Aubergine Pirogue

The meaty aubergine or eggplant with earthy taste is brilliant as ingredient in stew, curry, salad, stuffed, roasted, grilled or deep fried.

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The following aubergine recipe is a simple vegetarian dish full of flavour and delicious plus pretty easy to prepare it.

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 large aubergines, sliced lengthwise

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice

  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated

  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

  • small bunch of spring onion, finely chopped

  • ½ tsp dried mint

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil

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How to make it??

Slice and place aubergines in a colander. Then sprinkle salt over it and allow it to drain for 1 hour. Salt draws out excess moisture and the bitterness. After an hour rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove the excess salt and pat it dry.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the eggplant slices. Allow to fry until golden and set aside.

In a large bowl with cooked rice, add chopped bell peppers, herbs, cheese, and spices. Mix until combine well.

In a tart mould set eggplant slices (overlap them a little, as you see in the photos).

Then cover base of the tart mould with eggplant slices too. Now spread rice mixture in the mould. With a spoon press down the rice. Place 3-4 eggplant slices on the top centre of the rice and fold up aubergine slices as you see in the photos.

Put the mould in the oven and allow to bake for about 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, let it to cool for 5 minutes and then turn the tin up side down.

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Cut the eggplant pirogue into the pieces and serve it with tortilla bread and garlic-yogurt mixture.

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Aubergine piroque

Ingredients

  • 4-5 large aubergines, sliced lengthwise

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice

  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated

  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

  • small bunch of spring onion, finely chopped

  • ½ tsp dried mint

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil

How to make it??

Slice and place aubergines in a colander. Then sprinkle salt over it and allow it to drain for 1 hour. Salt draws out excess moisture and the bitterness. After an hour rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove the excess salt and pat it dry.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the eggplant slices. Allow to fry until golden and set aside.

In a large bowl with cooked rice, add chopped bell peppers, herbs, cheese, and spices. Mix until combine well.

In a tart mould set eggplant slices (overlap them a little, as you see in the photos). Then cover base of the tart mould with eggplant slices too. Now spread rice mixture in the mould. With a spoon press down the rice. Place 3-4 eggplant slices on the top centre of the rice and fold up aubergine slices as you see in the photos.

Put the mould in the oven and allow to bake for about 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, let it to cool for 5 minutes and then turn the tin up side down.  Cut the eggplant pirogue into the pieces and serve it with tortilla bread and garlic-yogurt mixture.

My Persian Cat

I have a lovely lovely cat, super cute. His name is Malus which means super cute in Farsi. He is 6 years old and so kind, friendly and peaceful.

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He is just a gorgeous and clever creature. Every morning, he wakes me up, and  if i ignore him, I will receive several punches.

I take him out for daily walking, yes do not be surprised,  i take him with a lead  for a walk and he loves to visit neighbours and jump top of the walls or sitting for hours and hours on the wooden fence of our garden and staring.

He is just an amazing company that i never get tired of being with him.

When we go out and leave him alone at home, when we get back he just runs and come to us, like a human baby.

He  loves a lot sticks and flies. He is a good hunter. He never ever scratch you .

 

When i take him out for  his daily walk, and  people see a cat with a lead being walk  like a dog , they are  just surprised and  ask me is it a dog or cat? oh we thought it is dog!!!

Oh how friendly, what a lovely cat,may i touch him, and i say , sure , of course you can.

He has a very soft and silky hair. He loves to be brushed everyday.

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I love him so much, and I just wanted to introduce him to the  world.

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My Pumkin-Walnuts Dessert

An easy recipe for a delicious and  humble dessert.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin
  • ½ cup walnuts, crushed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

 

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How to make it???

Preheat your oven to 176 C.

Rinse off the pumpkin. Cut off pumpkin lid. Use a knife to stab outer shell a few times, to allow for ventilation. Then place the pumpkin in a glass baking dish and transfer the dish into the oven to roast for about 45-60 minutes. The duration for roasting depending on the size of the pumpkin.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, add crushed walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and fry for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Once the pumpkin is roasted, Let to cool down, Use a spoon and scrape out the seeds. Cut pumpkin into slices but do not need to separate the slices ( as you see in the photos).

