Mutekke Cookies

Mutekke cookie is a traditional Azerbaijani cookie. Mutekke which is called bolster in English language is a long and narrow pillow filled with cotton or feather. By the way I have attached some photos of Mutekke in following photos.

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So name of this cookie come from their shape which resembles a traditional tube-shaped pillow which in old times of Iran, we used to use it as a pillow or back and arm support but nowadays, you can find them in small towns or villages.

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IMG_20180913_152655.jpgBasically, Mutekke cookie is rolled up pastry filled with nuts such as walnuts, almond, hazelnuts, pistachio or mixture of all but typically with walnuts and also fragrant spices. This cookie has a very straightforward recipe and super easy to make it. Usually baking Mutekke  in the celebration of new year ( Nowruz) is popular. The good point about this cookie is there is no sugar in the pastry and for adding sweetness to the cookie you add sugar or apricot or other fruit preserves as stuffing .

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Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 113g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks

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Ingredients for filling

  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder

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How to make it??

Mix flour and salt. Add butter to the flour. Use your hand and mix butter with flour. Now your mixture looks like fine sands. Add sour cream and egg yolks. Mix all ingredients until well combined and dough is not sticking to your hand.

Now, divide the dough into 3 pieces and wrap each piece in a plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for an hour.

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Meanwhile, we prepare the filling. In a bowl mix all filling ingredients together and set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 193C degree. After one hour, place one piece of dough on a floured board.

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I show two methods of cutting the dough:

  • 1- you can cut a circle dough into 4 wedges and then each wedge to be cut into 2 more wedges, so you will have 8 wedges.
  • 2- other method is roll out a dough into rectangle shape. Then cut lengthwise. And cut into triangle shape.

Now put 1 tsp or some of stuffing on each wedge and then start to roll it from wide side ( as you see in the photos).

Repeat same process with rest of wedges. Place them in a parchment lined baking tray and bake the cookies for 20 minutes.

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Remove from the oven, let to cool before sifting with powdered sugar on top. Now call all family members, make cuppa tea or coffee and enjoy these tasty cookies together.

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Mimosa Salad

Mimosa salad, is a traditional, scrumptious and satisfying layered Russian salad. Mimosa got it’s name from Mimosa Spring flower.

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This tasty salad is popular in Russia and has a wide variety of recipes. For instance, typically it is made with canned fish but in some other recipes there is cooked chicken instead. Or in some recipes there is mixture of Mayonnaise and cheese. In this salad all ingredients are grated finely and layered.

It’s really tasty salad especially with fresh dill leaves for garnishing, you will experience a piece of heaven in your plate.

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Ingredients

  • one canned tuna in oil, drained
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium carrots, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, whites and yolks separated after boiling
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh dill leaves for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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How to make it??

Drain the fish and mash it with a fork. Prepare your serving plate or dish. In my serving plate I am using a Springform pan that will give a nice round shape to my salad but this is optional and you can just layering ingredients on a plate in any shape you wish.

Arrange grated potatoes evenly on the bottom of plate and press down with a spoon. Season with pinch of salt and pepper, then on top of potatoes, goes some Mayonnaise.

On top of potatoes, make fish layer then cover this layer with chopped onion and then spread Mayonnaise.

Then arrange grated carrots, season with salt and pepper and spread Mayonnaise. Now, cover top of carrots with egg whites, season with salt and pepper and , spread Mayonnaise.

For last layer, arrange  egg yolks, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with dill leaves or any other fresh green herbs to make it similar to Mimosa flower.

You can keep this salad in the fridge for few days. As i mentioned above, you can use chicken instead of canned fish, or cooked rice instead of potatoes.

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Mimosa Salad

Ingredients

  • one canned tuna in oil, drained
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium carrots, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, whites and yolks separated after boiling
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh dill leaves for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How to make it??

Drain the fish and mash it with a fork. Prepare your serving plate or dish. In my serving plate I am using a Springform pan that will give a nice round shape to my salad but this is optional and you can just layering ingredients on a plate in any shape you wish. Arrange grated potatoes evenly on the bottom of plate and press down with a spoon. Season with pinch of salt and pepper, then on top of potatoes, goes some Mayonnaise.

