My Pumkin-Walnuts Dessert

An easy recipe for a delicious and  humble dessert.

DSC_0730.JPG

Ingredients

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

 

DSC_0716

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.

DSC_0725DSC_0727DSC_0726DSC_0728DSC_0731DSC_0733DSC_0734DSC_0735DSC_0729

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.

 

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.

1.JPG

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.

DSC_0689

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

DSC_0654

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.

DSC_0699DSC_069634910DSC_0693DSC_0686DSC_06832115DSC_06817


 

 

 

French Toast

French toast is one tastiest bread dish which is slices of bread soaked in mixture of egg and milk or cream with lovely spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

DSC_0194.JPG

French toast is known with different names such as gypsy toast, German toast, or eggy bread.

Cooked slices of bread might be served as a sweet dish with maple syrup , jam or honey and might be served as a savory dish with tomato sauce.

جلد.JPG

Ingredients

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • Butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • 3tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

How to make it??

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and cream.Butter the slices of bread on both sides. Then soak the slices of bread in the egg mixture for 10 minutes, and turning to coat boat sides.

Fry the slices of bread on lightly greased on a skillet on medium heat until browned on both side.

Transfer the French toast to a plate and pour over honey , jam or maple syrup.

DSC_0192DSC_0193DSC_0194DSC_0206DSC_0204DSC_0202DSC_0200DSC_0198DSC_0197DSC_0206DSC_0201

 


French toast

Ingredients

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • Butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • 3tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

How to make it??

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and cream.Butter the slices of bread on both sides. Then soak the slices of bread in the egg mixture for 10 minutes, and turning to coat boat sides.Fry the slices of bread on lightly greased on a skillet on medium heat until browned on both side. Transfer the French toast to a plate and pour over honey , jam or maple syrup.

Tahchin Shevid- Baghali (Persian Dill & Broad Beans Rice Cake

Traditionally this rice dish is called Tahchin or upside down rice also known as Persian baked rice cake. Tahchin is an Iranian divine rice dish with beautiful presentation. It’s made of layered meat and rice. It may not look like much from the outside but the combination of cooked meat, yogurt, egg and aromatic spices with rice create a crunchy outer crust and soft inside rice. We Iranians love our Tahchin.

DSC_0482.JPG

There are different versions of Tahchin made with red meat, chicken, and vegetables. My today’s Tahchin is made with combination of dill or (ُُ Shevid  in Persian) and broad beans or (Baghali  in Persian) with chicken .

DSC_0506

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Iranian rice ( due to it’s amazing aroma and taste)

  • 400 g chicken fillet, cooked and diced

  • 2 cups Broad beans or Fava beans, cooked

  • 1 cup dried dill

  • 500 g Greek yogurt

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp cardamom

  • 3 tbsp Persian saffron water

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil

 

How to make it

Yogurt is important ingredient in making Tahchin. We need a sort of thick yogurt, therefore, I have used a traditional way that my mother used to apply and make a thick creamy yogurt by Pouring regular yogurt into a double layer of cheesecloth or kitchen cloth. Tied up the cloth.. Hang it over a bowl and leave to drain overnight. ( as you will see in the following photos).. You would see the liquid left in the bowl. Resulting is a thick yogurt.  Wash the rice. Soak it in the salted water for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, fry the onion until slightly soft. Add diced chicken meat. Stir in salt- pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, dried rose petal, dried dill and Fava beans ( just keep 1 tbsp of Fava bean for later) for 2-3 minutes.

Now, In a bowl, mix yogurt with eggs, 2 tbsp of Persian saffron water, pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk it until combine well and set aside.

Pour water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add the rice to the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and drain the rice.Add half of the drained rice and half of the chicken mixture into the yogurt mixture bowl and gently blend together.

Pour some oil into a non stick pot or pan, spread 1 tbsp of plain fava bean on the bottom of the pot. Spread rice mixture into the pot ( as you see in the photos) and flatten with wooden spoon or spatula.

Then, layer second half of the chicken mixture around the edges of the surface. Finally, layer with second half of the white rice and cover the entire surface. Flatten the top with the back of a large spatula or spoon while pressing down( as you see in the photo). Pour 1 tbsp of saffron water over the rice.

Place the pot on medium heat for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat cover the pot with a lid and cook it for 45-60 minutes until the crust forms.

Once rice is done, let it cool for few minutes. Place a serving platter on top of the pot and gently turn the pot over, Voila you have a wonderful rice cake shape dish. Sooooooooo delish.

 

 

DSC_0479DSC_0483DSC_0487DSC_0491DSC_0499DSC_0503DSC_0505DSC_0502DSC_0485DSC_0508DSC_0500DSC_0481DSC_0486DSC_0490DSC_0493DSC_0506

Harissa ( Wheat Bulgar Porridge From South of Iran)

Haleem,  or hareesa is a thick and delicious porridge. Basically, this dish is made of boiled ground wheat or barley (bulgur) mixed with spiced meat….Haleem ( Halim) is popular dish in Iran, Arab countries around the Persian Gulf, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

DSC_0859.JPG

Haleem, hareesa, Jareesh, Keskeh or Arizah has different recipes and varies from region to region.

