Three Tasty-Easy Recipes for Leftover Rice

There are two things that are staple foods in the Iranian cuisine: rice and bread. They eat rice with different kinds of meat stews or vegetable dishes. In North of Iran, near the Caspian Sea, there are beautiful rice fields which are widely famous for cultivation of different kinds of Persian rice.

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You can make 10s of gorgeous dishes with white/brown or wild rice. You can make rice with stew, curry, beautiful green herbs and vegetables or spices. You can cook rice in a rice cooker, in microwave or on the stove.

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Anyway, what led me to talk about rice was that sometimes after a party we have leftover rice on hand, so instead of wasting it, you would be better to turn your leftover plain rice into a fabulous new rice dish 🙂

I have three easy- quick and tasty recipes for turning your rice into lentils rice, herbed rice and potato rice.

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Ingredients for lentils rice

  • one cup lentils

  • 1 cube meat or vegetable stock

  • ½ tsp cumin powder

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • Butter

How to make it?????

Bring to a boil, add lentils, one vegetable or meat stock,  pepper and cumin. Reduce heat and simmer until they are tender but not mushy( it takes typically 20-30 minutes) and usually  it depends on the age of your lentils. Once it is cooked, add it to the leftover rice and gently mix. Spread some melted butter all over the rice and serve it.

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Ingredients for herbed rice

  • small bunch of chives or spring onions, finely chopped
  • small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

How to make it?????

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped herbs, seasoning with salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and stir in sautÊed herbs and gently combine and allow it up for few minutes  and serve it.

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Ingredients for rice and potatoes

  • 5 baby potatoes

  • Pinch of chilli flakes

  • butter

  • Salt to taste

How to make it?????

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Salt the water. Bring it to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender. Drain and add melted butter and sprinkle chilli flakes on them. Serve the rice in a plate and top it with buttery potatoes.

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Persian Stuffed Zucchini (Dolmeh Kadoo)

Dolama or dolmeh is a tasty dish found in Iranian cuisine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece, Arabic countries and Central Asia. The word dolma is a Turkish word and means to fill.  Dolma is the Persian version of stuffed vegetables. You can use eggplant, zucchini, onion, or tomato and stuff with either ground beef or turkey and aromatic herbs.

Up to now, I have shared several recipes for my collection of dolma recipes including: stuffed grape leaves, cabbage rolls, stuffed eggplants, stuffed onions, and today I am going to share my Persian stuffed zucchini.  In Persian language zucchini or courgette  is called Kadoo .

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Dolma is considered comfort food. These different kinds of dolma are stuffed with either meat and spices, or meat herbs and rice, or there are vegetarian version with rice and herbs and GOOD NEWS IS, all are DELICIOUS.
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Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini or Courgette,
  • 300g ground beef or lamb meat
  • 5tbsp semi cooked rice
  • 100g mixed herbs: mint, parsley, coriander, spring onions
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp dried dill (I use dried dill because it is more aromatic rather than fresh dill)
  • Olive oil
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated

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How to make it??

First of all wash the zucchini. If the skin of the zucchini has been waxed , peel the skin but leaved the skin of if it’s unwaxed. (However large zucchini should be peeled because the skin might be bitter).

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Then cut each each zuchini into 3 tubes. Scoop out the insides. Keep the insides and add into the pot where you are going cook the zucchini dolma.

For stuffing you need, add rice, chopped fresh herbs, salt, pepper, some turmeric and dried dill to the ground meat and mix ingredients until combine well. Fill each zucchini with the stuffing and settle stuffed zucchini in the pot.

Fill each zucchini with the stuffing and settle stuffed zucchini in the pot.

In a saucepan, add tomato paste, olive oil,  pinch of salt, turmeric and Chilli powder. Saute for 2 minutes. Then, add a cup of water to the tomato paste and bring it to a quick boil.

Pour the sauce on the stuffed zucchini. Simmer over the low heat for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce.

Meanwhile, mix yogurt with grated garlic. Serve the stuffed zucchini with garlic-yogurt.

