Verjuice, home grown and made

After many years, this year with help of my sister we picked unripe grapes from my back garden and made verjuice – a taste all too familiar in Persian cuisine. See here for examples of its uses. The slide show below shows all the stages involved except a few very important ones:

  1. Unripe grapes must be separated from branches and washed thoroughly before passed through fruit juicer.
  2. You should add ½ tbsp. salt to each 750 ml bottle of verjuice before storing them.
  3. And most important of all beware that the pulp of this fruit could cause skin allergy. Wear long plastic gloves to be safe just in case.

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Mint-vinegar syrup, شربت سکنجبین sharbat sekanjebin

If you are feeling the heat of the summer this year, this Iranian sweet-sour refreshing drink is for you! Try it and you will know how a soft drink could feel like a bite with no mark!

Ingredients – serves 2

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Shrimp-beans-quinoa with nasturtium

I am making the most of our short summer here in Montreal , making good use of my edible flowers grown in my beloved patio. Here is an idea if you fancy nasturtium in your shrimp dish as a beautiful summer side dish.

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side dish) Read the rest of this entry »


Celery Root, Green Apple and Pistachio Salad

This is an extremely easy, tasty and summery salad with lots of room for creativity! I serve this as a side when I have a small party: I also enjoy having it on hot summer days as a light lunch. 

Ingredients (serving 3-4 for a salad or side) Read the rest of this entry »


Loaf cake, with raisins and walnuts

A classic loaf cake is by far my favorite type of cake nice for breakfast, afternoon tea and easy to bake. I realize there are so many varieties out there but this one – with raisins and walnuts – is an extremely good combination and my recipe here makes a light and fluffy cake. I have tried a gluten-free version of this cake by replacing the regular flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. The cake did not get as fluffy but everything else was just about perfect! 

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »


Spicy Pan Kebab, kabab tabeh کباب تابه 

Living in the minus double digits for a few months by this time of the year, I miss so many things including my charcoal burning barbecue and all the goodies that get roasted and cooked on it during the summer evenings in company of good friends and lots of cool drinks!  I specially miss our kebab making rituals around it although to tell the truth my family eats red meat now, only once in two weeks or so.

If, like me, you crave kebab koobideh, and are ready to settle for a pot version of it, this post is for you.  The basic idea is the same as in original koobideh, only we spread the big meatball instead of dividing it into small balls and then skewering them. This means you will not need to worry about kebab holding on to the skewers while being roasted which means, in turn, we can play around with the ingredients.  You will note that in my new recipe for Pan kebab koobideh below, I have added lots of spices in addition to the grated tomatoes and garlic to the ground beef.  I believe with this kebab what lacks in ambiance, it definitely makes up in the taste! Read the rest of this entry »


Pomegranate soup, Aash-e anar, for Yalda

Once again Yalda, one of Iranian’s much loved and cherished celestial moments and rituals is round the corner. We celebrate Yalda on winter solstice on Dec. 20th  as the longest and darkest night of the year by getting together, reciting poetry and feasting over a colorful spread of dried fruits and nuts, aajil, specific fruits namely pomegranate, persimmon and watermelon, cozy heartwarming dishes and lots of light, hope and energy to get through the long but increasingly brighter winter ahead. See my precious posts for Yalda night here and here.

The Persian “Pomegranate Soup” or ash-e anar آش انار, will forever resonate with me the excellent culinary fiction by the same name written by Marsha Mehran, an eloquent Iranian-Irish author who passed too soon but whose novels depicted Persian cuisine enchanting as a fairy-tale full of texture, fragrance and mystery always ready to haut, charm and welcome those unfamiliar with it. Read the rest of this entry »