The Persian Pantry

The Persian Pantry A well-stocked and well-organized pantry is the heart of the kitchen in many if not all cuisines. It is also the gateway to exploring and experimenting with new flavors, ingredients, and dishes. Cooking is simply more efficient and more enjoyable when the necessary ingredients are readily accessible. Persian cuisine is no exception…

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…

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,…

Khoresh Gol Kalam – Beef and cauliflower stew

Long before the humble cauliflower became a trendy superfood, Iranians were cooking it into stews (Khoresh), egg-based dishes (Kuku), and even pickles (Torshi). Like many Iranian stews, this is an especially simple dish with only a few ingredients. Nevertheless, there are certain culinary techniques that bring out a spectacularly deep range of flavors. First, it’s…

Moraba Havij – Carrot jam

Who doesn’t love spreading a healthy dose of homemade jam on toasted and buttered crusty bread? For some, there may be something strange about jam that’s made without fruit, but I would encourage anyone to try this brightly orange-colored and flavorful carrot jam. Making jam is an age-old tradition in Iran (and the rest of…

Gishneez Polo – Cilantro rice pilaf

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…

Sohan Asali – Walnut brittle

To most Persians, Sohan Asali is a beloved and familiar sweet that is a prime example of Mehmoon-Navazi, a uniquely Persian style of over-the-top hospitality! To me, Sohan Asali is a reminder of the nearly forgotten years of 40 years ago when I lived in Iran and celebrated the Winter Solstice, called Shab-e Yalda in…

Morgh Shekam Por – Saffron-glazed stuffed chicken with fruits and nuts

Morgh Shekam Por is a traditional stuffed chicken that is packed with a wide range of flavors, textures, and colors. Chickens – often the smaller varieties that have the best flavor – are marinated in citrus juice, spices and oil, and then filled to the brim with the stuffing. Shekam Por is an endearing Persian…

Sholeh Zard – Saffron and rosewater rice pudding

Sholeh Zard is a beloved and popular rice pudding that has all the quintessential flavors of a Persian dessert. Fragrant Persian rice is slowly simmered in a large body of water until it begins to soften. One by one, saffron, rosewater, and sugar find their way into the pot and diligently do their part to…

Khoresh Kadu Halvaee – Butternut squash and golden plum stew

For me, there is something so special about this dish as it marks the beginning of Autumn by celebrating the season’s bounty. Every year I find myself eagerly looking forward to the arrival of Fall and its seasonal produce: from an amazing variety of squashes including the sweet and tender butternut squash, to fruit like…