Posts Tagged ‘Saffron’

Recipe ~ Cotlet Mahi ton – Tuna Fish Patties

July 11, 2010

Fry on both sides

I’m back! I can hardly believe my last post was in October of last year. I haven’t made any Persian food until today!

My mom has an amazing recipe for Cotlet Mahi ton or Tuna Fish Patties. Tpyically Cotlet is made with Beef but since my mom is not a big meat eater she tested out using Tuna Fish and of course now that’s my preferred way to have Cotlet. This was my first attempt at making this recipe and I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s much easier than I had thought and it’s a great meal because it can be eaten hot or cold. I made a sandwhich this time and added rocket, avocado, pickles and tomoatoes.  So simple – so yummie!

Kat’s Tip…
I thought I had added enough salt but be more generous than you normally would be.


Staples: Canola Oil, Salt & Pepper, 1 Onion, 1 egg, 2 Yukon potatoes
Spices: Turmeric, Saffron, Cinnamon
Meat: 2 Cans of Tuna Fish
Other: Breadcrumbs


Makes: 8 cotlets / patties
Cooking time: Takes about 1.5 hours of prep and cooking time


Yukon Potatoes

1. Rinse the potatoes. Fill a large pot with water to cover the potatoes. Boil the potatoes.

Grated Onion

2. While the potatoes are cooking, find a sizeable dish and peel and grate the onions in the dish. Get rid of any excess juice from the onions. 

Tuna Fish

3. Open the 2 cans of tuna fish and place it in the dish with the onions. Try and seperate out the big chunks and mix the flakes in with the onions. Make sure to remove any excess brine.

4. When the potatoes have boiled, drain the water and peel the skin off the potatoes under running cold water.

Grated Potatoe

5. Grate the potatoes in the dish and mix it with the onions and the tuna fish.


6.  Add a generous portion of salt. Add pepper. Add a tea spoon of turmeric and a dash of cinammon and saffron.

7. Wait for the potatoes to really cool down before you add 1 egg to mix

8. Once you’ve added the egg, thouroughly mix ingredients together (preferably with you hand)

9. Find a large flat plate to put your breadcrumbs.

Make a round ball

10. Start making your patties by taking a small handful of the mixture and make a ball. Pat the ball down to make a pattie shape. This should an oval shape. (It takes some practice so don’t be discouraged!)

Shape into a pattie

11. After each pattie you make, cover it with breadcrumbs on both sides.

Add breadcrumbs

10. Get a large frying pan and cover the base with Canola Oil. Heat the oil at a medium temperature until hot.

Add oil to the pan

12. While the oil is getting hot, get a flat dish and cover it with paper towels so you can place the finished pattie on it to soak up the oil.

13. Add 2-3 patties in the frying pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side at a medium heat or until golden brown.

Add patties to the pan

Fry on both sides

14. Once your done soaking up the excess oil you’re ready to serve. You can either serve all 8 patties in a dish with a little garnish or you can make a sandwhich like I did. Whatever you choose – enjoy!

Cotlet Sandwich

Noosh e Jan! 


Polo Sefeed – Persian Style White Rice

August 29, 2009

This evening we were invited to Khaleh Hengameh’s house for dinner and she made quite the feast: Khoresteh Esfenaj (Spinach Stew) and Chicken Curry (her own special variation). I followed her as she prepared the white rice and Tadeeg which doesn’t sound so exotic but it was about time I learned how to master the staple Persian white rice. Here we go… 



Polo Sefeed



Staples: Olive Oil, Salt,1 tsp Saffron, 5 cups Basmati Rice


Feeds 15 (each cup of rice feeds 3 people) 
Approx. 20 minutes to prepare and 1.5 to cook

1. Put 5 cups of Basmati rice in a mixing bowl. Wash the rice with water until you see the water become cloudy. Add 5-6 tbsps of salt. Leave it to soak for 2 hours. This helps lengthen the rice which is what gives it’s distinct beauty. 

2. Fill up a large pot with water and bring to boil. 

3, Drain your rice. Once the water has boiled add the 5 cups of rice to the pot. Leave the stove on high and leave the lid off the pot.


Add rice to boiling water

Add rice to boiling water

4. After about 10-15 minutes check the rice. When it’s aldente (half cooked) drain the rice and rinse it with cold water to remove the excess salt.

Drain the rice

Drain the rice

5. Peel 4 small white potatoes (you may need more depending on the size of your pot). Slice the potatoes thinly. Add oil to the pot covering the base. Lay the potatos flat covering the base of the pot.

Peel Potatoes

Peel Potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

6. Add all the rice to the pot covering the potatoes.  


7. Grind 1 tsp of Saffron. Add 1/4 of cup of warm water to the Saffron powder. Add almost all of this to top of rice for color and fragrance. Save the leftover Saffron for use later. Add a 1/4 of a cup of oil around the top of the rice. 

Add Saffron to the rice

Add Saffron to the rice

8. Wrap the lid with a paper towel or a regular towel. this helps draw the steam away from the rice. Put the lid on the pot. Turn the stove to the highest setting to let the rice steam (dam bekesheh). 

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

9. Leave the rice to cook for 1.5 hours. While the rice is cooking the base is forming a delicious potato rice crust (Tadeeg).

10. Once the rice is ready take 1/4 cup of the rice and mix it with the left over Saffron. Empty the rice and place on beautiful serving dish. To finish it off sprinkle the Saffron rice across the top. Don’t forget about the Tadeeg. You’ll need use a wood spatula to loosen the Tadeeg and get it out of the pot. Have a dish ready to serve the Tadeeg alongside the rice and you’re done! 


Potato Tadeeg

Potato Tadeeg

Noosh e Jan! 

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)


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 


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! 

Recipe – Cotlet

August 19, 2009

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



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


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!


Mimi's Special Rice


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)


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

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

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

Turmeric ~ Zar-choo-beh

August 18, 2009


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





 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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