Kebab koobideh or Persian Mince kebab

This is my other halfs favorite kebab. He’s got it down to a fine art after many experiments, all of which were delicious in their own way but he tells me its about how well it keeps it’s shape on the skewer! I will get to that later! I just eat them but thought I would share his recipe with you.

Kebab koobideh is made with minced meat. Either lamb, beef or chicken which ever is your preference. We use beef because we eat so much lamb and chicken and beef  makes a change. Koobideh is famous in Iran and there are variations such as adding chopped parsley. This is the basic recipe but enjoy experimenting.

~~KEBAB KOOBIDEH~~

~INGREDIENTS~ ( serves 2)

  • 1 lb minced meat
  • 1 onion grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons of sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

~METHOD~

  1. Get your charcoal ready about 30 mins before you plan to cook.
  2. Take the minced meat, add the grated onion and all the ingredients  and mash it with your hands for several minutes until it becomes a paste.
  3. Leave in the bowl for about 10 -15 minutes so that it becomes warm and this will make it easier to form around the skewers.
  4. After 15 minutes or so, make several balls with the meat paste and roll into sausage like shapes about 6 inches long.
  5. Using the flat sword like skewers, form the meat paste around onto the skewer and then leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool and set around the skewer.
  6. Use this time to prepare a baste of  2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/2 cup of lime or lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  7. Now your ready to grill. Place the skewers approx 3-4 inches over the coals and grill for about 5 minutes each side and don’t forget to baste!
  8. Remove from the skewer onto a dish and sprinkle with sumac just before serving.

Serve with saffron rice, flat bread, herbs and or salad and of course mast or natural yoghurt.

~Nooshi joonet ~

Kookoo sabzi or Herb omelette

Protein packed and full of healthy fresh green herbs and nothing could be easier than making kookoo. Kookoo  makes a great lunch or light supper or even something to take out with you on a picnic as it  can be eaten hot or cold and both are equally delicious. Kookoo can be made in less than 30 mins and cooked either in the oven or in a pan on the cooker, which ever you prefer.

KOOKOO SABZI

~~INGREDIENTS ~~

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of advieh
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup  of coriander ( if you prefer you can use dried herbs, simply use 1/2 the  amount and soak in water first. Remember to squeeze the water from the herbs before you use them)
  • 1 cup of parsley
  • 1 cup of dill
  • a tablespoon of fenugrek
  • 1 onion thinly sliced or grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of flour.

~~Method~~

  1. Take the six eggs and place them in a mixing bowl
  2. Add the salt, pepper, advieh and baking powder and beat well
  3. Sift the flour and beat into the mix
  4. Add the chopped herbs, chopped onion and crushed garlic and mix well.
  5. If your going to cook in the oven, put it on at about 200.c.
  6. Add a few tablespoons of oil into a baking dish and put into the oven to warm
  7. When ready add, add the kookoo mix into the bowl and leave to cook for about 10  mins.
  8. After 10  mins, add a little more oil if needed and leave to cook  for a further 10- 15 mins until set  and nicely cooked.

Serve with mast ( natural yoghurt) and a fresh salad.

Nooshi joonet

Joojeh Kebab or Persian Chicken kebab

Chicken is relatively inexpensive at the moment with many of the larger supermarkets offering bargain packs.  I usually stock up when they offer these bargain packs and freeze for later use and some how we ended up with a freezer full of chicken!

Chicken is light on the stomach, packed with protein, easy to prepare and cook and great for the bbq! Of all the different ways to use Chicken in Persian cooking , Joojeh kebab is one of my personal favorites.

There are a number of ways to make the marinade. This is my favorite but alternatively you could omit the olive oil and add mast or natural yoghurt. Another variation…some people add a teaspoon or two of turmeric.

~~JOOJEH KEBAB~~


~Preparation~

  • Make sure you marinade the chicken for at least a few hours before. I often leave mine over night.
  • It’s important when cooking chicken on the bbq to get the coals good and hot to avoid undercooked meat and food poisoning ! Be sure to leave your coals until they are red, this can take up to 30 mins or more.
  • Make sure you thoroughly cook the chicken.

~Ingredients for the marinade~

  • Liquid saffron ( use 1/2 teaspoon of saffron, grind and add half a small cup of water)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion roughly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive oil

~Method~

  1. Roughly chop the onion. Your going to discard it later so don’t worry about it too much.
  2. Make the liquid saffron
  3. Cut the chicken into bbq size chunks and flatten.
  4. Combine all the ingredients and leave to marinade over night for maximum flavour.
  5. When your ready to bbq, place the chicken onto the skewer and grill each side until golden. Dont forget to baste with the marinade juices.

