Credit Credit Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.
“You may attend school in America,” Persian New Year.
But certainly, the most powerful form of cultural immersion we experienced was culinary. My
In Irvine, she found a bakery making fresh sangak, a giant dimpled flatbread named for the pebbles that line the oven floor on which the
Systematically, she bought and tasted every brand of plain yogurt available at the grocery store, in search of the thickest, sourest one. She regularly packed us into our blue station wagon and drove across town to the international grocer, where she could have her choice of seven types of feta and buy fresh herbs by the pound rather than by the bunch.
The cornerstone of every Persian meal is rice, or polo. Each day, my mom would unzip a five-kilogram burlap sack of rice — always basmati — and portion out a cup per person into a large bowl, rinsing and soaking it for hours before giving it a brief boil. Then she’d begin the sorcery required to make t
Sometimes, she’d line the pot with lavash for a bread tahdig. On other occasions, when a special trip for bread wasn’t possible, she’d use a readily available flour tortilla, which yielded similarly glorious results. Either way, she’d divide and serve the rice and tahdig, encouraging us kids to delay gratification and resist gobbling down that gloriously crunchy crust
Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures. In every meal, even on every plate, you’ll find both sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, cooked and raw, hot and cold. In the winter, we ate khoresh-e fesenjoon, a hearty, sweet-and-sour pomegranate and walnut stew to warm us from within. In the summer,
No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful, often
Across Iran, but particularly in the northern regions, where my family is from, herbs are treated like a vegetable or main ingredient, rather than a garnish. In the Bay Area, where I now live, I can always spot an Iranian shopper’s grocery cart from afar — it’s the one piled high with bunches of parsley, cilantro, dill and mint.
Though I am both Iranian and a cook, I’m hardly an Iranian cook. I’m more of an Iranian eater, so when The Times asked me to choose the dishes that somehow encapsulate Persian cuisine to me — the essential recipes — I interviewed my mother, surveyed two
Being an Iranian-American — honoring, representing and embodying two cultures that often feel at odds with one another — has always been a tightrope walk for me. This project has felt more significant and personal than any other recipe collection I’ve created.
I’ve sought, more than anything else, to share the taste of my own childhood, which is to say the taste of an Iranian kitchen in America. Even so, I had to break my own heart repeatedly when I chose to leave out
A word about terminology: For various personal, political and historical reasons, many Iranians in the West refer to themselves as Persian. “Persian” is both an ethnicity and a language, also known as Farsi, while “Iranian” is a nationality. Not all Persians and Persian-speakers are Iranian, and not all Iranians are Persian. If the distinction leaves you baffled, rest assured that you’re not alone — I’ve spent most of my life confused about it — and for our purposes here, feel free to think of the terms more or less interchangeably.
The task of distilling the entirety of a 2,000-year-old cuisine down to a handful of recipes is a futile one, so think of this list as an invitation to
The 10 Essential Recipes
No dinner in an Iranian household is complete without polo, or rice. And no pot of polo is complete without tahdig, the crisp crust whose name means “bottom of the pot.” Tahdig is a highlight of Persian cuisine, and it can be made of rice, potatoes, lettuce or bread, View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Kuku, which is like a Persian frittata, comes in many forms, but this one, packed to the brim with herbs, is my favorite. I particularly love kuku sabzi for the contrast between its dark, sweet crust and its fresh-tasting, vivid-green interior, which is alsoView this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
There are three essential elements to this khoresh, or stew, which is often called Iran’s national dish. First, fenugreek leaves, either dried or fresh. The herb’s sweet, pungent flavor defines the taste of the stew, which simply isn’t the same without it. Likewise, Omani limes View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Bademjoon, sometimes spelled bademjan, is a quintessential summer dish in Iran, and it was a childhood favorite of mine. Fresh lemon juice and ghooreh, or unripe grapes, lighten the stew and lend a particularly tart punch. Those sharp flavors contrast nicely with the soft, comforting texture of the eggplant and tomatoes, which grow silky as they cook down. This dish is particularly delicious with a piece of crunchy tahdig. (View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Iran’s most beloved and ubiquitous peasant dish, abgoosht (which means “meat water”) is made with inexpensive, bony cuts of meat, which take a back seat to the broth and the sheer ceremony involved in serving it all. When I was little, my aunts and uncles looked forward to the one or two times a year my mother made abgoosht, and then everyone would fight over who’d get to suck the marrow from the bones. The dish is simple to prepare, so turn it into an occasion for a gathering and set your table with piles of warm flatbread, pickles and fresh herbs to accompany the broth and meat paste. (View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Named for the city in southwestern Iran, salad-eView this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Yogurt, both plain and with cucumbers, is a staple of Iranian tables — the thicker and sourer, the better. As a kid, I used yogurt not only to balance sweetness and richness, but also to cool down food that was too hot to eat. Mast-o khiar is an everyday side, and one of my favorites. Dice, rather than grate, the cucumbers to keep them from getting watery, and don’t skip the dried herbs, which add dimension to the fresh herbs. Raisins, walnuts and rose petals elevate this version of the dish, adding a host of different flavors and textures. I love this one so much that I sometimes eat it on its own. (View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
Faloodeh is an ancient Persian dessert, a sort of granita threaded with rice noodles and spiked with rose water and lime. It’s incredibly refreshing and the ideal end to a rich meal filled with complex flavors. In Iran, most ice cream shops sell just two items: traditional saffron ice cream and faloodeh, which is typically topped with bottled lime juice that tastes mostly of citric acid. Faloodeh has been my favorite since childhood, but now I prefer it with the juice of freshly squeezed limes. (View this recipe in NYT Cooking.)
10 Essential Recipes is a new occasional feature that explores different cuisines.
- Moong Sprouts Salad Recipe: How To Prepare This Healthy Recipe At Your Home
- Taco Tuesday: 16 Fun Toppings And Recipes To Make Your Tacos Healthy And Tasty!
- Spinach: Nutrition, Health Benefits And Recipe
- Feed the family for just £5 or less with Mrs Crunch’s tasty recipes
- 10 Best Healthy Alternatives To Rice You Should Try
- Not A Fan Of Alcohol? Here Are 10 Non-Alcoholic Substitutes For Wine
- 20 recipe ideas for leftover carrots
- The Rebirth of an Essential Cocktail Ingredient
- Lose weight with the world’s top 10 diets – from keto to Slimming World
- Recipe: Roasted turbot with fennel and potatoes
- Kelp: Nutrition, Health Benefits And How To Eat
- 16 Amazing Health Benefits Of Barley Grass
- 12 Ways To Repurpose Mason Jars That Don’t Involve Canning
- World Vegan Day: Try These 7 Vegan Meat Alternatives For A Guilt-free Diet
- Barley Tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects And How To Prepare
- Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov Talks About West's Historical Revisionism, US Election and Navalny Case
- Sarah Tuck: 'It’s tougher to be vulnerable than it is to be resilient'
- The best iPhone apps (October 2020)
- The best Ninja Foodi deals on cookers, air fryers, and grills for November 2020
- The best Android apps (October 2020)
Samin Nosrat’s 10 Essential Persian Recipes have 1841 words, post on www.nytimes.com at May 14, 2019. This is cached page on Travel News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.