Kuku Gerdu – Walnut and herb frittata

کوکو گردو

You say frittata: I say Kuku; you say (Spanish) tortilla: I say K . . . and we are saying the same thing – almost! It is actually a stretch to call this dish a frittata or a tortilla, but I don’t know a better comparison.

Kuku is an Iranian egg-based dish that combines vegetables, herbs and/or meat mixed into the egg mixture along with spices, and is baked or pan-fried to create a light and fluffy savory delight.

This Kuku is another specialty dish from the Caspian Sea region of Iran. This region has such an affinity for simple but exceptionally flavorful dishes that are naturally plant-forward and rely heavily on abundant local produce.

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Kabob Kubideh – Grilled skewered Kebab

کباب کوبیده

However you spell or pronounce them, Kebabs, Kebobs, or Kababs are meat dishes that take pride of place alongside other dishes in Persian cuisine. They are typically small pieces of seasoned whole or ground beef, lamb, chicken or seafood that are generally skewered and grilled.

Mention “Ka-bob” (the Farsi pronunciation) to an Iranian, and it inevitably evokes deep and sentimental memories and associations to this widely popular element of Persian cuisine. Kebabs are prepared and served throughout the cities, whether at a posh establishment, a local food cart or a grand bazaar. The sights, sounds and aromas of Kebabs being grilled are all so familiar, and Kebab houses are often referenced as landmarks for giving directions.

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Hope, Respect, and Honor: What It Looks Like to Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year

I’m thrilled to announce that I have joined The KITCHN team as a freelance contributor and my first 2 articles relating to Nowruz, the Persian New Year and a traditional Nowruz dish, Sabzi Polo are now posted.

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Join me for Tea and Conversation: Persian Culinary Traditions for Nowruz

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 6 – 7 pm EST, 3 -4 pm Pacific Time

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, marks the arrival of spring across large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. Feasts that accompany Nowruz are central to the celebration.

Join Omid Roustaei, a Seattle-based Persian chef, to learn about special dishes associated with the holiday as well as the richness, subtleness, and playfulness of Persian cuisine and to hear stories from his childhood in Tehran. The conversation is moderated by Freer and Sackler curator Simon Rettig.

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Mella Ghormeh – Eggplant with herbs and poached eggs

ملا قرمه

Mella Ghormeh is a signature dish from the Caspian Sea region of Iran that celebrates the region’s abundance of local produce while bringing a depth of flavor into a simple dish.

In many regions of Iran, there is a heavy reliance on a medley of spices. However, many Northern Iranian dishes rely on simpler fresh and flavorful ingredients to create enticing and rich flavors.

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Sabzi Polo ba Mahi – Herbed rice pilaf with fish

سبزی پلو با ماهی

Sabzi Polo is one of the more popular herb-rice mixture dishes in Persian cuisine, known not only for its use of abundant fresh herbs but also for its close ties to the Persian New Year celebration, Nowruz.

Iranian’s obsession with herbs in large quantities, fresh or dried, is no secret. You will find many dishes – ranging from yogurt, to stews, to soups and rice dishes – that incorporate at least one herb, or more often a whole medley of them.

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Gishneez Polo – Cilantro rice pilaf

گشنیز پلو

Iranian’s obsession with herbs in large quantities, fresh or dried, is no secret. You will find many dishes – ranging from yogurt, to stews, to soups and rice dishes – that incorporate at least one or more often a whole medley of herbs.

Gishneez polo is a slightly lesser known version of the more popular herb and rice pilaf dishes. Shiveed polo highlights dill, while Sabzi polo celebrates a combination of herbs including parsley, dill, chives and cilantro. Gishneez polo offers simplicity, and brings all the cilantro lovers to the table!

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Tas Kabob – Meat and vegetable stew

تاس کباب

Tas Kabob is the ultimate one-pot comfort food. This dish is as effortless as layering all the ingredients in a pot, covering it, and cooking it until the vegetables have softened and the flavors come together.

There are many traditions behind this dish. Once upon a time this was truly a celebration of the Fall, when root vegetables would be layered in the pot along with either beef or lamb, and cooked until every ingredient had become soft and tender.

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Ghalieh Mahi – Fish in a tamarind and herb sauce

قلیه ماهی

The cuisine of Southern and South-Western Iran is known for its rich, bold flavors and the creative use of tamarind, dates, regional spices and of course, seafood from the Persian Gulf! This stew is a great representation of the region’s dishes: slightly spicier, and with a different flavor profile.

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Aash-e Mash – Mung beans and herbs soup

آش ماش

Here is another great entry in the long line of Aashes – thick, hearty soups – in Persian cuisine. Much like others in the series, this Aash incorporates an abundance of fresh herbs, Kashk, a Persian whey sauce, along with crispy garlic, caramelized onions, and the aromatic mint sauce!

Though the main ingredient for this Aash is the mung bean, the turnip is the true star. Persians have a long history of love affairs with turnips! To be more accurate, Persian moms have a long history of forcing their children to eat, drink, and breathe turnip in its various forms for its health benefits!

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