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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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King Rice/Shah Pilaf

Shah plov or crown rice is an Azerbaijani signature dish. There are different types of rice dish in Azerbaijani cuisine but this one is king of rice.

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This rice dish is known as : Khan rice, shah rice or crown rice and is served in special occasions. Shah rice made with red meat or chicken mean, dried fruits and nuts and last but not least, Persian Saffron water.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 400g diced meat, cooked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup apricot, cut into small pieces
  • 220 g melted butter
  • 3 tbsp Saffron water
  • 1 large Lavash bread or 5-6 medium tortilla bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Rinse the rice in cold water 2-3 times. Then soak the rice in salted water ( add 1 tbsp salt) for an hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry onion until soft. Then add cooked meat , dried fruits, season with salt and pepper and  fry for few minutes.   Add saffron water and Stir constantly to prevent from burning and set aside.

Fill a pot with water. Bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add it to the boiling water. Let to cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and strain the rice. Rinse with tap water. Melt the butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the pot.

Place one round bread on the bottom of the pan . Grease each Lavash or tortilla bread with melted butter and arrange around the sides of the pan, overlaps each other ( as you see in the photos).

Do not leave any open space between breads. Now, Spread a layer of rice in the pot and then pour some of meat and fruits mixture. Pour some saffron water on the rice. Repeat the procedure again.

Cover top of the rice with another round bread then fold the corners down. Grease with melted bread.

Cover the pot with a lid. Cook in the oven for 50-60 minutes until Lavash bread is golden. Remove from the oven and let to rest 5 minutes.

Turn the pot upside down and cut the crust into portions and serve it.

Noosh ulsoon , enjoy it, Noosh-e jan

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King rice/Shah pilaf 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 400g diced meat, cooked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup apricot, cut into small pieces
  • 220 g melted butter
  • 3 tbsp Saffron water
  • 1 large Lavash bread or 5-6 medium tortilla bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Rinse the rice in cold water 2-3 times. Then soak the rice in salted water ( add 1 tbsp salt) for an hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry onion until soft. Then add cooked meat , dried fruits, season with salt and pepper and fry for few minutes. Stir constantly to prevent from burning and set aside.

Fill a pot with water. Bring it to a boil. Drain salted water of rice and add it to the boiling water. Let to cook for 10 minutes.

Using a colander and strain the rice. Rinse with tap water. Melt the butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the pot.

Grease each Lavash or tortilla bread with melted butter . Place one round bread on the bottom of the pan . Then, grease remaining of breads and arrange around the sides of the pan, overlaps each other ( as you see in the photos).

Do not leave any open space between breads. Now, Spread a layer of rice in the pot and then pour some of meat and fruits mixture. Pour some saffron water on the rice. Repeat the procedure again.

Cover top of the rice with another round bread then fold the corners down. Grease with melted bread.

Cover the pot with a lid. Cook in the oven for 50-60 minutes until Lavash bread is golden. Remove from the oven and let to rest 5 minutes.

Turn the pot upside down and cut the crust into portions and serve it.

Noosh ulsoon , enjoy it, Noosh-e jan

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Potato and Rice Pilaf

This is a fantastic dish recipe for potato and Persian rice. It might be served as main course or as side dish. This meal can be vegetarian as well. For making this dish use a kind of potato that stand up to the cooking time.

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Other thing is about main ingredient that is rice. Good quality rice is very important matter. In today dish I used Persian smoked rice (berenj-e doodi) that is long grain with high quality and just superb aroma.

So if you are interested you can follow my easy peasy potato rice recipe with yogurt.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Persian smoked rice
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbps butter

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Method

Wash the rice two times. Add rice in the rice cooker with enough water to cook, also add salt, potatoes and butter.

Serve the rice hot with yogurt. You can have plain yogurt or mixture of yogurt with chopped cucumber or r of yogurt with beetroot powder.

 

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Jewelled Rice

First of all may I ask you please please try this dish. You have no idea how much this rice dish is gorgeous. It is simply celebration of fragrance, and color with spices , dried fruits like raisins, barberries ( tiny red berry), nuts such as pistachio and almond and orange peel and carrot.
Jewelled rice is traditionally served at wedding ceremony .It is named Jewelled rice due to the colours of ingredients: pistachio make green emeralds, barberries make red rubies, almonds make white pearls, orange peel – carrot make yellow amber and saffron make gold.
Making this dish is time commitment but but but, result is stunning.