Haresse or halim is a dish for breakfast, and very popular especially during month of the Ramadan and also as a breakfast in the weekends. According to Wikipedia, the first written Hareese recipe dates back to the 10th century.

DSC_0780.JPG

This is a slow cooked dish for 6-7 hours. My following recipe belongs to South of Iran and in  cities South of Iran, this dish is called ‘ Hareese’ that is served as breakfast. 

The meat for this dish might be lamb, beef, mutton, turkey or chicken. The key point is frying the meat in spices such as turmeric and cinnamon which gives it amazing flavour.

DSC_0865.JPG

Ingredients

  • 250g lamb meat
  • 1 cup wheat bulgur, soaked in the water overnight
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp black or white sesame seeds
  • butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Heat the oil in a pot and add the meat. Fry the meat until brown. Then add turmeric and 1 half of cinnamon powder to the meat and saute for 2 minutes. This will give lovely flavour to the meat. Now add water to the pot and bring it to a boil.

Drain the bulgur and once water starts to boil, add, pinch of salt, bulgur, black sesame seeds, and sugar.

Reduce the heat and allow to cook until meat is tender and dish is thickened. Once dish has reached to consistency, you need to mash it. Traditionally a wooden masher was used, but nowadays you can use a blender or mixer and make it puree.

Serve harissa in a platter, topping with melted butter, cinnamon, sugar and sesame seeds.

DSC_0858DSC_0869DSC_0857DSC_0868DSC_0856DSC_0867DSC_0855DSC_0866DSC_0854DSC_0865DSC_0853DSC_0859DSC_0848DSC_0849DSC_0860DSC_0850DSC_0861DSC_0851DSC_0862DSC_0852DSC_0863

Sheermal Bread ( Naan Sheermal)

Sheermal/shirmal bread naan  is a traditional mildly sweet flatbread in Iran. Sheer means milk in Persian language,and because the dough is kneaded with milk instead of water , it’s called sheermal, means a bread made with milk.

DSC_0844.JPG

Sheermal bread is popular in Iran, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Semnan سمنان is located in South of foothills of Alborz Mountains. Semnan is one of historical and ancient cities of Iran, which was an important city throughout the era of the Persian Achaemenid Empire ( 550-330BC).

DSC_0853

 

Anyway, if you travel to ancient city of Semnan and towns around Semnan, among the souvenirs of this city, such as pistachio, walnuts, local breads, silk made cloth, halva, candy sugar and fruit leather, Sheermal bread naan is very popular between tourists, that is baked in Seman city for over 100 years.

Sheermal bread naan is one of bread for month of Ramadan.

DSC_0862

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten as egg wash
  • 1 tbsp dried yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

DSC_0744.JPG

Instructions

In a bowl, mix sugar, yeast, and milk warm together.

 

In other bowl mix flour with salt and then pour milk mixture, beaten egg, and melted butter in it. Combine together. Oil your hand and knead the dough with your hand for 6-7 minutes until is smooth and no longer sticky.

Cover the dough, and let to rest until double in size. You can leave the dough in a corner of your kitchen in room temperature , to rise but it will take long time dough double in size but if preheat the oven for few minutes, and then turn off the oven and by this way you can create a warm environment to speed the dough to proof and rising up.

Preheat  the oven to 160C.Line your baking tray with parchment paper and once dough is ready, place it on the parchment paper. Sprinkle some flour top of it and deflate the dough.

Cover the dough and let to rest for another 20 minutes. Then give favourite decoration or design to the bread.

Egg wash top of the dough and garnish with sesame seeds. Sprinkle pinch of cinnamon powder on the dough. Transfer the dough into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

DSC_0828

DSC_0844DSC_0845DSC_0846DSC_0857DSC_0870DSC_0858DSC_0868DSC_0860DSC_0863DSC_0847DSC_0851DSC_0854DSC_0865DSC_0855DSC_0866DSC_0856DSC_0876DSC_0875DSC_0874DSC_0872

Golap Sweets (Rose Pitha )

I love to try foods and sweets from different countries. One of those beautiful desserts that I tried a famous dessert from Bangladesh that is called Golap pitha.

 

DSC_0964.JPG

Golap means rose. Making these pretty colourful roses is lots of fun and they are very tasty. They look gorgeous with lovely sweet taste of spices such as cardamom or cinnamon.

DSC_0961.JPG

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or butter
  • ّFood colouring

 

For syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Pinch of cardamom or cinnamon

DSC_0889

Instructions

Add milk, flour and ghee to a pan on low heat and mix well. Stir continuously and cook it for 2 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes. Next, Place it on a board and knead the dough for 2 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 balls. If you wish to have multi coloured sweets roses, add pinch of food colouring to the dough and set aside.

