Shirazi Rice Pilaf

Shiraz is an ancient city in SW of Iran. Shiraz is known as the city of literature, flowers, wine, gardens, nightingales and poets.

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This beautiful city is a one of the important tourism centres in Iran. With a short driving distance from Shiraz there are ruins of some of most spectacular ancient sites such as: ancient city of Persepolis, Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae, ancient necropolis of Naqsh-e Rustam with rock cut tombs of Persian kings, Naghsh-e Rajab with rock cut reliefs,….

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My today recipe is called Qanbara polow, one of traditional classic rice dish from Shiraz that is served in especial occasions, parties and as Iftar in month of Ramadan.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 350 g minced meat
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 50 g raisins
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 ½ tsp grape molasses
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

In a bowl with minced meat, add gram flour, turmeric and season with salt and pepper. Mix all together well. Then, give small ball shape to the meat. Heat the oil in a pan and fry them.

Heat the oil in another pan and sauté chopped onion until soft, then add raisins and chopped walnuts. Fry for 2 minutes and set aside.

In a bowl with pomegranates molasses, add grape molasses and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix together.

Semi cook the rice. Add meat balls and fried onion mixture with walnuts and raisins. Pour molasses mixture top of rice and allow to cook perfectly.

Once rice is done, gently stir the rice and serve it.

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Persian style meatballs spaghetti

Dear friends, please do not forget this is a Persian style spaghetti so do not surprise if the method of preparation is a little bit different because In Iran we  cook pasta like cook the  rice. It means first simmer spaghetti in boiling water and then steamed. So we treat pasta like rice, it means in the process of cooking, we cover bottom of the pot with a slice of a flat bread or thinly slices of potatoes or simply plain noodles. BUT BUT BUT, at the end result is amazing and you will have tasty macaroni plus crispy bread, potatoes or noodles from bottom of the pot.

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Ingredients

  • 150 g spaghetti
  • 200 g ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 can tomato, diced
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt- chilli powder to taste
  • 1 Tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • Extra olive oil

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Preparation

In a bowl with ground beef, add grated onion. Season with salt- pepper, and also add turmeric and cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together well. Give small ball shapes to the meat and fry them in a pan until meatballs are brown. Then, add tomato paste to the meat balls and heat for 2 minutes and set aside.

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In a separate pan, heat the oil and saute chopped bell peppers for 5 minutes. Add diced can tomato to the bell pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes, then pour fried bell pepper and tomatoes over the meat balls, gently stir. Your sauce is ready.

Now, in a pot, bring to boil water, add some salt, 1 Tbsp oil and spaghetti. Cook it for 10 minutes then drain the spaghetti using a colander.

Now pour 3 Tbsp oil in the pot, let it hot, then lay on sliced potatoes as you see in the image, then pour par cooked spaghetti top of the potatoes and at the end pour meatballs over the spaghetti. Cover the pot with a lid and let spaghetti cook for 20minutes over medium to low heat.

Once spaghetti is cooked , you would serve spaghetti but there is surprise at the bottom of pot, yes it’s crispy fried potatoes that is called ‘ tah dig’ in Persian cuisine and it is speciality of Iranian cuisine.

Serve the dish with pesto and salad. Bon appetite

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Stuffed Meat Balls With Quail Eggs

Meatballs are always popular and favourite dish. Today i made stuffed meat balls with quail eggs and Tahini sauce.
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Ingredients for meat balls

250g ground beef

2 large potatoes

1 egg

2 tomatoes

quial eggs

1 clove of garlic

2 tbs dried parsley

1 tsp dried mint

1 tsp cumin

Bread crumbs

Salt – sweet chili

Butter

 

Ingredients for sauce

2 tbsp Tahini sauce

1 lemon juice

Half of garlic

1 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of water

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Preparation

Preheat the oven on 200 C. Cook quail eggs, peeled and set them aside. Place ground meat in a bowl. Add grated garlic, all spices and dried herbs. Crack the egg and add it to the meat. Mix all ingredients together.

 

Take a portion of mixture in your hand palm, flat it and put one of quail eggs in the center of the meat and give shape to the meat. Roll them in the bread crumbs and coat them. Set all meat balls in the baking tray.Place tray into the oven and let it to cook for 30 minutes.

 

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Meanwhile, cook boil potatoes. Peel them off and cut into small pieces. Melt the butter in a pan and Fry tomatoes. Keep potatoes and tomatoes warm for serving time.

Place tahini sauce in a bowl. Grate garlic and add it to the sauce. Add water, oil and pinch of salt as well. Combine all ingredients together and set it aside.

Place meatballs with potatoes and tomatoes in a plate and pour melted butter top of the meatballs, potatoes and tomatoes and serve with Tahini sauce.

