Pomegranate Faloodeh: Persian iced dessert

Recently, on a hot humid days in Montreal, I was privileged to entertain a large group of my family with good food, scented shades on the porch, open heart, and most impressive of all, with homemade faloodeh  Shirazi (pomegranate faloodeh in this case).

Faloodeh or paloodeh فالوده، پالوده is a refreshing iced dessert, a summer savoury, made of frozen cornstarch, water, sugar and rosewater.  Like Salad Shirazi, Faloodeh Shiraz is a speciality of my old hometown Shiraz.  The dessert is of course popular nationwide and is almost always made from the scratch in ice-cream stores and sold in small washable or disposable cups. In Shiarz alone faloodeh is enjoyed with few drops of either flower syrup or lime juice sprinkled on it; everywhere else people eat it with or without lime juice. Read the rest of this entry »


Persian Stuffed Meatballs: Koofteh Tabrizi

You might remember at least two types of meatballs I have described here: One in an older post for cabbage mixed rice , where we make very small meatballs, and the other one in a dish I called Koofteh  and served with vegetables.

Today I want to share with you a very popular dish called Koofteh Tabrizi کوفته تبریزی – a rich yet tender meatball served in savoury thick tomato broth.  As the name suggests the dish is a speciality of the city of Tabriz also known for its sophisticated and extremely delicious cuisine. Like the other two meatballs, the basis of Koofteh Tabrizi is a mix of ground meat, grated onions, chickpea flour, turmeric and pepper-salt.  However, Koofteh Tabrizi is distinct in its taste as it is mixed with cooked rice and split peas as well as with aromatic fresh herbs; it is also different from other types of meatballs with regard to its fairly large size (here we go with Tennis ball size in order to better manage and make sure it will hold throughout the cooking process). Read the rest of this entry »


Chia-Berries drink

Give me a cool glass of Chia-berries mix any day of the year and I will gladly take 40 plus centigrade – like we have had in the past few days in Montreal! This is truly the ultimate summer drink – refreshing, nutritious, savory, pretty even and easy to make.

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


Spring Flowers

Spring was late in Montreal this year but it finally got here – in full glory!

I am blessed with two old lilac trees on two sides of my backyard: one right next to my kitchen’s window and the other arching over our newly built deck. The heavenly omnipresent fragrance of my lilac flowers make May the happiest and calmest month of the year for me.

Read the rest of this entry »


Norooz eggs: Painting with vegetables & fruits

Only five days left till the Persian new year, Norooz, celebrated by some 187 million people across the globe on the first day of spring, this year on March 20th. And right now,  in every Iranian’s household at least one person is quite busy (you know who that person is, right) – from shopping new cloths, to cleaning house to preparing haftsin table, tending to sabzeh and of course painting hard boiled eggs.  Watch my brief video clips here here for a colorful introduction of Norooz celebration and here for a “very fast” preparation of Norooz table! Don’t forget to check out the links below for Norooz-special blogs by my friends at #PersianFoodBloggers.

From ancient time, dyeing and decorating eggs has been a significant symbol in many cultures around the world – from the Zoroastrian Norooz dating back to over 3000 years ago, to the Jewish Passover to the Christian Easter, eggs are painted in solid or multicolored often to symbolize rebirth. In my youth time, my older sisters used to dye Norooz eggs by wrapping them in color bleeding pieces of brightly colored cloths, tightly sewing them in and hard boiling them in salted water.  The cooled eggs would then emerge from the wet cloths delicately colored and patterned. In my household too, we usually take the egg painting quite seriously, often going to some length to actually paint the eggs in detailed and complicated designs. Watch some of those here.  Read the rest of this entry »


Sour orange juice, a unique seasoning taste

Sour orange نارنج also referred to as bitter orange is a variety of citrus tree native of Southeast Asia but widely used in the Middle East, parts of Europe and US.  In my hometown Shiraz, almost every house with a backyard used to have a couple of sour orange trees which wore perfumed, white robe of blossoms in the spring and orange robe of fruit in early summer.  The blossoms of sour orange, bahaar-e naaranj, were used to make sherbet and jams, or sundried to be mixed with loose, black tea.  The fruit itself, too, has many culinary usages including for seasoning.

Here in Montreal, Iranian supermarkets carry sour orange right on time before the official spring season starts.  Right on time I said because sour orange has a special spot both on our Norooz table as well as with the herbed-rice and fish that we serve on the first day of the Persian New Year, Norooz. Read the rest of this entry »


Torshi in the making: From Shiraz to Montreal

At any full and happy Persian sofreh or table, several side dishes should be present to complement the main dish, especially at supper time and most certainly with specific types of meals such as kotlet and any kind of mixed rice dishes. The most crucial and common sides to go with these dishes are small bowls of torshi, assortment of seasonal fresh herbs, radishes and scallions, and Shirazi salad.

Now, Torshi, ترشی, or torsu as it is called in Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisine, is basically diced fruits, vegetables and herbs marinated in vinegar and spices to be eaten with food in small portions as an appetizer and counterbalance to the greasy components of a meal. Read the rest of this entry »