Recipe ~ Khoreshteh Bademjoon

August 23, 2009

Eggplant Heaven…

On Friday we had a dinner party and it was the first time I cooked Persian food for guests. The good news is that they survived and the reviews were really good! So there is hope for me yet and for you too if you try this recipe. It’s really worth the effort and the taste is truly like eggplant heaven! : ) This recipe was given to me by my aunt Khaleh Parisa who is an amazing cook and has fed me a hundred times over. A Khoresht is akin to a stew and is typically served with white rice. You could also eat it with bread and salad if you wanted to. 

Kat’s Tip…
I think the secret with this one is to really give it the time it needs to cook and allow the flavors to really get in there
(but that’s really the case with all Persian food)

Stuff: 

Staples: Oil, Salt & Pepper, 1 Onion, 2 cloves of Garlic
Spices: Turmeric, Saffron
Meat: 6 pieces of chicken thigh on the bone
Veggies: 6 Asian Eggplants 
Other: 1 Jar of Ghureh / Sour Grapes 

DIY:

Feeds 4-6
Takes about 2.5 hours of prep and cooking time

 

Asia Egglant

Asian Eggplant

1. Peel your eggplants. Rince with water and dry with a paper towel. Place a paper towel down and add salt on both sides and set aside for 20 minutes. This reduces any bitterness. 

 

Peeled Eggplant

Peeled Eggplant

2. While your eggplants are doing it’s thing…chop your onions and garlic and and start frying them. Add a dash or two of  Turmeric. 

 

Fry your onions with Turmeric

Fry your onions with Turmeric

3. Rinse you chicken thighs and add them to the onions. Add salt & pepper and a dash more of Turmeric to both sides. Make to flip the chicken to cook both sides.

 

Add the chicken thighs

Add the chicken thighs

4. Add half a jar of Ghureh which are sour unripened grapes. To me this is what makes it taste like an authentic Khoreshteh Bademjoon. The Ghureh gives it a bit of a sour edge which is just awesome. 

 

Ghureh - Unripe Grapes

Ghureh - Unripe/Sour Grapes

5. Add a whole bottle of V8 juice and 2 tbs of tomato paste. Then add 1/2 tsp of Saffron powder and some more salt & pepper. 

The beginnings of a Khoresht

The beginnings of a Khoresht

6. Let the Khoresht simmer for about 25 minutes.

7. While that’s cooking you can get started on the eggplant. Rinse off the salt from the eggplant. Use a paper towel to soak up an excess water.

8. Add a generous amount of oil making sure the bottom of your pan is covered. When the oil is hot start frying the eggplant until it’s soft and brown. Have a small stack of paper towels on the side to move the fried eggplant so that you soak up the oil. 

 

Soak up the oil with a paper towl

Soak up the oil with a paper towel

9. Set your oven to 350 degrees 

10. After the Khoresht has cooked for 25 minutes and your eggplants are all ready add the stew to a Pyrex and arrange the eggplant around the edges of the dish. Make sure there is enough sauce covering the chicken so it doesn’t dry out. If there isn’t enough sauce you can add some more V8 juice and salt & pepper. Cover the Pyrex with foil and move to the oven. My Pyrex wasn’t big enough so I split them into two. 

 

Add stew to Pyrex

Add stew to Pyrex

11.  After 30 minutes remove the foil and leave to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Serve with white rice and then you’re done!  

 

Khoreshteh Bademjoon

Khoreshteh Bademjoon

Noosh e Jan! 

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Cinnamon ~ Darchin

August 21, 2009
800px-Canelle_Cinnamomum_verum_Luc_Viatour

Cinnamon ~ Darchin

Cinnamon…

Warm and sweet flavor with a beautiful woody fragrance

Especially good for desserts and also with poultry and meats

Native to Sri Lanka formerly Ceylon

From the Cassia Tree

Used in savory and sweet Persian dishes

Store in a cool dark place in an air tight container

Recipe ~ Kuku Lubia

August 20, 2009

Let’s Do This! 

Tonight I felt like cooking Kuku Lubia which is akin to a green been omelet if I had to Americanize it. I called Mimi Jan and surprisingly she said that she doesn’t make that type of Kuku and told me to call my mom! So that’s exactly what I did. My mom Naghme is the most bad ass cook I know but of course she learned what she knows from Mimi Jan. My mom is very experimental and has been known to make Persian food with brown rice, started cooking Persian food without butter and with olive oil and took the plunge to bake versus fry. More yummy recipes from my mom to come in future posts…Let’s get started with Kuku Lubia which was my first attempt ever! No pressure.

