The Caspian Chef

Omid Roustaei is an Iranian-American psychotherapist, a regular contributor to The Spruce Eats and The Kitchn, Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Board Member, and culinary activist. Omid is passionate about sharing Persian culture and traditions through food and story-telling. His mission now is to spread awareness of Persian culture and cuisine, which he does by writing his…

Bastani Sonati – Saffron and rosewater ice cream

While traditional and simple ice creams such as vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate are familiar and comforting, these days there is great demand for new flavors and more combinations of them, such as blueberry Earl Grey, strawberry balsamic, and lavender honey. Perhaps what has been missing from this creative list has been Persian ice cream with…

Growing up Irooni (Iranian)

Earlier this year, in April of 2022, I had the great privilege of having an in-depth conversation with Leyla Shams of Chai and Conversation about growing up Iranian. This discussion was indeed one of the most engaging, authentic, and transparent conversations I have ever had and one that I am most excited to share with…

Kabob Barg – Filet Mignon Kebabs

Kebabs are ground meat or pieces of chicken, beef, or lamb that are skewered and typically cooked over glowing hot charcoal. One of the signatures of great kebabs is a lengthy marination process in which ingredients such as yogurt, fresh citrus, onions, and spices build in flavors and tenderize the meat. This is Kabob Barg,…

Faloodeh – Lime and rosewater granita with rice noodles

There is no shortage of western-style desserts in Iran, ranging from classic French pastries to cookies, cakes, pies, and ice creams. At the same time, there is an assortment of local and regional desserts that have long been part of Persian cuisine. Many of them have specific associations with special holidays, celebrations, or seasons. Faloodeh…

Kuku Nokhodchi – Falafel Kuku

I have always been a fan of chickpeas in any way, shape or form. Not only are they tasty and packed with plant-based protein, they can also be cooked and presented in endless ways. Two of my favorite chickpea dishes are falafel and hummus, offering different flavors and textures.   This dish is inspired by my…

Fundraising class for Ukraine

Iranian and Italian culinary instructors in Seattle join forces in support of Ukrainian refugees. Inspired by Chef Jose Andres, who said “we should build longer tables, not higher walls”, chefs Omid Roustaei and Paola Albanesi will teach a lively online cooking class to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees. Food reminds us that nations have more…

Eshkeneh – Fenugreek egg drop soup

Eshkeneh is a classic but unpretentious soup, with a short and easy-to-assemble list of ingredients, that can be prepared in about 30 minutes. While Eshkeneh is often referred to as Persian onion soup, and undoubtedly an onion is involved, I think the true star is fenugreek leaves, with their mighty strong scent and flavor profile….

Salad Anar-o Khiar – Pomegranate and cucumber salad

Who doesn’t love a good salad? Particularly a sparkling one with crisp, bright colors and flavors, that celebrates the much-loved pomegranate. Pomegranates are native to the Middle East and quite significant in Persian cuisine. In Iran, pomegranates are served just as they are, or juiced, or cooked down to create pomegranate syrups and pastes. They…

Bademjoon Shekam Por – Stuffed eggplants with beef and herbs

There is just something particularly pleasing about stuffing a vegetable! It opens up the door to many possibilities and the potential to transform a vegetable into an entire meal. And there is no shortage of stuffed vegetable dishes in Persian cuisine: stuffed grape leaves, bell peppers, onions, squash, and cabbage, to name just a few….

Khoresh Beh – Beef and yellow split pea stew with quince

Autumn has finally arrived, so it’s quince season once again, and I have been busy making Persian quince stew, jam, and Membrillo! Every year I look forward to the arrival of Fall and its seasonal produce, ranging from a fantastic variety of squashes, including the sweet and tender butternut squash, to fruits like persimmons, pomegranates,…