Serve with saffron rice and a nice fresh green salad.

Nooshi joonet …. Enjoy :)

How to make Tahdig with sibzamini (potatoe)

Tahdig or taadig is the crusty bit at the bottom of the rice. There isn’t really a name for it in english AND it’s pretty unique to Persian cooking. It’s completely delicious and I guarantee everyone will want it. When my children were little they used to almost fight for the last piece of tahdig…. it’s that delicious.You can make Tahdig with a few different things but in this recipe Im going to explain how to make it using potatoes.Once made, you can either serve the Tahdig separately or use the crispy potatoes to add some decorative touch to your rice dish.

~~TAHDIG SIBZAMINI~~

~WHAT YOU WILL NEED~

  • A heavy bottomed non stick saucepan with a lid.
  • A padded lid … I wrap and secure a teatowel around the lid.

~INGREDIENTS~

  • Rice
  • A medium-sized potato thinly sliced
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Hot water
  • Liquid saffron

~METHOD~

  • Having boiled the rice in water until its soft to bite ( see how to make ‘perfect Persian Rice’) drain it and place to one side.
  • Use a good non stick saucepan and add a little oil, a desert spoon of butter and melt.
  • Add a few drops of liquid saffron and stir in or swirl it in the pan until its infused.
  • Then add a little water, empty into a cup and put to one side.
  • Returning to the saucepan, add about 2 tablespoons of good vegetable oil, sunflower oil is good and heat.
  • Add a drop or two of liquid saffron.
  • Turn up the heat to full and add the sliced potatoes and allow to sizzle a little for a few minutes.
  • Then spoon the rice on top.
  • Using a wooden spoon, just go around the edge, pushing the rice away from the side of the pan to avoid too much crisp rice… you only really want the bottom to become crispy.
  • Pour on most of the oil, butter and water you put to one side earlier … you should see some steam rising now.
  • Once you see some steam, cover with a padded lid ( I use a teatowel wrapped securely around the lid) this helps absorb any condensation and prevents it from dripping back onto the rice.
  • Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave for about 3/4 of an hour to an hour. You might have to experiment a little as it depends on your heat settings.
  • When your rice is ready, spoon the rice onto a dish until you reach the bottom of the pan. Then carefully remove the potatoes.

~Now you have ‘TAHDIG SIBZAMINI’ … WELL DONE!~

Nooshi joonet . Enjoy

Reshteh Polou or Persian Noodle Rice

This rice dish is traditionally eaten at norooz, the Persian new year but why not eat other times too because it’s too delicious not to! In this recipe I use gluten free noodles because I have coeliacs disease, an allergy to Gluten but if you can substitute them with wheat noodles.

~~RESHTEH POLOU OR PERSIAN NOODLE RICE~~


~Ingredients~

  • Basmati rice 1 cup per serving
  • 1 handful of reshteh per three servings For coeliacs use rice noodles or gluten-free spaghetti.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 small onion

~Method~

Follow the recipe for making Persian rice to step 3 and then place to one side.

  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and then pre soak for at least 2 hours in salted water.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a teaspoon or 2 of salt according to your taste and then add the rice.
  3. Allow to bubble away until the rice becomes soft to bit. You should see the rice grains grow in length but dont allow them to become fluffy.
  4. Now drain and rinse and place to one side to finish draining.
  5. Meanwhile break the noodles into pieces. It doesn’t matter what size
  6. Chop and gently fry the onion in the butter and oil and add the noodles until golden
  7. Combine the rice and noodles in one pan as from step 4 and continue  through the rest of the instructions to step 14.
  8. Some people like to add cinnamon and raisins which is delicious and you can sprinkle these on just before serving.

Khoresht e Gheimeh Bademjan or Aubergine Stew

Everyone loves this dish. It’s something you’ll enjoy eating for lunch, dinner or any time in fact!  Very like  Khoresht e bademjan except in this recipe you use lamb rather than chicken.

This is one of those recipes you can make in stages which was perfect for me yesterday as I had my 2 yrs old grand-daughter visiting for the day. Having tucked away a good helping of Lubia polou for lunch her  nose was twitching at the smells coming from the kitchen! I had already cooked the meat earlier and only needed to add the split yellow peas and budemjan which was useful as 2 yr olds haven’t got much patience! She then proceeded to tuck into 2 good helpings of Khoresht e Gheimeh Budemjan and I think if her mother hadn’t arrived, she would have demolished the lot!

