How to make liquid saffron ✾

~HOW TO MAKE LIQUID SAFFRON~

liquified  saffron is essential to Persian cooking. You will use it in rice dishes,  Khoresht and for deserts and even in your chai. It gives Persian food its unique and subtle flavour and sets it apart.  I always keep my saffron in an airtight container in a dark cupboard to ensure its rich yellow colour and to avoid it loosing any of its strength of flavour. saffron is very expensive to buy so you want to take care of it. I personally only buy Persian saffron because I know its good quality and I’ll get the results and taste I want. Spanish saffron is widely available in the UK and I buy this only if I run out ( which almost never happens ).

  1. Take a really good pinch or of saffron and place it in a pestle and mortar, add a tiny pinch of sugar or salt ( use which ever will suit your recipe) and grind. I use a pestle and mortar but many people use small food processor and powder up bulk batches of saffron strands at a time .
  2. Place the ground or powdery saffron in cup and add a little boiling water and stir and then cover and allow to infuse for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the richer the color.

Once you’ve made liquid saffron you can keep it in the fridge for about 2-3 days, but remember to cover it with cling film or keep in an air tight container!

Fact: Saffron is said to help ward off mild depressive thinking. I dont know how true this is but just the colour alone makes you think of sunshine and that makes me smile 🙂

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Persian Contestent on Masterchef UK

Masterchef UK is into its second day. Afsaneh Kaviani made an amazingly delicious looking saffron  Ice cream and Baklava….. oh was my mouth was watering !! Afsaneh made it through to tomorrow and Im looking forward to see what else she is going to come up with. Well done Afsaneh.

Meanwhile here is the link to her recipe.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/saffron_and_pistachio_95163

Khashk e budemjun

~Khask e Budemjun~

Ingredients~

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup of liquid whey ( then add 2 tbsp of water)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of dried mint
  • 30 mls of liquid saffron

Preparation~

  1. Peel the aubergine and slice into 2 inch lengths, sprinkle with salt and leave for about 30 mins until the bitter juices have drained. Wash and dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a little oil gently fry the mint until dark, drain and place to one side.

Method~

  1. Fry the chopped onions until golden and place to one side.
  2. Fry the chopped garlic until golden and place to one side.
  3. Fry the aubergine until golden.
  4. Add the onion and garlic, sprinkle on the salt, pepper, sugar and some of the mint leaving enough to garnish before serving.
  5. Add one small cup of water, enough to almost cover the aubergines.
  6. And finally gently pour on the saffron liquid.
  7. Leave on a low heat to cook for about 30 mins or until the aubergines are cooked.
  8. Use a masher and mash
  9. Transfer to a serving dish and pour on the whey. This can then be kept warm in an oven until ready to serve.
  10. Before serving garnish with mint alone or add walnuts and dates for a change.

~Nooshi Joonet ~

Tip : If you brush the aubergine in egg white before frying it prevents the aubergine from too much oil absorption.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZrimiOFEKE

This video courtesy of Press TV ( who I really can’t endorse because of their political affiliations) demonstrates how to make Khask e budemjun.

My recipe is a little different to Salomes but try both versions and see which you prefer!

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

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 ~

Lubia Polou or Persian Rice with Green Beans

Lubia Polou is a complete meal in itself with the tangy taste of limes and the sweetness of cinnamon. Completely gluten-free and a great meal for kids. You can make it with lamb or minced lamb or beef, which ever you prefer but this recipe uses minced beef. Simply replace with the meat of your choice.

Lubia Polou is ideal for lunch or dinner and is a balanced ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ dish.  I wish I could capture the smell in my kitchen right now, package it up and sell it!

~~LUBIA POLOU~~


~Ingredients~

  • 400 gr’s minced beef ( or small cubes of lamb or minced lamb)
  • 4 Cups of basmati rice
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 packet of fresh green beans ( you can used tinned or frozen ) cut into inch length
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of advieh
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground lime powder or 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 small cup of liquid saffron
  • A little vegetable oil

~To make the taadig~

  • 4 good tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron liquid
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