 

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Ingredients
3 cups basmati rice
2-3 pieces of chicken breast
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 medium julienne cut carrots
2 medium julienne cut orange skin
½ cup sugar
¼ cup dried barberries (or cranberries)
¼ cup raisins
Butter and oil
Salt- pepper to taste
1tbsp saffron water (put pinch of saffron threads in 3Tbsp boiled water and leave it to brew for 5 minutes, now you have saffron water)
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1/4tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin powder
1tbsp dried rose petal

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Preparation
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Heat butter and 1tbs oil in a pan and add carrots. Fry carrots for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and pour into the sugar syrup.

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Peel the orange skin and remove white part and cut the orange peel lengthwise. Boil these orange skins in hot water 2-3 times to remove bitterness from the peel and add it to carrot. Let to cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

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Heat the oil in a large skillet, add chopped onion and sauté until soft, add turmeric, salt, chilli and pieces of chicken breast. Leave it to cook over medium to low heat. Once chicken is ready, add 1 Tbsp. saffron water to the chicken and gently stir it.

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Sauté raisins for a couple of minutes. Also saute barberries with 1tsp sugar for 2 minutes.
Wash the rice with tapped water and soak the rice in water with 2Tbsp of salt and set aside for an hour.

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In a pot bring to boil 8 cups of water. Drain salted water of rice and pour it into the boiling water in the pot.
Let it boil for 10 minutes and then drain in a colander, rinse with cool water.

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In a large pot, heat 4 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Sprinkle half portion of drained rice at the bottom of pot. Layer the rice with carrot-orange zest mixture, nuts, raisins, barberries, rose petals, pinch of cinnamon and cardamom, repeat process with second portion of rice and remaining of ingredients.

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Cover the pot with a lid and cook the rice for 20-30 minutes over low heat.
Once rice is done, serve it in a platter. Garnish with remaining of nuts, raisins, and barberries. Jewelled rice may be served either with chicken meat or without meat.

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Pumpkin-Prune Stew with Lamb

This dish is combination of meat with fruits and spices such as Persian saffron that is king of spices, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and chilli flakes. It is just a festival of flavour and aroma with beautiful colours.

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Pumpkin-Prune stew with lamb

Ingredients

  • 200g lamb shanks, diced and cooked in advance
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Handful prunes
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cooked and cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 tbsp Persian Saffron (about 20 saffron threads)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sea salt and chilli flakes to taste
  • oil

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Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add diced onion and saute them until soft. Then add cooked meat and stir in the sautéed onion. Let meat fry until becomes brown.

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Add spices to the meat and fry for a minute until aroma released. Transfer fried ingredients from the pan to a pot. Pour in enough water. Add , tomato paste, Persian saffron and lemon juice to the pan. Stir well. Bring it to a boil, add diced pumpkin and prunes, reduce the temperature to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stirring time to time. Check the seasoning and add more if needed. Serve this beautiful rice with Persian smoked rice or flat bread.

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PS: thank you very much for reading my this recipe, I hope you liked it and if you like, leave a comment and let me know what do you think about it. Do not forget to follow my page.

 

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Persian Pomegranate Rice with Pistachio and Raisins

This rice dish is one of recipes for especial night in Iranian calendar which is called Yalda night.
Yalda ( on December 21) is one of traditional events in Iran which marks as longest and darkest night of the year. In other countries like: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan are also celebrating Yalda night.
Every year, on December 21, Iranians around the world celebrate the arrival of winter, or the last evening of the autumn season and first day of three months Winter. .The celebration of Yalda night is coming from the ancient time. Ancestors of Persians believed in this nigh the force of evil power was at the pick but next day after Yalda belonged to the Lord of Wisdom and is the victory of light over darkness .
Yalda night is one of the most ancient Persian festivals.

People were advised to stay awake most of the night until midnight. So family members and friends would gather in the groups of friends and relatives, 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, figs, pomegranates the jewel of all fruits, and watermelon .
Other beautiful entertaining in Yalda night is divination by poem book of a famous Persian poet ‘ Hafez from Shiraz’.So in Yalda night each member of the family makes a wish and randomly opens the book and asks the eldest member of the family to read it aloud and it will be the interpretation of the wish.
And there are special recipes for this night such as following rice dish, that is combination of Rice with pomegranate, pistachio and raisins which serves with fried meatballs. this is heavenly delicious, colourful and full of flavour meal. Believe me this dish is a MUST and you need to try 🙂

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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. This meal  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
  • 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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کته سماق-لبو

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

دو ق غ سماق

نصف پیمانه آب چغندر یا 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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