Fill centre of pumpkin with fried walnuts and sprinkle some icing sugar top of it.

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My Pumpkin-Walnuts Dessert

Ingredients

1 pumpkin

½ cup walnuts, crushed

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1tbsp unsalted butter

How to make it???

Preheat your oven to 176C.

Rinse off the pumpkin. Cut off pumpkin lid. Use a knife to stab outer shell a few times, to allow for ventilation. Then place the pumpkin in a glass baking dish and transfer the dish into the oven to roast for about 45-60 minutes. The duration for roasting depending on the size of the pumpkin. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, add crushed walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and fry for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Once the pumpkin is roasted, Let to cool down, Use a spoon and scrape out the seeds. Cut pumpkin into slices but do not need to separate the slices ( as you see in the photos).

Fill centre of pumpkin with fried walnuts and sprinkle some icing sugar top of it.

 

My Homemade Sushi Recipe

Well first of all I should confess I dislike seafood. So I had no idea I could eat Sushi or Sashimi. So once I was with Japanese friends in a restaurant, they ordered Sushi, and asked me to try. I said, nooooooooooo, never, ever,, I do not like cooked fish so how can I eat raw fish, but they insisted and I tried but you can imagine my face when I wanted to try sushi. Then magic happened and I was in love with sushi. Oh my God, it was FAN TAS TIC, so delicious, so tasty and not a fishy tasting fish.

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The popular and commonly raw fish used for Sushi are: Tuna, Salmon, Octopus, cuttlefish, prawn, squid. For making Sushi, a very important factor in eating raw fish is freshness, so you need sushi grade fish from a qualified supplier. Then you would need a dark green seaweed wrappers or Nori.

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So if you are a Sushi lover, as I am, here is an easy and tasty sushi recipe. Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that is low in fat and high in protein. Sushi literally means sour, due to using vinegared rice. Main ingredients for making Sushi is sticky rice. There are varieties of Sushi for vegetarians and non vegetarians.

 

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First of all for making Sushi you should consider a few items such as:

  • Sushi mat or rolling mat
  • Wasabi
  • Soy sauce
  • Nori or Sea weed sheets
  • Sharp knife

Secondly, is about  what you can put in Sushi as ingredients!! Answer is you can use smoked or raw Salmon fish, Tuna, Shrimp, squid, egg, and vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, asparagus,carrots ….

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Ingredients

  • 250g sushi rice, cooked
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • Smoked Salmon fish
  • Avocado, sliced
  • cucumber, sliced lengthwise and take out the seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Sushi mat
  • Cling film

  • Sharp knife

How to make it??!!

Cook sushi rice and let it cool down. As the rice is chilling down, add vinegar. Mix together and set aside. Vinegar adds flavour and taste to sushi.

Crack the eggs, add pinch of sugar and beat them. Heat the oil in a pan and pour in the eggs . Allow to cook and then roll it. Once omelette is done, slice the omelette lengthwise.

Cut Salmon meat into nice thin strips or slices. Cut avocado and cucumber into thin strips too. Now everything is ready for sushi.

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Put cling film onto a sushi mat ( it will make it easier to prepare sushi). One side of Nori sheet is silky and other side is rough. So place smooth side down and rough side facing you.

Wet your hand, grab a ball of rice and gently spread on sea weed sheet. Now, get a strip of salmon fish, avocado and cucumber and omelette and place them on the rice. Roll the mat and slightly squeeze and roll it again.

Other way for making sushi is, to spread the rice on one side of the nori . Then sprinkle sesame seeds on the rice and flip over it and place slices of salmon fish, avocado and cucumber and roll it.

Now dip the knife into the water and take off the ends of the sushi and them slice them all in same size.

