That time of the year again, around spring and Persian New year, Norooz – the perfect time to find the motivation to write, to post, and to cherish and share the wonderful moments where people, plants and beautiful customs come to a renewed life one more time. Below is a selection of pictures taken by my sister, in several Iranian cities, including Shiraz, Yazd, Booshehr, Dargahan and Tehran, during the months of March to April 2016.
What is renown among Iranians everywhere as “salad-e Shirazi” is, in fact, a common and popular green salad everywhere in Iran. It is simply considered more authentic when made by a Shirazi or consumed in Shiraz. It is refreshing, tasty and goes with almost all types of Iranian dish, especially with mixed-rice verities, such as cabbage-mixed polow.
Ingredients: It only takes three vegetables to make it: tomatoes and cucumbers in equal quantities and peeled onions in half that amount. For seasoning you would need verjuice, or fresh lime juice as an alternative. Dried mint powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil (optional).
What can I say? I have already posted three different dishes with shrimp (ghalyeh, shrimp-onion dish, and shrimp fettuccine). This is indicative of something, isn’t it!? And count this mixed rice as two because I have included two different methods of preparing it thanks to my friend Koroush.
Ingredients (for 2-3): Defrosted or fresh half-cooked shrimp, 450 gr. ( I recommend “Marbel”). Onion, 2 small to medium, thinly sliced. Dried seedless raisin, rinsed, ½ cup. Dried walnuts, rinsed and chopped, ½ cup. (If you have time, it is a good idea to soak walnuts, change the water a few times before using them for this or any other recipe) Olive oil: 4 tbsp. Turmeric, 2 tea spoon. Saffron, ground, 1/2 teaspoon (soaked in1 tbsp of warm water for an hour). Salt and pepper as needed. And of course rice: 2 or 3 cups, depending how rich you want the mix to be. What you see in this picture is made with 2 cups of rice. Read the rest of this entry »
Ingredients (serve 4), veal, or beef , 400 grams. Yellow split peas, 1 and half cups. Dill, 2 big bunches washed and chopped. Dripped yogurt, 750 gr. (to be kept at room temperature for a few hours before use). Onion, 1 medium, cut in half. Turmeric ¼ tbsp.. Salt and pepper to taste. For garnish: Dried mint, 1 tbsp. Cooking oil. 2 tbsp. Read the rest of this entry »
Ingredients (serving 4-6): Basmati rice, 4 cups. Ground veal or beef, 1/ kg. Onion, thinly sliced, 3 large. Cabbage, cored and shredded, 1 head (about 1 kg.). Oil — 1/3 cup . Herbs: Basil, and tarragon, one large bunch each, chives and parsley, half a bunch each. All fresh herbs should be chopped and mixed. Kalam polow dried herb mix is also available in Iranian supermarkets and could be used without any problem! Sour grape juice, aab-ghooreh, (or sour orange juice), 2 tbs. 1 tbs of dried powder of sour grape juice could be replace with both of the above noted types of juices. Chickpea flour, ard nokhodchi, 1 tbs. Turmeric, ½ tbs. Salt and black pepper, to taste. (Please don’t use tomato paste!)
Shiraz, the city of gardens–excerpts from my book
A wide range of flowers and herbs are distilled in Iran, mainly but not solely in the province of Fars, to produce an aromatic soft-drink commonly referred to in the plural, as “araghi-yaat.”… It was during the months of April and May that I often walked past baagh-e safa (the “pure heart” garden that housed the old distillery workshops) as it provided the city with its araghi-yaat consumption needs. Baagh-e safa remains, to date, the main supplier of floral and herbal extracts for retailers and individual customers alike and one of the main sources of printed knowledge about the process. Other Iranian cities have come to produce some types of araghi-yaat, as the consumption of this beverage becomes increasingly popular, but just as the highest quality saffron comes from Mashhad, and the best rosewater is exported from Ghamsar, the finest floral and herbal extracts are produced in Shiraz’s baagh-e safa