Faloodeh. Love at first bite

~~FALOODEH ~~

Faloodeh is an experience you will never regret. It has its roots back  in ancient Persia and is particularly associated with Shiraz.  With  a consistency of something between a slush puppy and sorbet, it’s memorable because of the rice noodles and refreshingly delicious due to  the sweetness of the rose-water and sourness of the limes . The combination of these three ingredients makes it distinctive and fairly unique to Iran. I’ve never come across any one who doesn’t love it at first bite. …..

This is my recipe for Faloodeh, you will no doubt find other versions but this is easy.  Add lime or lemon juice, it works well with the sweetness of the rose-water and add sour cherry syrup, pistachios and mint to garnish. Perfect desert for any time of the year and delightfully refreshing in the summer months!

Faloodeh – Rice Noodle Sorbet

~Recipe for use with an ice cream maker or by hand ~

Ingredients ~

  • 2  cups of caster  sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of rose-water
  • 1 Vietnamese rice noodles (vermicelli) broken into 2 inch pieces.

garnish: pistachios, sour cherry syrup, any berries, fresh lime juice and lime wedges.

Method:

  1. Boil the rice noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds (or according to instructions) and no more or they will be too mushy.
  2. Remove the noodles from the pan, rinse  under cold water and put to one side.
  3. Place the sugar and water into a pan and bring to the point just before it boils.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rose-water and set aside.
  5. Allow it to cool off completely.
  6. Pour this mixture into an ice cream maker and turn it on.  Allow it begin to set then add half of the noodles and then follow the same process again.
  7. Set the Ice cream maker to ‘sorbet’ setting, turn on  and relax !
  8. OR combine the mix as above, place in a bowl and allow to begun to set in the freezer. After about an hour, remove from the freezer and gently using a fork, disturb the setting process and then place back in the freezer and repeat a few times until you’re happy with the consistency.

For garnish: Traditional:  Lime juice , mint, and pistachios. As an alternative  try sour cherry syrup juice, Mango syrup or any seasonal berries  raspberries are delicious or mango and strawberries, blueberries or any fruit you fancy.

Nooshi joonet ~ you’re going to enjoy this !

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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!

Sharbat e ablimu Lime or Lemon syrup

The sun is shinning and my thoughts turn to sharbat e ablimu, such a refreshing drink for hot weather such as we are enjoying ( for a change) here in the UK.   It couldn’t be easier to make and by making the  concentrate or syrup instead of following the traditional recipes for lemonade, you will have enough to last for a week.

~~SHAHBAT E ABLIMU~~ LIME ONADE ~~

Ingredients~

  • 10 cups of sugar ( ochhh not for those watching their weight )
  • 4 cups of water
  • The juice of 20  fresh limes or lemons

Method~

  1. Squeeze the limes by first rolling them on a hard surface with your hands, then extract the juice in the normal way … engage someone with strong hands! It gets tiring.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the fresh lime juice passing it through a strainer into the sugary water
  4. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  it should have become a thicker  syrupy mixture.
  5. Allow to cool
  6. Store in a clean bottle with a lid and keep in the fridge.

To make the sharbat:

  1. In a jug, add 1 cup of syrup to 3/4  pint of water and mix well. You may want it stronger so just increase the amount of syrup.
  2. Add a few ice cubes and decorate with a sprig of mint and sliced limes  🙂

~Nooshi joonet ~

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

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!

Nan e Berenji or Rice flour cookies

Nan e Berenji originates from the Kermanshah region of Iran. Pure delight for me because they are made from rice flour.  These delicious little cookies melt in your mouth and are just perfect  to nibble  on with your afternoon tea. They are just the right size for little mouths too… the children in our family adore them.

I know this recipe looks long and complicated but it’s not. There are three parts to it, unless you already have ghee, in which case there are only two.

NAN E BERENI


Ingredients:

  • 240 mls  or 1 cup of ghee or clarified butter
  • 720 mls or 3 cups rice flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cardamom powder
  • poppy seeds to garnish
  • the syrup (below)

Method for clarified butter:

  1. Either use ghee or clarify your own butter by heating it slowly over a low heat until it boils.
  2. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and remove the bubbly froth
  3. Remove from heat and put to one side.
  4. Once it settles and hardens you will have ghee.

Ingredients for the syrup:

  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 8 tablespoons of rose-water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice

Method for syrup:

  1. Add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Allow to simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat.
  3. Add the rose-water and lime juice and leave to cool.

Method for the cookies:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 c and prepare a biscuit baking tray by lining with grease proof paper.  Place to one side.
  2. Make the syrup and leave to cool.
  3. Take a bowl, preferably a plastic one and beat the egg  yolks until thick and creamy
  4. Add in the cool syrup and place to one side.
  5. In a another bowl add the rice flour, butter and cardamom and beat well.
  6. Add the egg yolks and mix for 15-20 minutes to create a dough and to ensure there’s lots of air in the mix.
  7. Knead the dough briefly. It should not be sticky at this point.
  8. Take a teaspoon of dough and roll into a small round shape and then flatten slightly and arrange on the baking tray leaving a distance of about 2.5 cm’s between each cookie.
  9. Decorate the biscuits if you wish and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  10. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes.
  11. Remove carefully as they are quite delicate and allow to cool.

Dahan-et shirin basheh — May your mouth be sweet.

Sholleh Zard or sweet yellow rice pudding

I’d forgotten how delicious Sholleh Zard is but was reminded at a Norooz gathering last weekend and I  thought I’d make it and share the recipe with you.

Sholleh  Zard is a bright yellow sweet rice pudding and everywhere in the world seems to have their own versions. In Iran it is made with zaafaran and rose-water and best eaten cold although some regions in Iran like to serve it warm. The ingredients are a wonderful blend of flavors that is typically Persian and will lift your spirits.

Here is a very simple recipe which serves 6-8 people.

Sholleh  Zard

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of basmati rice ( you can use any rice)
  • 6 cups of water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of rose-water
  • 1.5  or 2 cups of sugar
  • 250 gr’s of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron
  • 3/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom ( optional)
  • Pistachios to garnish

Method:

  1. Grind the saffron with a little sugar and dissolve  in about 50 ml’s of hot water. Cover and leave to stand, stir occasionally.
  2. Rinse the rice under cold water under the water runs clear.
  3. Bring the 6 cups of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and then add the rice.
  4. Cook the rice on a low to medium heat until the water has evaporated and the rice becomes mushy. You will need to stir occasionally to avoid any burning. This might take between 45 mins to  an hour.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the saffron, rose-water, sugar almonds and cardamom.
  6. Return to the lowest heat setting you can, cover and leave to simmer for about another 45 mins or until the pudding is thick and creamy and coats the back of a spoon.
  7. Stir it occasionally and you may need to add more water as you go.
  • You can continue to cook until the rice becomes completely smooth but we like ours with a little form.

To serve:

Pour into your serving dish, usually a shallow bowl or into individual bowls if preferred and allow to cool. Garnish with cinnamon and pistachios before serving.

Sholleh Zard should be stored in the fridge and can be kept for between 4 -6 days.