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Persian Stuffed Zucchinni

 

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini or Courgette,
  • 300g ground beef or lamb meat
  • 5tbsp semi cooked rice
  • 100g mixed herbs: mint, parsley, coriander, spring onions
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp dried dill
  • Olive oil
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated

How to make it??

First of all wash the zucchini. If the skin of the zucchini has been waxed , peel the skin but leaved the skin of if it’s unwaxed. (However large zucchini should be peeled because the skin might be bitter).

Then cut each each zuchini into 3 tubes. Scoop out the insides. Keep the insides and add into the pot where you are going cook the zucchini dolma. For stuffing you need, add rice, chopped fresh herbs, salt, pepper, some turmeric and dried dill to the ground meat and mix ingredients until combine well. Fill each zucchini with the stuffing and settle stuffed zucchini in the pot.

Heat some olive oil in the saucepan. Add tomato paste, pinch of salt, turmeric and Chilli powder. Saute for 2 minutes. Then, add a cup of water to the tomato paste and bring it to a quick boil. Pour the sauce on the stuffed zucchini. Simmer over the low heat for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce.

Meanwhile, mix yogurt with grated garlic. Serve the stuffed zucchini with garlic-yogurt.

 

 

Potato stuffed bread (Naan shekampour)

One of the easiest and tastiest bread you ever had. Preparing the dough does not need any yeast , baking soda or baking powder. Very easy peasy. I stuffed my bread with potato and some vegetables but you can fill it with any kind of meat or herbs and vegetables. The most important point is to make a good dough and then you can go on with your favourite fillings.

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Traditionally this wonderful bread is baked on a brick or stone griddle but nowadays, if you want to bake it at home, you can use a pan, as I did.  Today, I made potato stuffed bread and seriously it is just delicious naan bread.

I have loads of bread ( naan) recipes such as: pan fried naan, keema naan, sheermal bread, kelane naan bread, pitta bread, naan Barbari, onion spiral bread, naan fateer, olive bread, spicy lentil flat bread, garlic bread, Indian chickpea flat bread, country bread, paratha bread, garlic-rosemary bread, stuffed rose shaped bread, bread sticks with green olives. You can find them here in my web page.

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Ingredients for dough

  • 3 cups  or 450 g all purpose flour
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for fillings

  • 400g potatoes, boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and fined chopped
  • 3 fresh spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil

How to make it??

In a large bowl, add flour, salt and oil. Mix together. Then slowly add water. Combine well and knead the dough for few minutes. Cover the dough and keep it for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile prepare ingredients for filling. Heat the oil in a skillet, and sautĂŠ chopped onion until soft. Then add chopped green herbs, and potatoes. Season with all spices. Mix everything well and fry for 2-3 minutes and set aside.

Once dough is ready, grease your hand with oil and knead the dough again for 1-2 minutes. Now divide it into small or big portions, it depends on you.

Take a portion of dough and with a rolling pin flat the dough on a floured surface. Top it with stuffing ingredients and then lift the dough from all sides ( as you see in the photos).

Gently flatten the dough ball with rolling pin. Heat a pan, spread a little bit of oil in the pan and place the dough on the pan.

Bake each side for 3 minutes then flip over and bake other side.

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Potato stuffed bread ( naan shekampour )

Ingredients for dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for fillings

  • 400g potatoes, boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and fined chopped
  • 3 fresh spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil

How to make it??

In a large bowl, add flour, salt and oil. Mix together. Then slowly add water. Combine well and knead the dough for few minutes. Cover the dough and keep it for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile prepare ingredients for filling. Heat the oil in a skillet, and sautÊ chopped onion until soft. Then add chopped green herbs, and potatoes. Season with all spices. Mix everything well and fry for 2-3 minutes and set aside. Once dough is ready, grease your hand with oil and knead the dough again for 1-2 minutes. Now divide it into small or big portions, it depends on you.

