Zereshk Polo – Saffron barberry rice pilaf

زرشک پلو

This is Zereshk Polo, a distinguished Persian dish.

The popular Zereshk Polo features many of the elements of Persian cooking. Barberries, which are quite tart and bright in color, are layered within the fluffy Basmati rice and served with succulent chicken, or if you prefer with lamb or beef .

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Khoresh Porteghal – Chicken and saffron stew with carrots and oranges

خورش پرتقال

This stew is a great representation of a dish in a culture that loves its fruits with their tart and sweet flavors! The chicken is cooked slowly with Persian spices (advieh), layered with carrots and saffron, and finished off with fresh orange segments before serving.

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Khoresh Maast – Chicken in yogurt sauce with barberries

خورش ماست

This one is a maast-try!

I have had several appetizing and delicious Indian chicken dishes that either marinate or cook the chicken in a yogurt sauce. But until recently I hadn’t tried this traditional chicken dish with Persian techniques, ingredients, and spices.

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Khoresh Bademjan ba Morgh – Eggplant stew with chicken

خورشت بادمجان با مرغ

Eggplant, otherwise known as the potato of Iran, is used in a variety of stews, Kuku (egg-based dishes), and layered rice dishes.

This stew is a well known, popular and respected dish that finds itself served frequently and proudly on a Persian table. The very special and unique ingredient in this dish is “Ghooreh”, which showcases Iranians’ love of all things sour. Ghooreh is the Farsi name for unripe sour grapes. Once harvested, they are then juiced, frozen or dried into a powder. These elements are used anywhere acidity is called for.

Pride!

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Havij Polo -Rice pilaf layered with saffron carrots and candied orange peel

هویج پلو با گوشت

Havij polo is not just another Persian rice dish. It’s rather an experience and a destination, much like getting a stamp in your passport at the end of an exotic journey!

Though there’s quite a variety of rice pilaf dishes in Persian cuisine, there are probably 15 that most Iranians would be able to list without even thinking. Havij polo is in my top 5.

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Khoresh Albaloo – Sour cherry and chicken meatballs in saffron broth

خورشت آلبالو

I can’t help but smile when I think of sour cherries! They are a highly prized fruit that has found its way into many parts of Persian cuisine, both as a savory and as a sweet ingredient. This dish is another Caspian Sea regional specialty that integrates sour cherries into a stew in the company of small chicken meatballs, all in a gloriously beautiful and tasty saffron broth.

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Khoresh Morgh-e Torsh – Tangy lemon chicken simmered in a rich ground walnuts and herbs sauce

مرغ ترش

Morgh-e Torsh has the power to transport you to the shores of the Caspian Sea! When visiting my mother this weekend, we spent a good few hours in the kitchen talking about the dishes we used to eat that were specific to the Caspian Sea region and this was the first dish we prepared. Our bodies and minds have a tremendous capacity to store nostalgic memories from our childhood such that after nearly 40 years when I took the first bite of this dish, I instantly remembered the tantalizing familiar flavor!

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Khoresh Pesteh-ye Kermani – Kerman region chicken and pistachio stew with fresh dill

  خورشت پسته کرمانی  با مرغ

This tasty stew is from the city of Kerman in the southeastern region of Iran, showcasing the use of pistachios in a unique way.

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