Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Persian Cuisine

Basmati Rice

Black Tea consumed with Sugar Cube in the mouth after every meal

Dried Figs (Shirazi Anjeer grown in Shraz, Iran are sweeter) soaked in Water or Milk & consumed in morning as Cereal or Snack

Dry Fruit especially Persian (Polloei Sultanas/Kismish are Sweet & Sour)

Kashk is a type of Yoghurt with Buttery Flavour used in Kashk e Badamjan

Barberry/Zereshk used widely in Zereshk Polow & is grown in the North West Frontier of Iran

Starters like Kebabs are adored 
some of the top Kebab makers are in great demand whose job is to Skewer the fine lean meat for Barg or Lamb fillet Kebab, Mould the minced Meat on a sword-like Skewer (soldiers used to put their Meat non their swords & put it on Fire) for Koobideh Kebab
Marinate the Meat and to cook up to 40 Kebabs at a time & also making sure they cook evenly and perfectly over Charcoal preferably or Gas
Kebab Barg Skewers are dipped in Mix of Saffron-Onion Juice Liquid before putting on the Grill

Persian meal is incomplete without a Soft Spongy Bread
Taftan Bread just like Naan made with Wholemeal, White Flour & sometimes Rye Flour is a must in every meal

Qormeh Sabzi is a Slow cooked dish with Duck & spices
Saute Onions Chopped in few Tbsp. of Ghee, Rich Flavor of Duck (famous in North West Region of Iran), pinch of Turmeric, Sealed Duck is Removed from Heat
In the Same Ghee, Add Fresh Herbs Chopped (Parsley Coriander Mint Leaves Herbs) Add Dried Fenugreek Leaves
Add the Sealed Duck back again, Chicken Stock/Plain Water, Dried Lime Smashed, Salt & Pepper, Boiled Red Kidney Beans
Cover & Simmer for 2 Hours on Slow Flame & served with Steamed Rice

Dizi is served in Tea Houses in a special Dizi/Container
Traditionally it was & still is a Labourer's High Calorie High Fat Meal
it has cooked Mixed Beans, Meat with Fat
the Smashed Dip is eaten with Bread, Onion, Fresh Mint Leaves etc. but the leftover Juices are also playfully eaten with soaked Bread served with hand smashed Beans in the container

Kaleh Pache is a Soup made up of clean Lamb’s/Sheep’s Head, Hooves, Feet and Brains  
most of the times the Skin, Tongue, Eyes are also added along with Salt, Lemon Juice, Cinnamon flavours

This dish is only served from around 3 AM until Dawn
Polow (eg. Zereshk Polow) is when rice is part of the dish and mixed with other things like a Biryani
There are special ways to steam the rice in Iran (with towels etc. to prevent any steam from escaping) but the ‘piece de resistance’ to any rice dish is the golden rice crust that’s created at the bottom of the pot called Tah-deeg/Tahdig (literally meaning ‘bottom of the pot’) is the Golden crust created at the bottom with the Sliced Potatoes & Butter while the Rice steams for the second time
Chelow means cooked Rice (either plain or with Saffron and Ghee)
Chelow Kebab is a Kebab (with either Meat, Chicken or Fish) on Rice

Rice is called the 'Pearls of Persian Cuisine' 

The Iranian taste buds are used to the Sweet and Sour flavours together so in Savoury dishes, Fresh/Dried Fruit like (Sultanas, Figs, Dried Limes, Lemon, Pomegranate) is added
This Cooking Technique can be tasted in the Slow Cooked Stews like ‘Khoresh’ (called the 'Heart and Soul of Iranian Cuisine') which are a Gentle Mix of either Meat (Beef/Lamb/Veal), Poultry (Chicken/Duck) or Fish with Vegetables, Herbs, Fresh/Dried Fruits, Beans, Grains & of course Nuts, so after long hours of Cooking this Rich Stew with different Taste & Textures is like Bliss in the Pot!

Iran’s Dry climate is great for the Livestock of Sheep and Goats, so Dry Cheeses and Rich Yoghurt are part of everyday Meal

One of the Favorite Ingredient is Yoghurt & Kashk (a By-product of Cheese making process like Whey) as most Homes prepare these & use in their Daily Dishes as well 

GRAND is the word for Sweets prepared in Iran with use of Rosewater, Orange Blossom water, Pistachio, Honey, etc.  
Sweet Poppy Seed & Pistachio Biscuits made with Chick Pea/Rice Flour are a delicious Afternoon Pick-me-up with a cup of Tea

Ice Cream and crushed Ice treats, Falooda are popular in the Hot, Dry Weather

Persian Fairy Floss is World famous for it’s Delicate Texture and is the perfect accompaniment to other Western Desserts

English- Saffron
Hindi- Kesar/Zafran
Telugu- Kunkumapuvvu

In Austrailia:

Jason Cafe & Bakery for Bread & Sabzi

Kami Shabari serv es Dizi

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