Take a portion of dough and with a rolling pin flat the dough on a floured surface. Top it with stuffing ingredients and then lift the dough from all sides ( as you see in the photos). Gently flatten the dough ball with rolling pin. Heat a pan, spread a little bit of oil in the pan and place the dough on the pan. Bake each side for 3 minutes then flip over and bake other side.

 

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Cabbage aash ( ash-e kalam Azari)

Azerbaijan is located in NW of Iran. People of this region have their own magnificent recipes. This is one of those.

It is called ‘Azari cabbage aash or kalam aashi in Azari language.  Maybe you ask what is aash ( aush) ?? In Iranian cuisine  there are two kinds of  liquid food.  Aash is a thick soup which is served warm and hot and exactly like soup made with variation of vegetables, noodles,, stocks and spices. This dish is spelling: Ash, aash, aush, ashe.

But soup is a thin and light liquid food, served warm and made by combining vegetables with water, stock, spices,…

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Ash or aush is popular food in Iranian, Turkish, Afghani, Azerbaijani and Caucasian cuisine.There are tens and tens of thick soup in Persian cuisine. Like Ash reshteh ( noodle soup), ash doogh,  ash anaar, ……

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cabbage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh herbs: spring onions, coriander, parsley, spinach, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fried onions
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 3-4 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried mint (fry in oil for 1 minute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

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How to make it??

Bring to  a boil water in a pot, add beef stock cubes and dissolve them.

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Then, add cooked chickpeas,Oatmeal, oil and spices.Allow to cook for 10 minutes.

 

Then, add chopped cabbage leaves, herbs and fried onions.

Stir occasionally. Allow aash cook for 20 minutes over low to medium heat. Pour your aash in a plate, garnish with fried onions, mint, and 2-3 spoons of yogurt.

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Cabbage aash (a soup from Iranian Azerbaijan)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cabbage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh herbs: spring onions, coriander, parsley, spinach, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fried onions
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 3-4 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried mint (fry in oil for 1 minute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

 

How to make it??
Bring to  a boil water in a pot, add beef stock cubes and dissolve them.Then, add cooked chickpeas,oatmeal, spices and oil.
Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Then add chopped cabbage leaves, herbs and fried onions. Stir occasionally. Let aash cook for 20 minutes over low to medium heat.Pour your aash in a plate, garnish with fried onions, mint, and 2-3 spoons of yogurt.

Chilli con carne

If you are a spicy and hot dish lover, chilli con carne would be right choice. Chilli con carne means chilli with means. It serves with bread or rice.

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Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1tsp ground cumin

  • 1tsp ground cinnamon

  • 400g kidney or Pinto beans, cooked

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 1 small bunch of coriander

  • 2tbsp vinegar

  • plain yogurt as much as you wish

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Olive oil

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How to make it

Place the pan on a medium heat and add oil and all chopped carrots, onion, celery, garlic, red pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir frequently and fry them for few minutes until softened.

Add minced meat, Pinto beans and chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander . Fry until meat lightly coloured. Pour 1 ½ cups water and vinegar into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve chilli con carne with fluffy rice, or tortilla bread.

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Chilli con carne

Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1tsp ground cumin

  • 1tsp ground cinnamon

  • 400g kidney or Pinto beans, cooked

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 1 small bunch of coriander

  • 2tbsp vinegar

  • plain yogurt as much as you wish

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Olive oil

How to make it

Place the pan on a medium heat and add oil and all chopped carrots, onion, celery, garlic, red pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir frequently and fry them for few minutes until softened.

Add minced meat, Pinto beans and chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander . Fry until meat lightly coloured. Pour 1 ½ cups water and vinegar into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve chilli con carne with fluffy rice, or tortilla bread.

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Potato Samosa

 Samosa or as we say in Farsi sambose  is a fried , boiled or baked pastry with different filling such as vegetables, meat and spices.

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Nowadays, samosa is a  very popular dish in most of countries. In my country Iran, In South and East of country  samosa is a snack but  in old days it was as a main course in Khorasan  province( East) of Iran. Preparing this dish is very easy .

