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 20-20 minutes) and usually  it depends on the age of your lentils. Once it is cooked, add it to the 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 sautéed 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.

 

 

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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Rice Balls

A lovely finger food with rice. These tasty rice balls with different tastes will bring lots of fun and flavour to your table.

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Especially these days with World cup games, preparing quick foods, sit and watch the football.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups sticky rice or sushi rice, cooked
  • 4 spring onions or small bunch of chives
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 tarragons
  • 3 dill stems, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tuna
  • 3 tbsp minced beef
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sesame oil or olive oil

 

 

Instructions

Cut carrots into long thin stripes and then cut them into tiny cubes. Finely chop spring onions /chives and tarragon leaves.

 

Heat the oil ( Sesame or Olive) in a pan and fry carrots until soft then add minced beef, season with salt and pepper. Fry until meat is brown.

In a bowl with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice, add fried meat mixture and 2tbsp of chopped spring onions .Mix together well and set it aside.

 

Squeeze out all of the oil from tuna and in a separate plate with 1 ½ cups of cooked rice, add dry tuna and chopped tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well together and set aside.

 

In another plate mix rice with chopped dill, spring onions, chilli flakes, salt and turmeric.

Now, wet your hand and shape small portions of rice into balls.

Once all is done, serve them.

 

 

 

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Baghala Ghatogh (Persian Fava Beans Stew)

Baghala ghatogh  is a northern Iranian speciality dish in Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. Traditionally it made beans, dill, poached eggs and spiced with turmeric.
For making this dish needs a type of beans called ‘Pache baghali’ but out of Iran it’s difficult to fine it, so ‘Fava beans or broad beans’ are good substitute.

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Baghal 
ghatogh, is a vegetarian dish. Northern part of Iran is called ‘ Shomal=North’. So northern part of Iran is located near Caspian sea. It’s a beautiful green land with famous Persian rice and tea fields and forests.
North of Iran is one of favourite destinations for summer time with amazing nature, clean weather far from air pollution and loads of beautiful villas for rent. People are so friendly and welcoming with tasty meals such as baghal 
ghatogh.

 

Ingredients

  • 250 g Fava beans (broad beans), shelled and peeled 
  • 50 g fresh or dried dill, finely chopped
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2-3 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil

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Preparation
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté grated garlic for 1 minute. Add fava beans and sauté five minutes.
Add chopped dill, turmeric, salt and pepper. Fry 2-3 minutes. 


Add 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. In last 10 minutes, crack the eggs into the stew and cook until eggs are cooked.
Baghala ghatogh can be served either with steamed rice or  flat bread. Serve one whole poached egg on top of each serving dish.
Hope you enjoy this healthy- easy and delicious beans stew.

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Fried Sausage flowers with eggs

These lovely flowers made with fried sausages and eggs. Very easy and cute.

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Ingredients

  • Sausages or hot dog
  • eggs
  • Fresh mint or dill leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter or Oil

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Preparation

Cut the sausage in half lengthwise. Slice halfway through sausages. Form the sausage into a circle and secure the ends with cocktail sticks. Put the sausage in the frying pan. Add the egg to the centre of the sausage, season with salt and pepper and fry it.

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zucchini fritters with orange-yogurt sauce

Maybe you do not like zucchini (courgette) taste, but you can make it tasty and enjoy it now and again.
Zucchini is very watery and best way or let’s say ways to remove excess water is to salt the zucchini and then squeeze it.
Today I have my zucchini cakes with orange-yogurt sauce. Just give a try and find out how much they are tasty, delicate and light.

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Ingredients
1 large zucchini, coarsely grated
3 baby carrots, grated
2 spring onions, chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill leaves, chopped
3 large eggs
150 g haloumi cheese, grated
1 clove garlic
1tsp baking soda
2tbsp bread crumbs
Salt and chili flakes to taste
Olive oil

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Ingredients for orange-yogurt sauce
1 orange zest
1 small clove garlic
3tbsp plain yogurt

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Preparation
Grate the zucchini. Because zucchini is really watery I have used two methods to remove the water. First of all, toss with salt to draw out the liquid ( 15 minutes). Then place it in a kitchen towel, bring corners of towel together and squeeze out the liquid as possible.