On top of potatoes, make fish layer then cover this layer with chopped onion and then spread Mayonnaise. Then arrange grated carrots, season with salt and pepper and spread Mayonnaise. Now, cover top of carrots with egg whites, season with salt and pepper and , spread Mayonnaise. For last layer, arrange egg yolks, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with dill leaves. You can keep this salad in the fridge for few days.

Lemon Curd

I love lemon and orange curd, but I had no idea making lemon curd would be super easy. So this beautiful , silky silky lemon curd with colour of the sun is result of my today’s cooking. It’s . Lovely with toasted bread or scone, or used for cakes and tart.

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Ingredients

110 ml lemon juice

Zest of a lemon

110 g white sugar

5 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs

60 g unsalted chopped butter

Method

In a bowl, put lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs and sugar. Add some water to a saucepan. Heat the water ( Bain Marie) and put bowl of egg mixture inside the heated water.

Whisk continuously the egg mixture on a medium to low heat and let the curd gently simmer for about 15 minutes or until it thickens..

Remove it from the heat. Add chopped butter and stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Transfer it to a large jar or small jars, and store it in the fridge or cool place.

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Persian Upside Down Rice (Tahchin-e Morgh)

Upside down saffron rice is a scrumptious rice dish with a beautiful presentation. Tahchin means arranged in the bottom. This dish known as Persian baked rice cake as well.

Tahchin is one of the luxurious and ceremonial rice dishes. IF YOU TASTE TAHCHIN, IT WILL CAPTURE YOUR HEART 🙂

Tahchin includes egg yolks, marinated chicken, beef or lamb with yogurt, rice, Persian Saffron king of spices, dried rose petals…

There are different types of tahchin, for instant: Shirazi aubergin -chicken tahchin, Spinach-chicken tahchin, …..

My recipe is from my mother and she has learned from my grand mother. This recipe for my tahchin is different from the recipes that mix all rice with yogurt and saffron. As you will observe in my recipe only bottom layer is mixed with saffron and middle layer is covered with marinated chicken and final third layer would be plain white rice.

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Tahchin might be cooked either in the oven or in an pan. Result in top layer is sooooooooooooo yummy- crunchy part ( tahdig), Second layer is meat and third layer is fluffy rice.

For tahchin we need Greek yogurt. But I have made my own Greek yogurt with traditional method, as you would see in the following photos.

So let’s get started 🙂

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Tahchi-e morgh

Ingredients

400g Persian rice, rinsed and soaked in salted water (2tbsp salt) for 1 hour

6 pieces cooked chicken pieces, breast or thigh

6 egg yolk

2 ½ cups regular yogurt or Greek yogurt

1 tsp dried rose petals

2 tbsp Persian saffron water

4 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp cinnamon powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil

 

 

Method

In a small plate mix rose petals, cinnamon and curry powder together, set aside. You can use Greek yogurt but I prefer to make my own thick yogurt by traditional method.

 

Pour 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. That’s all you have to do. You would see the liquid left in the bowl. Resulting is a thick yogurt.

 

 

Marinate the chicken pieces with thick yogurt. Then coat them with spices mixture. Put it in the fridge overnight.

 

 

In a bowl with egg yolks add saffron water, season with salt and pepper. Whisk well. set aside.

 

Bring water to a boil in a pot, drain salted water of rice and add rice and cook for 10 minutes. using a colander drain and pour some cold tap water over it. Now, add half of rice to the egg-saffron mixture and blend well.

 

 

Heat 5 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Ladle saffron rice into the pan and flatten with a spoon. Layer with marinated chicken meat and then cover it with rest of white rice . Place 3 tbsp butter or Ghee over the rice. Cover the pot with a lid.. Because at the bottom of pot is yogurt and egg, so it can easily burn, that’s why Cook the rice on medium to low heat.

 

Place a large platter over the pot and turn the pot over. Spoon fried barberries on and around the tahchin and serve it with salad and pickles.

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