Ingredients

Filo pastry
2 cooked boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Small bunch of parsley
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. flour
butter
Oil

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Preparation

Finely chop parsley. Heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped potatoes, parsley, turmeric, season with salt and chilli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix 2 tbsp .flour with 2-3 tbsp. water and set aside.

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Brush melted butter on a sheet of filo pastry. Put one full spoon of potato mixture on filo pastry and roll it. Do not overfill because will be difficult to roll up. Then, apply flour glue on two ends of rolled filo and fold it upon, and seal two ends properly. Repeat with remaining of ingredients.
Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry rolled pastries until golden brown. Drain on paper towel to get rid of extra oil. Serve this tasty crunchy samosa with pickled jalapeno .

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Samosa

Ingredients

Filo pastry
2 cooked boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Small bunch of parsley
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. flour
butter
Oil

Preparation

Finely chop parsley. Heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped potatoes, parsley, turmeric, season with salt and chilli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix 2 tbsp .flour with 2-3 tbsp. water and set aside.

Brush melted butter on a sheet of filo pastry. Put one full spoon of potato mixture on filo pastry and roll it. Do not overfill because will be difficult to roll up. Then, apply flour glue on two ends of rolled filo and fold it upon, and seal two ends properly. Repeat with remaining of ingredients.
Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry rolled pastries until golden brown. Drain on paper towel to get rid of extra oil. Serve this tasty crunchy samosa with pickled jalapeno .

Uch Baji Dolmasi ( Stuffed Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper Dolma)

Dolma is an Azeri word and in cooking culture means stuffed or filled. There are many forms of dolma including: stuffed grape leaves, stuffed eggplant( aubergine), zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, onion, potato, cabbage leaves.

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The following recipe is an Azerbaijani recipe for dolma which is popular in Baku and Nakhchivan. This dolma is called Uch baji. Uch means three and baji means sister in Azerbaijani language and is mixture dolma made with eggplant, bell pepper and tomato which is called ‘ Badimjan, beber ve pomidor dolmasi in Azeri.

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Dolma is simmered in it’s own meat juice and oil and serves with garlic-yogurt sauce. In some recipes use yellow split peas and rice, but it’s just a matter of taste and is optional.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant ( aubergine)
  • 1 large firm tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 300g ground beef or lamb
  • 4 tbsp yellow split peas, cooked
  • 1 bunch of coriander, washed and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch dill, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • slat and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or butter

Instructions

Cut a long slit down the middle of the eggplant, be careful, not to cut too deep. Soak the eggplant in a bowl full of cold water with 1 tbsp salt for 20 minutes to remove bitterness. Then drain and dry it. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the eggplant until all sides brown and soft enough to open the slit ( about 10 minutes).

Cut top off the bell pepper and remove the seeds. Cut top off the tomato and scoop out the tomato flesh and save it for stuffing.

In a bowl, add ground meat with grated onion. Season with salt and pepper, add turmeric. Mix together.

Heat the oil over medium heat and add meat mixture. Fry until brown. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and add chopped herbs, cooked split peas and tomato flesh and mix well.

Fill the vegetables with stuffing mixture. Place them in a deep pan or saucepan. Pour remaining of stuffing around your vegetables, add some oil and water. Cover the tomato and pepper with their lids. Cover the pot and simmer the dolma until all are cooked and tender but not be mushy. Serve dolma as they are or with yogurt-garlic sauce.

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Kelane Naan Bread

Kelane is a traditional Kurdish stuffed fried flat bread. A very delicious thin bread. This bread is made in different countries such as Iran, Turkey, Afghanestn, Republic Azerbaijan. and referred to by different names. For example in Iran it’s called ‘ Kelane  ‘ in Afghanestan is called ‘ Bolani  ‘ .

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Traditionally this wonderful bread is baked on a brick or stone griddle but nowadays, if you want to bake it at home, you can use a pan, like I baked Kelane in a dried pan and in serving time you put some butter on the bread. Kelane bread is not only a bread but also is a full healthy meal.

