Torshi Makhloot - Persian Mixed Vegetable Pickle



ترشی مخلوط Mixed vegetable pickles are usually served with rich and meaty dishes like abgousht (lamb stew), polow & khoresh (rice and stew) dishes. Torshi is a very appetizing side dish and a great flavor enhancer. There are many different kinds of torshi. This is a traditional combination of vegetables, dried herbs and spices.

Torshi Makhloot - Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, washed, peeled, lightly steamed, finely chopped or shredded
3 medium red or white onions, peeled and finely diced
2 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, washed, cleaned and diced
1 small cauliflower, washed, finely chopped
1 small head of celery, washed and finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded white cabbage

1 cup of each of the following herbs: (parsley, coriander, dill), washed, dried and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of the following fresh herbs chopped or dried (tarragon, mint, basil)

2 tablespoons dried lime powder (limoo amani)
2 tablespoons crushed angelica (golpar)
2 tablespoons nigella seeds (siah daneh)
2 tablespoon fennel seeds (razianeh)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (tokhm-e geshneez)
6-7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4-5 tablespoons salt
2 red hot peppers, dried or fresh, chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric powder

5-7 cups white vinegar

Method:
  1. Salt the eggplants and either bake them in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 25- 30 minutes or cook them with 1/2 cup of vinegar over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. All the herbs and vegetables must be completely dried before mixing them together. Spread out the washed herbs on a table cloth for several hours to dry.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.
  4. Using a wooden spoon pack pickles in clean glass jars up to the rim. Press down on them to make more room as you are filling up the jars. Add more vinegar if needed.
  5. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt into each jar before closing the lid tightly.
  6. Store in a cool dry place for at least 2 weeks before serving.  
Enjoy!

Khoresh Bademjan - Eggplant Stew


Any dish with the combination of eggplants and tomatoes is just divine. If you happen to love eggplants and tomatoes this stew has them both, in addition to meat, split peas and sour grapes (ghooreh), which can be found in most Iranian grocery stores. خورش بادمجان - khoresh bademjan is a rich and flavorful recipe and one of the favorites among many Iranians.

Khoresh Bademjan - Eggplant Stew

Ingredients:
Serves 6

1 pound of meat (beef or lamb), washed and cubed
2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced and salted--with 2 tablespoons of salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup yellow split peas, cleaned, washed
3 tablespoons oil for sauteing onion, garlic and meat
1/2 cup of oil for frying eggplants
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
 Water, 3-4 cups
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste—or 2-3 tablespoons sour grapes (ghooreh)

Method:
  1. Place the salted eggplants in a large container filled with water; put a heavy bowl or a heavy lid on top of the eggplants to hold them down for ten minutes, this will get rid of the bitterness. Remove eggplants from container and pat dry completely before frying.
  2. Fry the eggplants in 1/2 cup of hot oil until brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on a thick paper towel to take out the excess oil.
  3. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for five minutes before pulling off the skin, then chop or slice them thinly. Or use a can of crushed tomatoes instead.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, add chopped onions, saute until translucent then add the garlic, stir well. Put in turmeric, meat, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Cook until meat is brown on all sides. 
  5. Add dry split peas, fry for five minutes, this would keep the peas more firm in the khoresh. 
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and three cups of water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium heat. 
  7. Add the fried eggplant to the mixture, adjust the seasoning and add more water if needed. 
  8. Add the lime juice or two tablespoons of sour grapes (ghooreh). 
  9. Cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender. 
Serve hot with rice, fresh herbs, salad shirazi, torshi, or mast o khiar.

Enjoy!

Kookoo Sabzi



کوکوسبزی Kookoo sabzi is another vegetable dish served during the Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebration. It's also a great one meal vegetarian dish made of several herbs (sabzi) and if you bake it in the oven rather than frying it on the stove it would absorb less oil, which is always a good thing for the health conscious cook. Once you have all the vegetables cleaned, washed and chopped finely, the rest is very easy. I use my food processor to chop the herbs. It saves a lot of time.

Kookoo Sabzi
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cups chopped scallions or chives (Iranian tareh)
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons barberries (zereshk) *optional
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts *optional
5 large eggs
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-2 tablespoons flour
Vegetable oil or olive oil

Method:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with a fork or whisk until well blended
  2. Then add all the above ingredients except the oil and mix thoroughly until well blended. 
  3. To this mixture add four tablespoons of olive oil and stir well.
  4. Use 1-2 tablespoons oil to grease your ovenproof skillet or baking dish. 
  5. Gently pour the herb mixture into the dish evenly, cover lightly with an aluminum foil and place in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for 45 minutes. 
  6. Half way through cooking remove the foil. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting it into small pieces. 
Place on a serving platter. Kookoo could be served hot or cold with warm bread and mast o khiar and  torshi (pickles).

Enjoy!

Sabzi Polow Mahi - Herb Rice with Fish

سبزی پلو Sabzi polow (herb rice) and mahi (fish) is one of the main traditional meals for Nowruz - Persian New Year. There's only few weeks left before Nowruz and I'm all ready for the cold winter to be over. The weather is still very cold, the grass is brown and there are no blossoms on the trees. However, yesterday I made Sabzi polow -herb rice with fried fish. These are traditionally served on New Year's day.

Sabzi Polow Mahi - Herb Rice with Fish

Ingredients:
Serves 6

2 cups long grain (basmati) rice
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped dill
1 cup finely chopped coriander
1 cup finely chopped scallions (green parts only), use tareh instead if you can find them in markets where you live.
3-4 garlic cloves *optional
1/2 teaspoon saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
Salt
Vegetable oil or butter
Water

Method:
  1. Clean, wash, dry and finely chop the vegetables and mix them together in a large bowl. It’s better to use fresh herbs for this dish; however there is always the dried sabzi polow herb mix that you can find in Iranian grocery stores.
  2. Wash the rice with cool water a few times. Soak in 4-5 cups of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and set aside for couple of hours. In a large non-stick pan, bring 5 cups of water to a rapid boil. Drain the rice and pour into boiling water. Bring water to back to a boil for about 5-7 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. Rice should be firm in the center and soft on the outside. Strain the rice using a colander and rinse with cool water.
  3. Wash and dry the pot and return to heat, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a few drops of liquid saffron. With a large spatula place the rice into the pot, place a layer of rice and a layer of vegetables building it into a pyramid shape. Place the peeled garlic cloves in between rice. Make 2-3 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula to release the steam. 
  4. Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes on medium-high heat until rice is steaming. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 cup of water over the rice, lower the heat and steam the rice for another 50 minutes on medium-low heat.With a large scoop take some rice from the top, mix in with the dissolved saffron and set aside. Serve rice on a platter; sprinkle the mixture of rice and saffron on top.


Mahi - Fish

Ingredients:
Serves 6

6-8 pieces of white fish fillet or a fish of your choice
1 cup flour (to coat fish)
Salt and black pepper
A pinch of red pepper
Garlic powder *optional
A pinch of turmeric powder *optional
Vegetable oil
1 large Lime

Method:
  1. Season fish on both sides, lightly coat the fillet with flour and  shake off any excess flour.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, place fish in the pan and fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
  3. Place the fried fish on a serving platter, squeeze lime juice over the fillets. 
Serve sabzi polow and mahi with fresh herbs, salad and pickles (torshi).

Enjoy!