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Persian

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We made Persian food this week. Neither of us are Persian or have ever been to the area, and I have never even tried this type of food so I don't even know if it came out authentic tasting, but I do know it was delicious. Mandi has had Persian once before. she was at her friend Nooshin's house. Her mom made some delicious Persian dishes for dinner when we all lived in Boston. Now Noosh has moved to LA and we have moved here. The reason we cooked this meal, is because Mandi is going to visit Nooshin in LA next week and wants to cook her something to remind her of home. What a nice girl.





This is Mandi and Nooshin



This is them on Halloween 2 years ago with another friend Jenn.



We started this meal by sautéing some onions for about 15 or 20 minutes until they just started showing some color.






Saffron and turmeric are important to Persian cooking.









It is important to dry the beef.









First you add the beef, turmeric and saffron, and chopped tomatoes and let it simmer for about an hour.






Mandi thought this meant that there were actually 110 split peas in this bag.



Cinnamon pepper and allspice.



After thoroughly rinsing the peas, we put them in the pot (after the initial hour of cooking)



With some tomato paste.... Remember Flintstones push pops?



Add cinnamon pepper and allspice and let it go for another hour or so.



Rinsing the rice well. You can use basmati or jasmine. We had some jasmine laying around.



Prepping some rice ingredients












You don't make the rice like normal rice, you first boil it in extra water, then drain and rinse. Lotsa rinsing today






Melt butter in the bottom of the pan



Mix half of the rice with yogurt, dill and the saffron water.









Then layer this onto the melted butter









And add the plain rice layer on top.






Cover this with a kitchen towel (we didn't have a smaller one) and a tight lid for about 40 minutes.



When you take it out, the bottom should have a nice crispy layer on it. Ours was slightly overcooked because this was our first attempt. Next time we would maybe lower the heat slightly and use a wider pot. This was still really delicious. It was only slightly overdone.



Oh yea, that crust is called tah-dig.







Mandi was in charge of this meal, so I let her do the recipe write-up.

Here is the recipe for the beef stew.

For the stew we stuck to the recipe almost completely. The only thing we changed was that we werent able to find Omani lemons. Also we never squeezed the key lime/lemon juice in at the end because I forgot.... Also we added just a tiny bit of cayenne and cumin at the end to kick it up a bit. I think it could even have used a little more but thats cause we like it a bit spicy...

For the rice I took a combination of the extremely basic version.

With some of the crazy stuff added from this recipe.


It ended up being like:

3 cups jasmine rice cooked for 8 minutes in salty water, drain, rinse under warm water, and set aside
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter
Crush up 1/2 gram saffron threads in hot water
Mix 2 cups of the rice with 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the saffron water, and some chopped dill
Smooth that into the pot with a spoon and then put the rest of the rice on top.
Cover with dishtowel and pot lid, cook for another 40 minutes.

Next time we need a lower heat to avoid some of the burning, and maybe a wider pot so we have more of the tah-dig (crusty)





3 Comments

That looks DELICIOUS!!! Thanks so much for incorporating my culture and cuisine into your awesome cooking adventures. My mommy sent along a really awesome Persian cookbook for you guys to experiment more with...then you can teach me! LOVE YOU BOTH!

I LOVE Persian food! It's so neat that you guys tried out this recipe and it looks great. I haven't had rice like that in a long time!! (I dated a guy from Iran a while ago!) I just recently made Koresht Bademjan (Eggplant and Lamb stew) One of the most memorable Persian stews I've ever had!! Great post! :)

Looks awesome, we would always mound the rice away from the sides and poke holes with the handle of the spoon to give the rice some room to expand. Great cooking

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