Enjoy ( Nosh-e jan)

 

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Azerbaijani Noodle Soup

This noodle soup is popular in NW of Iran. It has a sour/sweet taste due to vinegar and prunes in it.. This is a noodle soup with cereals, meat balls, fried onions and dried mint sauce.

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Ingredients

200g Persian noodles ( if it is not available you can use egg noodles instead of Persian noodles)
1 large onion or 2 small ones
200g ground beef
2 cups of cooked lentils, chickpeas and pinto beans
1 cup prunes
2 Tbsp plain flour
½ cup apple cider or grape vinegar
Salt- black pepper to taste
1Tbsp dried mint
1 Tsp turmeric
Oil

Preparation

In a big pot with 8cups of water, add flour and bring it to a boil. Mix ground meat with one of grated onions. Combine together. Give small balls shape to the meat and fry them until they are brown.
Finely chop second onion and fry until golden. Keep some for the garnishing and use remaining for mixing with the soup.


Once water started to boil, add cooked cereals, all spices, prunes, oil, vinegar, fried onion, noodles, and meat balls. Cook it on low heat until soup is thick.
For the garnishing the soup, fry dried mint and garnish with fried mint and fried onion.

 

 

 

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Persian Pomegranate Aash/Soup (Aash-e Anaar)

Ash-e anaar or Annar ashi ( Pomegranate soup) is a tasty and hearty soup. Star of this dish is gorgeous pomegranate seeds and it’s juice. It’s a soup with meat balls, fresh herbs such as mint, coriander,… and aromatic spices like cinnamon and earthy turmeric. Pomegranate soup is just perfect dish for a cold day.

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Persian pomegranate soup

200 g ground meat ( beef or lamb)

1 onion, grated

2 cups sour pomegranate juice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp turmeric

1 cup rice

1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

1 small bunch of coriander, finely chopped

1 small bunch of mint, finely chopped

1 small bunch of chives or spring onions (green parts), finely chopped

3 tbsp cooked yellow split peas (or Lapeh as we say in Farsi)

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp dried mint

Sea salt and chilli flakes to taste

Oil

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Method

In a large bowl with grated onion, add meat, cinnamon, salt and turmeric. Combine all together well with your hand. Roll meat mixture into small balls. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry meatballs until brown and set aside.

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Pour 5 cups of cold water into a pot. Add pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Stir in cooked yellow split peas, sugar and rice. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Then add chopped herbs and fried meat balls and pomegranate juice. Seasoning with salt and chilli flakes. Let it cook until rice is tender.

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Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan, add 1tbsp dried mint and stir for few second and remove from the heat.

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Garnish the soup with mint oil and serve it with bread and butter.

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Azerbaijani Noodle Aash

This noodle aash is popular in NW of Iran. It has a sour/sweet taste due to vinegar and prunes in it.. This is a noodle soup with cereals, meat balls, fried onions and dried mint.

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Azerbaijani noodle aash
Ingredients
200g Persian noodles ) if it is not available you can use egg noodles instead of Persian noodles)
1 large onion or 2 small ones
200g ground beef
2 cups of cooked lentils, chickpeas and pinto beans
1 cup prunes
2 Tbsp plain flour
½ cup apple cider or grape vinegar
Salt- black pepper to taste
1Tbsp dried mint
1 Tsp turmeric
Oil

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Method
In a big pot with 8 cups of water, add flour and bring it to a boil. Mix ground meat with one of grated onions. Combine together. Give small balls shape to the meat and fry them until they are brown.

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Finely chop second onion and fry until golden. Keep some for the garnishing and use remaining for mixing with the soup.
Once water started to boil, add cooked cereals, all spices, prunes, oil, vinegar, fried onion, noodles, and meat balls. Cook it on low heat until soup is thick.
For the garnishing the soup, fry dried mint and garnish with fried mint and fried onion.

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Persian Pomegranate Rice with Pistachio and Raisins

This is a recipe for especial night in Iranian calendar. Yalda (21st  December) is one of traditional events in Iran which marks as longest and darkest night of the year. In this special night, family members and friends gather together for dinner and it lasts until midnight. During the night we celebrate with tasty traditional meals, nuts and fruits such as : pistachio, almond, walnuts, dries apricots, prunes, pomegranates, watermelon and figs. And meals such as I am going to share recipe with you.
Other beautiful entertaining in Yalda night is divination by poem book of a famous Persian poet ‘ Hafez from Shiraz’.