~Method~

  1. Thoroughly wash and re soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours beforehand.
  2. Rinse and leave to drain.
  3. Put a little oil in a fry pan and begin to brown the onion.
  4. When becoming a little golden, add the mince and garlic, salt and pepper and continue to fry until brown.
  5. Add the green beans, tomatoes, cinnamon, 3/4 spoon of advieh, lime powder and a cup of water. Mix well.
  6. Bring to the boil, cover and turn down the heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 mins or until the green beans are soft. You may need to add a little more water depending upon your heat setting.
  7. Meanwhile boil up a large pan of water and add 1-2 teaspoons of salt according to your taste.
  8. When boiling, add the rice and leave to bubble away for a few minutes until the rice has expanded and is soft to bite.
  9. Remove from the heat, drain and rinse in tepid water. Put the side to continue draining.
  10. Now prepare to make the taadig and bring it all together ~  Your meat should be almost cooked. Your rice is standing by!
  11. Take 4 tablespoons of yoghurt and add  1/2 teaspoon of liquid saffron and 3 tablespoons of rice. Mix well.
  12. In a large pan, add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat.
  13. Add the rice and yoghurt mix. It should sizzle a little.
  14. Add a layer of rice,  then a layer of meat and finally another layer of rice.
  15. Sprinkle the last of the advieh, a touch of cinnamon and either a little butter or ghee.
  16. Cover with a padded lid ( a lid securely wrapped in a tea towel) this finishes the cooking process and prevents condensation from dripping back onto the rice.
  17. About 1/2 hour before serving pour on remaining the liquid saffron, cover and leave to cook on a low heat for about 40 mins.
  18. Spoon  the rice onto your serving dish, and serve the taadig on a separate dish.

Serve with a fresh salad, a dish of sabzi khordan and naan or flat bread like pitta.

~Nooshi Joonet~ Love life, eat well and cook Persian~

Sabzi Polou ba morgh or Persian dill rice with chicken

Another of our favorite rice dishes Sabzi polou is easy to make and served with chicken, fresh herbs and salad it makes a great nutritious and gluten-free meal.  We eat the traditional persian way with a sofreh, it’s like a  table-cloth on the floor, unless we have guests when we sit at the table. The children love it! It’s a bit like having a picnic indoors!

Taadig is the crusty rice bottom. I have used potatoes in this recipe but you could use flat or unleavened bread. We rarely do because I have Coeliacs Disease, an allergy to gluten found in wheat.

SABZI POLOU BA MORGH

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 4 cups of basmati rice
  • 4 handfuls of dried dill
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt ( according to taste)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 thinly sliced potato for the taadig
  • 1/3 small cup or egg cup of liquid saffron

Method:

  1. Pre soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours
  2. Drain the rice and rinse well under running cold water and put to one side.
  3. Take a large pan, add plenty of water and bring to the boil.
  4. Add salt. If you like your rice a little salty add 1.5 – 2 teaspoons. Otherwise add 1 teaspoon.
  5. I always add a few drops of liquid saffron to the boiling water also but this is optional.
  6. When the water is boiling, add the rice and allow to boil.
  7. Add 3- 4 handfuls of dill. I have a medium size hand!
  8. The rice will swell and you should see them grow in length. Be careful not to let the rice become too soggy. You want the rice to be ‘al dente’ or soft to bite.
  9. When ‘al dente’ remove from the heat and drain.
  10. Lightly rinse the  rice again and put to the side.
  11. Meanwhile place a non stick pan on the heat, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and a few drops of saffron and mix.
  12. Take the thinly sliced potato’s and add them to the bottom of the pan. They should sizzle a little. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  13. Add the rice now
  14. Take a spoon with holes in and lightly pour on about a tablespoon of oil
  15. Cover with a lid wrapped in a clean tea towel and leave to cook for about 1.5 hours on the lowest heat setting you can. Please be careful and make sure the tea towel is secure to avoid risk of it catching alight.
  16. When the cooking time is finished pour the rest of the liquid saffron over the rice. Then take your serving dish (usually a large flat dish or tray) and place over the top of the pan and quickly turn upside down and your rice will come out as in the picture above. Alternatively spoon it onto your serving dish and arrange your crispy potatoes around or over the rice or simply serve the taadig on a separate dish.

CHICKEN RECIPE

I have only made enough for two but just increase the amount of chicken you use if you are cooking for more

Ingredients:

  • 3-4  Chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of liquid saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil
  • A knob of butter

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 200 c
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the chicken pieces.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Fry until golden
  5. Place some tin foil in an oven dish and add the chicken
  6. Pour a few teaspoons of liquid saffron over the chicken and add a knob of butter to each chicken piece.
  7. Wrap the foil around the chicken and cook in the oven for about 25 mins. This will vary according to the size of the chicken pieces you use.
  8. Half way through cooking time, remove from the oven and pour the liquid over the chicken again to keep it moist.
  9. Remove from the oven and pour the remaining liquid over the chicken before serving.

Serve with a salad, fresh herbs and mast or natural yoghurt.

Nooshi joonet. Enjoy