Kat’s Tip *
Persian cooking takes patience which I don’t have. But stick with it because it’s worth it when your husband has a big smile on face after he eats your food!! : ) 

Stuff: 

Staples: Oil, Salt & Pepper, 4 Eggs, 1 Onion, 2 cloves of Garlic
Spices: Turmeric and Cinnamon
Veggies: 1lb of  fresh green beans (or pre-cut frozen)
Garnish: Salad and lavash bread

DIY:

Makes 6 portions
Takes about 1.5 hours of prep and cooking time

 

Boiling the fresh lubia (green beans)

Boiling the fresh lubia (green beans)

1. Start by boiling the greens beans don’t forget to add salt to the water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes to get the beans nice and soft
 

Fry the onions

Fry the onions

2. While your beans are cooking, chop your onion and start frying the onions in a large pan

 

Fry onions and garlic and add Turmeric

Fry onions and garlic and add Turmeric

3. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic and add it to the onions. Add a dash or two of Turmeric for extra flavor and color. 

 

Onions, Garlic, Green Beans

Onions, Garlic, Green Beans

4. Remove the green beans from the stove and drain the beans in a colander. Let it cool and chop them into fine pieces

5. Add the beans to the onions and add a dash or two of cinnamon. Don’t forget salt & pepper! 

6. Saute the beans and once they are super tender set aside and let them cool

 

Egg and Green Bean Mix

Egg and Green Bean Mix

7. While the beans are cooling, get a mixing bowl and crack 4 eggs into the bowl and add 1 tsp of baking powder, 1tbp of flour and a pinch of salt

8. Beat the eggs and make sure to fold all the baking powder and flour in so there are no clumps

9. Once the beans are cool add them into the mixing bowl with the eggs. Make sure the beans are not hot because you’ll have scrambled eggs on your hands! 

10. Add about 1/4 of a cup of oil to the frying pan. Once the oil is hot and bubbling add the mixture to the pan and spread it around the pan and make sure it’s evenly distributed

11. Once the edges are brown you can either flip the whole thing to cook the other side or you can cut it into 4 pieces and flip them individually. If my pan was smaller I would have flipped the whole thing.  

Kuku in the making!

Kuku in the making!

 12. Once both side are nicely browned take it off the heat. Take some paper towels and lay them on the counter. Put the kuku pieces on the towel to soak up the excess oil 

13. Prepare a salad of your choice.

14. Place the lavash bread on a plate and add the salad. Place the kuku slice nicely on top of the salad and then your done! Thanks Mom! : )

 

Finished Plate

Finished Plate

Noosh e Jan!  

Recipe – Cotlet

August 19, 2009

Mimi’s Tip *
Cotlet is a great complimentary side dish and makes a delicious sandwich the day after : ) 

IMG_1521 

STUFF:

Staples: Oil, Salt & Pepper, 1 Egg, 1 Onion, Bread Crumbs 1 box
Spices: Saffron (tea spoon), Cinnamon (1 spoon)
Meat: Ground Beef 1.5lb (Alternative: Turkey, Tuna, Chicken)
Veggies: 5 Long Brown-skinned Potatoes
Garnish: Fresh parsley, Jar of Small Pickles, Box of Cherry Tomatoes

DIY:

Makes about 20 patties
Takes about 1.5 hours of prep and cooking time

 

Preparing the Mix

1. Peel and grate one onion in a mixing bowl

2. Peel the skin off 5 potatoes and boil them in water. When they are cooked drain them and let them cool. Once they are cool grate the potatoes in the large mixing bowl with the onions

3. Add the 1.5lb of ground meat

4. Add about 3 spoons of bread crumbs to the mix

5. Crack one egg and add it to the mix 

6. Add salt & pepper, a tea spoon of saffron water and a dash or two of cinnamon to the mix

7. Use your hands to mix everything together in the mixing bowl. Don’t be shy when you’re mixing get right in there!

8. Take a towel and make it wet. Squeeze all the water out of it so that it is just damp. lay the towel over the mixing bowl and let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge. This will help all the flavors mix together nicely.

 

Cooking the Cotlet

Before you start frying there’s some minor prep. 

1. Get your mix from the fridge and grab a chunk at a time making balls and then squashing and patting your hands together to make hand-shaped patties. There should be enough to make about 20 patties depending on your hand size! 