Using a rolling pan, roll each ball into a thin flat dough. Use a glass and cut flattened dough and cut into small circles. Roll small piece of dough and make tiny drop shape dough.( see the photos).

For making a rose, you need 3 of theses small circles. Place 3 small circles on top of each other make a hollow with your finger in the centre of dough. from the centre of the dough make 3 cuts ( as you see in the photo).

Put the small drop in the centre and start to fold each petal round the drop. Keep doing until finish all petals.

Cut the green colour dough into leaf shapes. Add one cup sugar and cardamom with 1 ½ cups water to a pot and dissolve the sugar. Let it boil for 5 minutes until it become a little thick.

Heat the oil on a medium heat and fry rose shaped dough until it fried and cooked inside. Take out fried Golap pitha from the oil and soak in warm syrup for a minute and transfer it to a plate.

.

DSC_0956DSC_0966DSC_0965DSC_0977DSC_0973DSC_0964DSC_0982DSC_0960DSC_0967DSC_0970DSC_0958

 

 

Carrot- prunes stew

One of classic stews from Iran is called carrot prunes stew that comes originally from Tabriz city an old and famous city in NW of Iran. Carrot is called Havij, and Prune is called Aloo in Farsi language.

DSC_0730

This stew is a festival of colour, flavor and beauty. Combination of lamb meat, carrots, prunes with Persian saffron, turmeric, fresh lime juice, …. just create a sensational dish.

DSC_0718

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, spiralized or grated
  • 1 lamb shank
  • Handful dried prunes
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1 lime or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp Persian saffron water
  • Vegetable oil

DSC_0709

Method

Wash carrots before peeling. Then spiralize them. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry carrots until golden. Transfer carrots to a plate and add one of chopped onion to the same pan. Fry until golden brown.

In a pot with water, add lamb meat, and one of chopped onion. Leave to cook until tender.

Once meat is cooked, add fried onion, carrots, prunes,  turmeric, saffron water, season with salt and pepper, squeeze over the lime juice and add 1 cup boiling water.

DSC_0704

Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice.

DSC_0730DSC_0739

DSC_0734DSC_0749DSC_0745

DSC_0735DSC_0736DSC_0737DSC_0743DSC_0741DSC_0733DSC_0744DSC_0748DSC_0739DSC_0737DSC_0731DSC_0742

Azerbaijani Rice Pilaf with Milk ( Sutti Polow)

This is a traditional rice pilaf made in milk and serves with beautifully fried raisins and dates in butter, cinnamon and saffron. In some recipes you can serve rice either  with smoked fish, that is just yum or with raisins and dates.

DSC_0653

 

DSC_0663

 

Ingredients

2 cups rice

2 cups milk

1 ½ cups water

1 cup Dates

1 cup raisins

3tbsp butter

2tbsp vegetable oil

1tbsp Persian saffron water

1tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp turmeric

DSC_0635

Method

Rinse the rice. Pour all milk, water, rice and 2tbsp butter and vegetable oil into a pot. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add turmeric and Saffron water. Give a stir. Allow the rice to cook.

 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet, add raisins, cinnamon powder and saffron water. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened. Then remove from the heat and do same process with Dates.

DSC_0649

Serving milky rice with fried raisins and dates. If you like add a pad of butter to rice and give extra richness.

DSC_0651

DSC_0638

DSC_0654DSC_0655DSC_0666DSC_0665DSC_0664DSC_0662DSC_0660DSC_0661DSC_0670DSC_0673DSC_0656

Kataifi dessert

This is one of the most delicious desserts. It’s made with Kataifi dough that is filled with different ingredients such as pistachio, walnuts, mascarpone cheese or cream and soaked in honey-sugar syrup.It’s surprisingly easy to make. Just fill it, roll it up and bake it 🙂

 

DSC_0355

DSC_0371.JPG

Ingredients

400g kataifi philo

250g melted butter

DSC_0320

Ingredients for filling

2 ½ cups chopped pistachio or walnuts

2tbsp sugar

¼ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp clove powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder

 

Ingredients for syrup

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup honey-sugar

1tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tbsp orange blossom or rose water

DSC_0321.JPG

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C degree.

Mix all ingredients for filling together and set aside.

For Syrup, bring to a boil the water, add all ingredients except orange blossom. Reduce the heat and let to simmer for 10 minutes. Then add orange blossom or rose water and cook for 2 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Defrost kataifi dough by leaving it in the room temperature.

Take some of philo and spread out. Place of filling on the philo and roll it up. Place it in the baking tray.

Or butter inside the cup cakes. T ake some of kataifi philo and place inside the cup cake mould. Fill it with nuts, and cover the nuts with some more philo ( as you see in the photos).

Pour melted butter on top of rolled kataifi and place the baking tray in the oven, bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and pour cold syrup over hot kataifi. Spread some nuts top of the kataifi.

Allow to set for an hour and serve it.

DSC_0352DSC_0358

DSC_0371DSC_0369DSC_0362DSC_0374DSC_0373DSC_0364