Serve sushi with Wasabi, soy sauce, pickled ginger.

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My Homemade Sushi

Ingredients

  • 250 g sushi rice, cooked
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • Smoked Salmon fish
  • Avocado, sliced
  • cucumber, sliced lengthwise and take out the seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Sushi mat
  • Cling film

  • Sharp knife

 

How to make it??!!

Cook sushi rice and let it cool down. As the rice is chilling down, add vinegar. Mix together and set aside. Vinegar adds flavour and taste to sushi.

Crack the eggs, add pinch of sugar and beat them. Heat the oil in a pan and pour in the eggs . Allow to cook and then roll it. Once omelet is done, slice the omelet lengthwise.

Cut Salmon meat into nice thin strips or slices. Cut avocado and cucumber into thin strips too. Now everything is ready for sushi.

Put cling film onto a sushi mat ( it will make it easier to prepare sushi.

One side of Nori sheet is silky and other side is rough. So place smooth side down and rough side facing you.

Wet your hand, grab a ball of rice and gently spread on sea weed sheet. Now, get a strip of salmon fish, avocado and cucumber and omelet and place them on the rice. Roll the mat and slightly squeeze and roll it again.

Other way for making sushi is, to spread the rice on one side of the nori . Then sprinkle sesame seeds on the rice and flip over it and place slices of salmon fish, avocado and cucumber and roll it.

Now dip the knife into the water and take off the ends of the sushi and them slice them all in same size.

Serve sushi with Wasabi, soy sauce, pickled ginger.

Bulgur Kofte

Bulgur kofte or bulgur  balls are suitable dish for vegetarians. These lovely bulgur balls or kofte are gorgeous and yummy. This is one of quick and hearty dishes you can try.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups bulgur
  • 2 cups boiled water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbps tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Ingredients for saucepan

  • 2 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Handful fresh or dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How to make it??

In a bowl with bulgur, add 2 cups of boiled water, mix together and cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add egg, flour, tomato paste, cumin powder, paprika, and season with salt and pepper.

Mix together and then add 1/3 cup water to the bulgur mixture and combine all ingredients together very well. As you squeeze more, the texture of kofte would be better.

Grease your hands with oil and start to make small balls or kofte.

Now, we prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add grated garlic, fry couple of minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses to the garlic, sauté for a minute. Sauce is ready.

At this point, add some water and 1tsp salt to a pot and bring it to a boil, then add all kofte into the boiled water.You would see all kofte will sit at the bottom of the pot and once they are cooked and ready, will come to the surface of the boiled water.

At this point collect all of cooked kofte and add them into the sauce pan. Gently mix all together . Serve it in a plate topped with chopped parsley.

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Bulgur Kofte

Ingredients

2 cups bulgur

2 cups boiled water

1 cup all purpose flour

1 egg

1 tbps tomato paste

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Ingredients for saucepan

2 clove garlic, grated

1 ½ tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Handful fresh or dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it??

In a bowl with bulgur, add 2 cups of boiled water, mix together and cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add egg, flour, tomato paste, cumin powder, paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together and then add 1/3 cup water to the bulgur mixture and combine all ingredients together very well. As you squeeze more, the texture of kofte would be better.

Grease your hands with oil and start to make small balls or kofte.

Now, we prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add grated garlic, fry couple of minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses to the garlic, sauté for a minute. Sauce is ready.  At this point, add some water and 1tsp salt to a pot and bring it to a boil, then add all kofte into the boiled water.You would see all kofte will sit at the bottom of the pot and once they are cooked and ready, will come to the surface of the boiled water. At this point collect all of cooked kofte and add them into the sauce pan. Gently mix all together . Serve it in a plate topped with chopped parsley.

Vegetarian kebab

This is one of the  tastiest vegetarian kebabs which is made with bread and vegetabls. It is simple but super tasty and easy to make it, with crispy texture, golden outside and fulllllllllllll of flavour. You may serve it with yogurt, sweet chilli sauce, any kind of chutney or ketchup.