2. Take a chopping board and layout a generous portion of bread crumbs. You’re going to use as batter for the patties

3. Take a plate and lay 3 or 4 paper towels on it. Leave this beside your frying pan on the side counter. You’ll use this to soak up all the grease. Also have your serving dish handy there too so you can move the patties when they are done.

4. Now you’re ready to fry! Find a large frying pan, turn up the heat and get the oil ready for frying.

5. Fry as many patties in the pan that can comfortably fit in your pan. Don’t squash them together! Fry one side for a few minutes until golden brown and then flip it over. Caution on the oil…it tends to pop and catch you when you least expect it!

6. Once both sides are golden brown move it carefully to the plate with the paper towels to soak up the grease

7. Lay all the finished patties on a beautiful serving tray and garnish with small pickles, cherry tomatoes and/or fresh parsley and you’re done!

Noosh e Jan! 

Recipe ~ Adas Polo Gheimeh Lapash

August 19, 2009

Mimi’s Tip *
Persian cooking takes time and love…you must be prepared to do all the prep – no shortcuts!

IMG_1523

Mimi's Special Rice

STUFF:

Staples: Water, Oil, Salt & Pepper, Rice (2 cups)
Spices: Saffron (tea spoon), Cinnamon (1 spoon), Advieh (1 spoon), Turmeric (1 spoon)
Beans: Split Peas (1/3 cup) & Lentils (1 cup)
Meat: Beef steak (1lb)

DIY:

Feeds 4 people
Takes about 3-4 hours of prep and cooking time
 

Preparing the Meat:

1. Take the piece of beef and chop it up into small squares
2. Fill a bowl with water and leave the meat chunks to soak for 2 hours
 
 meat-raw-beef

Preparing the Rice:  

1. Take 2 cups of basmati white rice  and rinse it in hot water
2. Add water back into a the bowl and add salt and leave to soak for an hour. This make the rice grains expand in length 

ricePreparing the Split Pea:

1. Soak 1/3  cup of dry split peas for an hour
IMG_1188 

Cooking the Split Pea and Meat Mixture: 

1. Take 2 medium sized onions peel and then chop them finely. 

2. Add a generous spoon of oil to your frying pan turn up the heat and start frying your onions 

3. When the onions start to brown add a dash or two or turmeric, salt & pepper and the meat chunks

4. Mix this all together for a minute or two and then turn down the heat, add the lid and let it simmer

5. Keep an eye on the meat. When it’s nice and tender add the split peas and dash or two of cinnamon and mix together

6. Add a cup of water to the mixture, close the lid and let it simmer

 

Cooking the Rice

1. Take a large pot and add the cup of lentils to the water and bring to boil

2. When the lentils are slightly aldente (half cooked) add 2 cups of rice

3. When the rice is aldente pour the rice and lentils into a collander and rinse with water

4. Add 2 spoons of oil and 1/3 cup of water to the bottom of the pot

5. Add a bit of the lentil rice to cover the bottom of the pan

6. Add some of the split pea and meat mixture

7. Keep repeating this layering effect and also add a dash of saffron and oil to each layer

5. When you reach the top of the pot, cover with a towel and close the lid to steam

6. You’ll know when the rice is ready when you start to smell the burnt rice (tadeeg). Normally it take about 30-40 minutes

7. Serve on a beautiful rice platter and put the burnt rice (tadeeg) on a seperate plate and you’re done!

Noosh e Jan!

 

Adas Polo Gheimeh Lapash

August 19, 2009

The blog stays! 

So the good news is that Mimi Jan has approved the blog and is excited to share her expertise and experience even though I sprung this on her with zero warning! This evening we all went over to Mimi’s place where she treated us to a family speciality that is exclusive to her family. This is a variation of another staple dish called Adas polo (Lentil Rice) that was handed down to her by her grandmother who had Turkish roots.

What make this dish different from Adas polo is that it also has gheimeh (split pea) mixed in with the lentil rice. This makes for an even stronger creamy texture once you chew through those beans. To be honest this is not one of my favorite dishes but I’m still interested in learning how to make it. There’s a strong presence of cinnamon in this dish as well as some other Persian spices like advieh, turmeric and saffron

This is what the final dish is suppose to look like – we’ll see what my version looks like! I’m going to try and give it a shot sometime this week. I’ll be sure to post a step by step guide and ingredient listing once I get the official recipe from Mimi Jan : ) 

 

Adas Polo Gheimeh Lapash

Adas Polo Gheimeh Lapash

Don’t make me gurggle please!