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Place grated zucchini in a bowl, add grated haloumi cheese, garlic, carrots, chopped spring onions and dill, baking soda, bread crumbs, eggs, and season with salt and chili flakes.
Stir to combine well.


Heat the oil in a pan. Drop 1 tbsp of mixture into the pan and cook 5 minutes each side.
Mix orange zest and grated garlic with yogurt.

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Serve the zucchini fritters with orange yogurt sauce. 
Serve the zucchini fritters with orange yogurt sauce.

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Cheddar cheese balls

Cheese balls are one of greatest cold/warm appetisers and easy to serve. There are different ways of preparing cheese balls. In my previous posts, I have shared some of my cheese balls recipes. For today, I prepared these deep fried cute little cheddar cheese balls.

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Ingredients

300g cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 clove of garlic, grated

pinch of black pepper to taste

handful fresh dill leaves, finely chopped

2 slices of bread

bread crumbs

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Preparation

In a big bowl with grated cheddar cheese, add grated garlic, chopped dill leaves and diced bread and black pepper. Mix everything well. Make small balls. Dip in beaten egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Deep fry and serve with sweet chilli sauce.

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Omaj Soup

One of traditional soups from Tabriz, an ancient city in NW of Iran.
This soup is made with fresh vegetables and a kind of home made pasta that is combination of flour with water, salt and turmeric.

 

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Ingredients
1 cup brown lentils
½ cup chick peas
½ cup pinto beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
250 g fresh herbs: mint, dill and leek
7 tbsp flour
2 beef stock cubes
Salt- pepper to taste
1 ½ tsp turmeric
Plain yogurt for garnishing
Mint sauce
Olive oil or butter

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Preparation
In a bowl with 5 tbs flour, add salt and ½ tsp turmeric, mix together. Gradually add water until make a dough that does not stick to hand. Take small piece of dough ( as size as chickpeas) and give ball shape. Place all tiny balls in a tray and let to dry.


Heat the oil or butter in a pan and saute until is tender. .Set aside. Chop fresh herbs as well. Cook lentils, pinto beans and chickpeas earlier.

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Pour water in a pot, add 2 tbsp flour, it will  give good thickness to your soup. Mix it. Bring it to a boil, add turmeric, 2 beef stock cubes, fried onion, herbs,  per-cooked cereal, tiny dough balls, season with salt and pepper and 3 tbsp olive oil or butter. Stirring several times in order to prevent do not stick tiny dough balls.

 

In a pan with 1 tbsp oil, add dried mint and saute for few seconds, remove from the heat.
Once soup is ready garnishing with mint Sauce  or fried onions and spoonful of plain yogurt.

 

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Pickled Vegetables

Torshi/pickle is Mixed vegetables/fruits preserved in vinegar and salt. Torshi Literally means ‘sour’. Torshi is very popular in Iran, Republic Azerbaijan, Turkey and Arabic countries. Specially in Iran you can find wide variety of pickles.
Nowadays, usually house wives like old days during the Autumn go to grocery and buy all fresh herbs and vegetables , bring home, clean and wash. Then start to make their torshi ( pickle) and keep it for winter time. Because we use to have pickles with our dishes in Winter and salad in Summer time 🙂
Torshi is served with meaty dishes or rice.. Combination of fresh vegetables with aromatic spices would be good appetizing side dish with wonderful flavour.
The most important point in making torshi is to make sure all the ingredients have the best quality.

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Ingredients
Small cucumber
Bell peppers
Small size onions
Cherry tomatoes
Garlic
Cauliflower
White cabbage
Red chili
Beetroot (for giving beautiful red-pink colour)
Coriander
Parsley
Dill
Chili powder
Coriander powder

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Method
Water and salt proportion would be : each 1 cup of water needs ¾ Tbsp. salt.
In a large jar, arrange vegetables as you wish.
Once it is done, mix water, salt and spices as much as you need and pour over the vegetables to cover the jar completely. Then, tightly seal the jar with a lid. And let in a cool corner of the kitchen for 10 days.
After 10 days, pickled vegetables are ready.

 

PS: If you like this recipe, do not forget to leave a comment and like it.

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