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Ingredients

  • 5 slices of fresh white or brown bread
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon juice
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it???

Put slices of bread into a food processor or blender and blend it until crush and look like soft bread crumbs and set aside.

Put cooked chickpeas into a mixing bowl. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mint and coriander leaves, lemon juice, yogurt and oil to the chickpeas. Blend until become purée. Add puree mixture and all spices to the bread crumbs, mix until combine well.

Grease your hand, take a small portion of mixture and roll it like a hot dog, however you can give ball shape or cutlet/ round burger shape too. Once all kebabs are done, you may push the wooden sticks into the kebab . it ‘s just optional.

Now heat the oil or butter in a saucepan. Place kebabs into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden crispy.

Serve it with your favourite sauce.

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Vegetarian kebab

Ingredients

  • 5 slices of fresh white or brown bread
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon juice
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

How to make it???

Put slices of bread into a food processor or blender and blend it until crush and look like soft bread crumbs and set aside.

Put cooked chickpeas into a mixing bowl. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mint and coriander leaves, lemon juice, yogurt and oil to the chickpeas. Blend until become purée. Add puree mixture and all spices to the bread crumbs, mix until combine well.

Grease your hand, take a small portion of mixture and roll it like a hot dog, however you can give ball shape or cutlet/ round burger shape too.

Once all kebabs are done, you may push the wooden sticks into the kebab . it ‘s just optional.

Now heat the oil or butter in a saucepan. Place kebabs into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden crispy.

Serve it with your favourite sauce.

 

Potato Salad

Potato salad is a popular dish,  made with boiled potatoes and other ingredients. There are so many variations of potato salad and today I have also two good ones. This is an instant and easy salad.

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Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup yogurt or Mayo
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it??

Place the potatoes in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover the top of potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes. skin off potatoes, add butter or olive oil, lemon juice, and mash with potato masher.

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Now, add all above munitioned spices and chopped parsley. Mix all together. Taste again, if needs add more salt and pepper.

Take an orange size of potato mixture and shape it like a bowl ( as you see in the photos). Once all potato bowls are done, place them in a plate and set aside.

Now, mix yogurt with grated garlic, pinch of pepper and mix them.

Pour 1-2 tbsp of yogurt inside each potato ball. Serve potato salad topped with sweet chilli sauce.

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Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup yogurt or Mayo
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it??

Place the potatoes in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover the top of potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes. skin off potatoes, add butter or olive oil, lemon juice, and mash with potato masher.

Now, add all above munitioned spices and chopped parsley. Mix all together. Taste again, if needs add more salt and pepper.

Take an orange size of potato mixture and shape it like a bowl ( as you see in the photos). Once all potato bowls are done, place them in a plate and set aside.

Now, mix yogurt with grated garlic, pinch of pepper and mix them. Pour 1-2 tbsp of yogurt inside each potato ball. Serve potato salad topped with sweet chilli sauce.

Potato-Beetroot Salad

This potato beetroot salad is a light, fresh, colourful and delicious salad.

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Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes
  • 1 large beetroot, cooked and grated
  • ½ lemon or lime
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp cooked carrots
  • 2 tbsp cooked corn
  • 2 tbsp cooked green peas
  • 2 tbsp pickled cucumber, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it??

Place the potatoes in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover the top of potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes. skin off potatoes, and mash with potato masher.

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Squeeze grated beetroot to get rid of juice. Add beetroot, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil, to the mashed potatoes and mix all ingredients together. Taste again, if needs add more salt and pepper.

Take an orange size of potato mixture and shape it like a bowl ( as you see in the photos). Once all potato bowls are done, place them in a plate and set aside.

Mix yogurt and mayo in a bowl. Add cooked carrots, corn, green peas and pickled cucumber. Season with salt and pepper. Combine all together.

 

Pour 1 tbps of yogurt mixture inside each potato bowl and serve it.