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So, let’s go to recipe for this night. Rice with pomegranate, pistachio and raisins it is soooooooo delicious, colourful and full of flavour. Combination of rice with tiny meatballs is just heavenly good. It is a MUST and you need to try 🙂

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Ingredients
2 cups rice, washed and soaked in salted water for 1 hour before cooking
200 g ground beef or lamb
1 onion, grated
1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup silvered pistachio
½ cup raisins
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt – chilli powder to taste

1/2 tsp paprika powder
Saffron water
Olive oil

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Preparation
In a bowl, add ground beef and grated onion. Season with salt and pepper. Combine it very well and shape as small meatballs. Fry them in a pan until golden brown, set aside.


Heat the oil in a pan, add raisins and sauté for 2 minutes. Add silvered pistachio, chopped coriander, and pomegranate seed and stirring in for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.


Bring water to boil, drain salty water of rice and add it to boiled water. Let it to cook for 10 minutes. Place a colander in the sink. Drain para cooked rice in the colander and rinse with tap water.

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Pour some oil in the pot, place a sheet of flat bread on the bottom of pot, and add a layer of rice top of the bread. Then sprinkle 2 scoop of sauteed pistachio mixture and saffron water on the rice .Again repeat with other layer of rice and top it with pistachio mixture. Cover the pot and allow cooking for 20-25 minutes.


Once rice is ready, serve it on a plate with fried meat balls and crunchy bread from bottom of pot.

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Persian Pomegranate Rice with Pistachio and Raisins

 

Ingredients
2 cups rice, washed, soaked in the salted water for 1 hour before cooking
200 g ground beef
1 onion, grated
1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup silvered pistachio
½ cup raisins
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt – chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp paprikar
Saffron water
Oil
Preparation
In a bowl, add ground beef and grated onion. Season with salt and pepper. Combine it very well and shape as small meatballs. Fry them in a pan until golden brown, set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan, add raisins and sauté for 2 minutes. Add silvered pistachio, chopped coriander, and pomegranate seed and stirring in for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Now, wash the rice. Soak rice with salt and water for 1 hour. Bring water to boil, drain salty water of rice and add it to boiled water. Let it to cook for 10 minutes. Place a colander in the sink. Drain para cooked rice in the colander and rinse with tap water.
Pour some oil in the pot, place a sheet of flat bread on the bottom of pot, and add a layer of rice top of the bread. Then sprinkle 2 scoop of sautéed pistachio mixture and saffron water on the rice .Again repeat with other layer of rice and top it with pistachio mixture. Cover the pot and allow cooking for 20-25 minutes.
Once rice is ready, serve it on a plate with fried meat balls and crunchy bread from bottom of pot.

Sumac-Beetroot Rice with Meatballs

Sumac is a beautiful colourful spice that is popular and widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine.. Please do not confuse this sumac with poison sumac that cause skin rash. in different ways.

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Sumac has a reddish-purple colour with salty-lemony taste. it’s used in different ways such as, in cooking by adding to salad, rice, stew, topping kebab and soup. Sumac has medicinal use and dyeing vegetables and wool as well.There is beautiful mountainous area in East Azerbaijan in Iran, is called ‘ Arasbaaran’. Every year at the end of the Summer and beginning of the Autumn, during a ‘sumac harvest festival’ , Sumac fruits is collected and in a process dry sumac fruit and make sumac powder.

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Ingredients

3 cups rice

400g ground beef/lamb

1 large onion, grated

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, grated

3 tbsp saffron water

2 tbsp sumac powder

½ cup beetroot juice

salt- pepper to taste

Oil

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How to make it

In a large bowl, with minced meat, add one of grated onions, grated garlic, season with salt and pepper. Mix together. Divide the mixture into small or medium size round balls. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Soak the rice in salted water(1tbsp salt) for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry sliced onion, set aside. Then add meat balls to the pan and fry them until cooked and golden brown.

Pour water in a pot, bring water to a boil, drain salted water of rice and add it to the boiled water, allow to cook for 10 minutes. Using a colander, drain the rice and keep it under cold tap water for few seconds.

Add sumac and beetroot water to the rice, gently combine.

Add oil to the pot, pour part of drained rice in the pot, add half of fried onion and cover the onions with remaining of rice. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to cook over low to medium heat for 25-30 minutes.

Serve this delicious rice with fried meatballs and fresh herbs and vegetables.

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سماق پلو با کوفته قل قلی

سماق یا سماک یکی از ادویه های خوشرنگ و زیبایی هست که در پخت و پز و آشپزی غذاهای خاورمیانه ای بسیار مورد استفاده هست.سماق با رنگ قشنگ و مزه ی ترش و نمکی به عنوان چاشنی در تهیه ی خورشسالادسوپبرنج و کباب استفاده میشه. سماق همچنین مصارف دارویی و رنگرزی نیز دارد.