~~KHORESHT E GHEIMEH BADEMJAN~~


~Ingredients~

  • 400 gr’s of lamb cut in small cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium-sized budemjan or aubergine ( eggplant)
  • 1 cup of split yellow peas
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of advieh
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground saffron to make 1 small cup of liquid saffron.
  • dried limes ( limu amani)
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • A little oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

~Preparation~

  • Pierce the limu amani with the tip of a knife before you add to them to the khoresht as it helps the the flavor of the limu to infuse into the khoresht
  • Wash, peel, quarter and then slice the bademjan ( aubergine). Spread onto a large flat plate and sprinkle with salt. Turn and sprinkle with salt again. Leave for 30 mins and then rinse. Pat them dry before frying. This helps to remove the bitter taste.

~Method~

  1. Chop the onion and gently fry in a little oil until it begins to turn golden
  2. Add the meat, garlic, salt and pepper and the turmeric, stir well and continue to cook until the meat is brown
  3. Cover with water, add the lime juice, tomato paste, saffron  and advieh and simmer gently over a low heat  for about an hour and a half or  until the meat is tender. You may need to add a little more water.
  4. Meanwhile boil a pan of water, add the split yellow peas and cook for 20 mins. Add the split yellow peas and stir in.
  5. Take a fry ing pan, heat some oil and when hot place the sliced aubergines in the oil and cook until golden. Dont forget to turn them.
  6. About 15  mins before you are ready to serve add the aubergine but avoid stirring incase you break up them up. just allow them to sit on the surface of the khoresht and absorb the flavours.
  • This dish is always better served the next day!

~Serve with saffron rice, salad, herbs and natural yoghurt and you have a feast~

~Nooshi joonet. Enjoy ~

Shirin Polou or Jewelled Rice

I thought I’d  have a go and make something new for our family Easter meal and settled on ‘Shirin Polou’ as it looks so delicious in all the pictures I see . The other thinking behind this choice was that it’s full of fruit and nuts and somehow captures the taste of summer, which is a great thought and something to look forward to!

I once  had Shirin Polou back in Iran…. a long time ago but I’ve never made it myself. So it was a little bit of trial and error and learning as I went along. My only error was not to make enough liquid saffron but the recipe below should be fine. In the end it turned out well…. according to my resident expert!

~~SHIRIN POLOU OR JEWELLED RICE~~

~Ingredients~

  • 1 cup of basmati rice per person + 1 extra
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of orange peel
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds and pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup of barberries
  • 3/4  teaspoon of ground saffron
  • salt to taste
  • 1 thinly sliced potato for the taadig
  • 1 teaspoon of advieh
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee

~Preparation~

  • Cut the peel from the orange and slice into small slithers
  • Slice the carrots into thin small slithers
  • Soak the barberries, rinse and drain
  • Roughly chop the pistachio nuts into medium-sized pieces.
  • Grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar in a pestle and mortar, add to 1 medium cup of boiling water, cover and leave to stand.

~Method~

  1. Thoroughly rinse and then pre soak the rice for at least 2 hours
  2. Boil up a large pan of water add a teaspoon or two of salt according to your own taste.
  3. Add the rice and allow to simmer until the rice has grown and is soft to bite.
  4. Drain and rinse and then put to one side.
  5. Meanwhile, place the orange peel in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about a minute then drain. This is to remove the
  6. Combine the orange peel, carrots, raisins, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins. Drain and put to one side.
  7. In a large pan add 4 tablespoons of  vegetable oil and heat.
  8. Add a few drops of saffron and if you want to make a good taadig, add some thin slices of potatoes.
  9. Add a layer of rice, then a layer of the carrots, orange peel and raisins.
  10. Continue to alternate the layers as above, ending with a rice layer.
  11. Add a teaspoon of advieh, a tablespoon of ghee or butter, cover with a padded lid and cook on a low heat for about 50 mins.
  12. 5 minutes before your ready to serve take the sliced almonds, pistachio nuts and barberries and cook in a pan over a low heat for a minute or two. Add the saffron liquid and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  13. Place half of the nuts, barberries and saffron onto the rice and gently begin to spoon onto your serving dish. When you reach the bottom of the pan, remove the taadig and place around the rice or serve separately.
  14. Finally take the remaining nuts, barberries and saffron and place on top of the rice.

Serve with any poultry, chicken, turkey or duck and salad.

Shirin Polou is usually served at a celebration of some kind.

Nooshi joonet. Enjoy ….. we did!