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Potato-Beetroot Salad

 

Ingredients
  • 5 potatoes
  • 1 large beetroot, cooked and grated
  • ½ lemon or lime
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp cooked carrots
  • 2 tbsp cooked corn
  • 2 tbsp cooked green peas
  • 2 tbsp pickled cucumber, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How to make it??
Place the potatoes in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover the top of potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes. skin off potatoes, and mash with potato masher. 
Squeeze grated beetroot to get rid of juice. Add beetroot, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil, to the mashed potatoes and mix all ingredients together. Taste again, if needs add more salt and pepper.
Take an orange size of potato mixture and shape it like a bowl ( as you see in the photos). Once all potato bowls are done, place them in a plate and set aside. Mix yogurt and mayo in a bowl.
Add cooked carrots, corn, green peas and pickled cucumber. Season with salt and pepper. Combine all together.  Pour 1 tbps of yogurt mixture inside each potato bowl and serve it.

Persian rice with sour cherries (Albaloo polo)

Sour cherry or Morello cherry is called ‘ Albaloo’ in Persian language. Iranian housewives make different things with albaloo such as: sour cherr juice, hot and cold drinks, jam and stew, cake and cookies. One of the Iranian famous rice dish is called Alballoo polo/pilaf which is made with sour cherries, spices and different meats such as: beef, lamb, or chicken and meat balls.

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The spices used in this pilaf vary but typically include Persian saffron and cinnamon. In Iranian cuisine there are wonderful mild sweet dishes such as: Fesenjan, Jewelled rice, Basterma pilaf, Albaloo polo and . And, and………….

Albaloo polo is mind blowing rice dish with combination of sweet/tangy taste. It’s moist and fluffy with plenty of morello cherries.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups sour cherries
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 g chicken breast or thigh, cooked
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 2 tbsp Persian saffron water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

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How to make???

Soak the rice in salted water for an hour. Meanwhile, Place deseeded cherries in a pan. Add sugar and simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Then place the cherries in a colander and let to drain the juice.

Melt the butter in a pan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, 1 tbps saffron water and stir. Then add cooked chicken to the butter and fry for 5 minutes. In this point, toss in the cherries and fry for 5 minutes more and set aside.

Pour in water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Drain the salted water of rice and add the rice to the boiling water and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse the rice with cold water.

Add some oil to the pot, place a tortilla bread over the oiled base. Place some rice over the bread, then place half of the cherries and chicken mixture. Repeat until the rice and cherries mixture are used up.

Pour some saffron water, and albaloo juice over the rice. Place pieces of butter top of the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes on medium to low heat.

Serve the rice in a plate along with the crispy tortilla from bottom of the pot that is called ‘ Tahdig’ in Farsi.

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Grains– Beans and Greens Soup

The taste of this soup might be new or exotic for Europeans or Americans. It is a light soup with delicious taste. A combination of bulgur, rice, beans, fresh green herbs and spices such as turmeric. It is an easy recipe that you can make it in an hour.

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Ingredients

  • 250g adzuki beans

  • 120g bulgur

  • 100g rice

  • 200g black eyed beans

  • 200g spinach leaves, chopped

  • 100g spring onions,chopped

  • 1 tsp dried tarragon

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 beef stock cubes

  • Olive oil

Instructions

Soak the beans and bulgur for at least 6 hours in enough cold water to cover them. Drain when ready to use.

Place black eyed beans and adzuki beans in a pot, Pour enough water and allow to cook until soft and set aside.Heat the olive oil in a pan, fry chopped onion for 3 minutes and then add to the beans pot.

 Dissolve beef cubes in 800ml water and add it to the cooked beans.

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At this point,   add bulgur- rice, dried tarragon and turmeric into the pot and season with spices and some oil. Bring it to a boil.

Then turn down and simmer for 45 minutes. In last ten minutes add chopped spinach and spring onions.

Before serve, check the seasoning. ِYou may serve this soup as it is or blend it in a food processor and puree it. Garnish with some fried onion and serve with bread and butter.

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