khoreshes is the specific set of vegetables, fruits, grains, and prunes that are added to them – often after being friend separately (3). I will tag all khoreshes, as I post them here. Let’s start with one of the most popular one: chicken and eggplants stew (khoresh-e joojeh bademjaan)

Ingredients

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