What to do with extra homegrown zucchini

It is said that two zucchini plants produce enough zucchinis for a family of four to eat as much as they can for the entire summer. This year I grew three zucchini plants for the two of us, which meant way too much of it if we were to stick only to our traditional Persian style zucchini stew.

Almost every single morning I checked on my vegetable garden I found a new baby zucchini turned into a huge heavy one almost before my eyes. So, even with all I gave away to family and friends I still had to come up with new creative ways to consume this delicious vegetable. Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Dip with Zucchini, white beans and tahini

I found the recipe for this delicious and easy dip in PRAVA organic site and modified it slightly to my taste. You could do the same I am sure as long as you keep the main ingredients in: It is a vegetarian recipe and completely gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »


Everything about Aash-e reshteh

Aash-e reshteh, conveniently, if not accurately translated as ‘noodle soup’, is known to all Iranians inside and outside the country despite looking and tasting quite unfamiliar when produced by a bevy of different cooks.

It is so popular that it’s not only made routinely as a family meal, it has also been chosen as the aash to mark more than one special occasion. One would spend a whole day preparing, cooking and distributing aash-e reshteh to ‘send-off’ a family member on a long or important trip. Traditionally, aash-e reshteh is also made and served at a chaharshanbeh soori get-together–the festivity held on the eve of the last Wednesday before the Persian New Year. Nowadays, many Iranian cities have seen aash-e reshteh travel from the home to the street corner, joining the long list of popular street foods served through window slots in disposable bowls. 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!