در منطقه ی زیبا و کوهستانی ارسباران واقع در آذربایجان شرقی در ایرانهمه ساله در اواخر تابستان و اوایل پاییز طی جشن برداشت سماق – میوه ی سماق را برداشت کرده و پس از خشک کردن میوه ی سماق – آنرا آسیاب می کنند.

مواد لازم

سیصد گرم برنج

چهار صد گرم گوشت چرخ کرده

یک عدد پیاز درشت رنده شده

یک عدد پیاز درشت خلالی شده

دو حبه سیر رنده شده

سه ق غ آب زعفران

دو ق غ سماق

نصف پیمانه آب چغندر (لبو)

نمک و فلفل به میزان لازم

روغن

چگونه تهیه کنیم

در یک‌کاسه گوشت چرخ کرده را با یک پیاز و سیر های رنده شده – نمک و فلفل مخلوط کرده و خوب ورز می‌دهیم. سپس گوشت را در اندازه های دلخواه گرد می‌کنیم و برای نیم ساعت در یخجال قرار می‌دهیم.

پیاز خلالی را در تابه سرخ می‌کنیم تا کاملن طلایی شود. پیاز سرخ شده را کنار می گذاریم. کوفته ها را در همان تابه سرخ میکنیم تا کاملن مغز پخت شوند..

برنج را به مرحله ی آبکشی می رسانیم. سپس سماق و آب لبو را به برنج آبکش شده اضافه می‌کنیم و به آرامی با برنج مخلوط می‌کنیم تا برنج رنگ قنشگ لبویی بگیرد. داخل قابلمه مثل همیشه روغن و ته دیگ مورد علاقه را قرار می دهیم. یک لایه از برنج را داخل قابلمه ریخته و روی آن مقداری از پیاز سرخ شده را پخش می‌کنیم و بعد باقی برنج را روی پیاز ریخته و مجددن این مراحل رو تکرار می کنیم.

برنج را میگذاریم دم بکشداین پلو سماقی و خوشرنگ را با کوفته قل قلی ها سرو می کنیم

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Yetimcheh (Little Orphan)

This food is one of traditional meals in Iran, and from region to other region, recipe is different but all called ‘ Yetimche’ or little orphan. Because in original recipe there was no meat in ingredients but nowadays in some recipes it has meat.
It is very colourful and yummy. It serves with flat bread.
Ingredients

  • 200 g ground beef/lamb
  • 3 tomato, chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 onions, skin off and chop
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • Salt – pepper as desired
  • Olive oil /vegetable oil

 

Preparation
In a frying pan, heat the oil, and add potatoes, fry until golden brown, set aside. In other pan, saute onion and garlic until soft, set aside. Add some salt and pepper to the meat. Give a small ball shape to the meat. Fry meat balls in a pan.
in a bowl with 300 ml water add tomato paste, turmeric, salt and pepper, mix it very well.
Now, place fried potatoes and sauteed onion-garlic in a pot, add liquid, chopped tomatoes and fried meat balls to the mixture. Mix it. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Serve it with bread.
Nosh-e jan

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Kufteh Bozbash

This recipe is for a kind of Azerbaijani kufteh or stuffed meatballs. The word kufteh is derived from Persian word ‘ Koftan’ which literally mean ( to pound). Main ingredient for making kufteh is meat: beef/ lamb or combination of both. Other ingredient is aromatic herbs, which could be dried or fresh chopped. Herbs such as mint, basil, tarragon.
Each meatball depends on its size (because some meatballs are giant and could be stuffed with cooked egg and dried fruits ) or simply stuffed with dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, dates and Barberry.
Ingredients
200 g ground beef
½ cup cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup cooked rice
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves or dried herbs
Salt – pepper to taste
4-5 dried prunes and apricots, finely chopped

Ingredients for broth
2 tbsp butter
4-5 baby potatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt – pepper
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp plain flour

Preparation
Pour cooked chickpeas in a blender and make it into a paste. Mix ground meat with chopped herbs, spices, and rice and paste chickpeas and combine very well. Then take small portion of meat mixture and, place ½ tbsp. chopped dried fruits in centre of meatball and Shape into a medium (apple size) meatball. If mixture is sticky, you could wet your hand and carry on with giving shape to the meat. Set aside meatballs and prepare broth.
For making broth, Melt the butter in a pot, add chopped onion and spices. Saute until softened. Pour 700 ml water, 2 tbsp plain flour and mix well. Bring it to boil. Add potatoes and gently add meatballs one by one to the pot and let it cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes.
Once kufteh is ready, serve it with broth, kufteh and potatoes..