August 19, 2009

Mimi’s remedy for a sore throat ~ Galoo-dard

I stayed home today to rest and to try to get over this soar throat. My remedy for getting better tends to consist of rest and orange juice. My husband on the other hand takes illness very seriously and likes to chalk me full of meds and vitamin c tablets. Mimi Jan on the other side always recommends the same prescription…

1. Mix warm water with salt and gurggle away – YUCK! 

To be honest I haven’t gurggled today…I have to be on my death bed to gurggle. I just can’t do it even though I know it works like  a dream. If you’re brave enough or in enough pain you should try it.  

 

Dreaded but magical salt
Dreaded but magical salt

 

2. Soupeh Jo ~ Mimi’s famous barley soup – YUM!

STUFF: Onions, Pack of Barley, Pack of Mushrooms, Carrots, Chicken Broth, Salt and Pepper

DIY: Get someone to make this for you ideally since your sick or if you have to do it yourself it’s super simple and takes very little energy. Boil chicken broth with onions and salt. Add a cup of barley and bring to boil. Add carrots, mushroom and pepper and simmer until ready

 

 

Barley, chicken and mushroom soup
Barley, chicken and mushroom soup

3. Lemon, honey and hot water – YUM

STUFF: Hot water, whole lemon, 2 generous spoons of the best honey you can find

DIY: Heat up the kettle and mix you hot water with a spoon or two of honey and a generous squeeze of lemon

 

Healing Honey

Healing Honey

Turmeric ~ Zar-choo-beh

August 18, 2009

turmeric-june-08
Turmeric…

Peppery, warm and bitter flavor with a mild orangey/ginger fragrance 

Used to add color to the dish, especially good with poultry and meats

Widely used in India for curry but Persians use it too

From the Curcuma longa plant

Cheaper alternative to Saffron 

Has been harvested for over 5,000 years

Should be stored in a cool, dark and dry place

WARNING!  Turmeric stains big time! 

World’s most expensive food ~ Zaʻfarān

August 18, 2009

 

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron…

 Is used for its fragrance and beautiful golden color 

Cultivation reaches back more than 3,000 years

It comes from the Crocus flower

Very bitter to taste

A pound of dry saffron requires 50,000–75,000 flowers

Average retail price is $1,000  per pound

Grind with sugar cubes and add a touch of water to prep

‘Mesghal’ is the Farsi word used to measure Saffron

Welcome to Mimi’s Kitchen!

August 18, 2009

My name is Kat and as a new bride and a girl that can make ‘eating out’ a profession, I’m eager and ready to learn the secret recipes that will one day nourish my family.  In Mimi’s Kitchen we will learn how to cook Persian food from my beloved grandmother Mimi Jan.

Mimi Jan has taught her 5 beautiful daughters Taraneh, Hengameh, Naghme, Parisa and Fariba not just how to cook but how to nourish their families which have enlivened our souls. Persian cooking is by no means simple or easy. It takes creativity, patience and a lot of love to make the perfect dish. If you want to learn how to make some of the most tasty food on the planet stick with me as I embark on my journey into Mimi’s Kitchen.

So with that said, Mimi has invited me, my husband, Sol and G (my cousins) to her house tomorrow night for dinner. I have no idea what she’s going to cook for us. In turn, she has no idea I have started this blog and that she is the star of the show. I think she will love the idea and I’m hoping she will be as willing to share her culinary secrets just as I thought she might. You’re probably thinking I should have checked with her before I started this blog but that’s not really how I roll and plus it’s makes it all the more exciting… 

Saffron Threads

Saffron Threads

Hopefully tomorrow night I can capture some shots of the food she will have made and get some recipes to start us off. No doubt, she will have started preparing last night and used Zaʻfarān (Farsi for Saffron) in all her dishes. Can’t wait to learn more about that staple exotic and expensive ingredient!

Down the road I will be capturing everything with photos and/or video and supplementing with written recipes. One thing I do know about Persian cooking is that there aren’t really recipes but ingredients. If you have the ingredients you just have to feel and taste your way through – don’t worry I’ll make sure to confirm that all with Mimi Jan…no room for assumptions and frankly no need. We’re going to be learning from the Master Grandma. 

Noosh e Jan!

 

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