It’s made of flour and stuffed with herbs such as chives , spring onions and garlic. . They are out of this world. So so sooooo yummyyyyy. This bread is one of those goodies that you won’t stop eat it.

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Ingredients for dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 200ml water

 

For filling

  • 300 g spring onions
  • A bunch of coriander
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin

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Method

In a bowl mix flour and  salt. then add oil and mix together. Then slowly add  water. Mix well. Using your hand and Knead it well for 3-4 minutes.  Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and  leave to rest the dough for half an  hour.

Meanwhile, finely chop herbs and vegetables for filling. Add all spices, grated garlic and olive oil. . Mix ingredients together and set aside.

Once dough is ready, Divide it into 10 pieces or less ( you can keep the size of dough small or big as desired ).  Take one piece of  dough. Flat the dough with a rolling pin. Spread some of herbs in half of the dough and fold it ( as you see in the photos). Then with your hand or  with a rolling pin, gently press it.

Heat a pan and spread a little bit oil. Place the dough in the pan. Spray some oil top of the dough and bake each side for 3 minutes.

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Herb Stuffed Bread ( Herbs Samosa)

This is a very simple but healthy and tasteful recipe.  For wrapping herbs, I  use a kind of  Iranian bread that is called ‘ Lavash bread similar to tortilla bread .

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Ingredients

  • 3 lavash bread (Tortilla bread)
  • 30 g parsley leaves
  • 30 g spring onions
  • 50 g spinach leaves
  • ½ Tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt- pepper to taste
  • Plain yogurt
  • Butter
  •  1tbsp flour

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Preparation
Wash and finely chop all the green. Melt the butter in a pan. Add all spices and chopped herbs . Saute for 5 minutes until soft, set aside.


Mix the flour with a little bit of water to make glue like paste and set aside. Cut the crusts of the bread as you see in the photos, and give rectangular shape. Take 1 Tbsp of herbs mixture and put on the bread. Wrap the bread according to the photos.
Seal the edge of each bread with flour glue. Repeat the processe with remaining of the ingredients.


Heat the oil in the pan and fry all the wrapped breads until both sides are golden brown.
Serve hot with garlic yogurt or plain yogurt.

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Persian herb stew ( Ghormeh sabzi)

Ghormeh sabzi, is one of the most beloved, delicious, aromatic and popular Iranian stew. It is often said Ghormeh sabzi , to be national dish of Iran. The history of Ghormeh sabzi dates back to more than 500 years ago.
This stew prepares with diced meat, loads of finely chopped herbs such as Parsley, cilantro, scallion….
This stew is cooked with kidney beans – black eyed beans or pinto beans, black dried limes, and turmeric. Once stew is ready, it served with rice.
The last Saturday of each November recognised as the ‘International Ghormeh sabzi day’ by Iranian expats.

 

Few days ago i posted Azarbaijani ghormeh sabzi and i mentioned differences between Persian and Azarbaijani ghormeh sabzi. But both are sooooo delicious.

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Anyway, ghormeh sabzi can be miss for non-Iranians, but it is a kind of stew which some people simply love it and others hate it!! But I plus millions of people love it.

 

Ghormeh sabzi

Ingredients
250 g diced meat (beef or lamb)
1 onion
3 dried limes or 2tbsp lime juice
1 cup kidney beans ( pinto or black eyed beans), cooked
2 cups parsley, finely chopped
1 cup  coriander, finely chopped
1/2 cup  fenugreek , finely chopped or 1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 cup chives or green part of spring onion, finely chopped
1 Tsp turmeric
Salt – pepper to taste
Vegetable oil


Preparation
Dice finely onion. Saute in oil until tender. Add turmeric and stir well. Add meat to the onion. Allow to brown on all sides.
Chop finely the herbs. Saute the chopped herbs in oil for 15 minutes, stir frequently and set aside.


Make a couple of small holes in each of the dried limes.
Add cooked kidney beans, dried limes and fried herbs to the meat. Add 4 cups of water, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

 

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