January 02, 2019

Esfahani-Style Pancake Recipe, Long-Awaited Trip to Iran and My 10 Year Blogging Anniversary


After many years I went on a long-awaited vacation to Iran with my two daughters. It was an amazing trip with many incredible moments. Our trip was intended to visit our families, see the historic sites and to spark the love of my home country and the rich Iranian culture in my daughters. We visited Esfahan, Shiraz and Tehran over a span of about three weeks and we had quite a packed itinerary exploring these three major cities. It was an experience beyond all expectations. We were warmly greeted by both sides of the family upon arrival and were graciously shown around the beautiful cities.


This blog was born in the early days of December ten years ago when I was trying to find a way to cope with the loss of my mother. It has since brought me much joy and fulfillment and I am glad that it has helped people cook Persian food. I have received many kind and heartfelt letters over the years that I am so grateful for and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.


One of the highlights of our trip was getting to taste new food as well as the old favorites. A new delicious food that we had for the first time was my sister in law's pancakes that she made for breakfast on our very first morning in Esfahan. This ingenious پنکیک pancake is more scrambled eggs than the American pancake and contains more eggs than flour. It's also less time consuming than making pancakes and tastes just as delicious. The entire batter is poured into the pan and cooks slowly on low heat instead of spooning the batter into the hot skillet and making several thin pancakes. Below is Shahnaz khanum's recipe that I tweaked a little.



Esfahani Pancakes - پنکیک اصفهانی 

Ingredients:
Serves 4

4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder *optional
1/2 tablespoon sugar *optional
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter

For the topping:
Syrup, honey, grape molasses, fresh fruits or extra butter

Method:

  1. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add the milk gradually, stirring until well blended.
  3. Beat eggs with a fork or whisk and add to the flour mixture. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, pour in the batter, and lower the heat.
  5. Cover and cook until the pancake is fluffy and golden brown on the bottom. 
  6. Cut into four equal pieces.
  7. Carefully flip each piece with a spatula, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately. 
Enjoy!

Happy New Year! May 2019 be a happy, healthy and prosperous year for everyone!

July 10, 2018

Dopiazeh Aloo


A while back I received a comment on my blog from a reader asking about an Iranian potato recipe. She wrote that she had just come back from a trip to Iran and she enjoyed a wonderful potato dish in Shiraz. After cooking and eating Persian food for twenty years she had not come across this dish before and she knew that it wasn't a potato kookoo or cutlet. This potato dish was served at breakfast and lunch and a server told her that it was a local dish. After reading this comment I asked one of my Shirazi friends about the recipe and without any hesitation she said it's dopiazeh aloo! Dopiazeh is a traditional dish from Shiraz and it can be made with cubed or ground lamb/beef, chicken, shrimp, potatoes and a copious amount of sliced onions. Aloo in Farsi/Persian means plum and it's also a term used in Shiraz to mean potatoes. Here's the link for my ground beef Dopiazeh (two onions).


Dopiazeh Aloo - Shirazi Style - دوپیازه آلو شیرازی

Ingredients:
Serves 2

1 pound small potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
A pinch of dried fenugreek leaves
A pinch of red pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)


Method:

  1. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook uncovered on low for 15-20 minutes or until tender and not falling apart. Set aside to cool.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and fry over medium-high heat until soft. Add turmeric powder, stir. 
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add the cubed potatoes, salt, pepper, a pinch of fenugreek, red pepper, stir gently until well blended, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes until flavors come together. Add a little fresh lime juice and serve.
Serve with warm bread, pickles, salad shirazi and mast o khiar.

Enjoy!

March 20, 2018

Haft Seen Table - Nowruz 2018!

Persian New Year Celebration

Persian New Year (Spring equinox) has officially arrived! It doesn't quite feel like it where I live since it is still cold and the flowers have yet to bloom but I remember how the warmth of spring should feel, with the fresh emerald green grass covering the ground and vibrant flowers everywhere. I am grateful that I had experienced Nowruz back home in Iran where I grew up. The excitement and enthusiasm that I felt celebrating Eid-e Nowruz in Iran has stayed with me all these years and inspires me to recreate what I have learned and to share it with my family and all of you! Let's celebrate the renewal and the rejuvenation of nature with our loved ones and set the Haft Seen table with items representing health, prosperity, rebirth, fertility, beauty, light and love.

Sabzeh symbolizes rebirth and spring
Seeb (apple) symbolizes beauty
Senjed symbolizes love
Somagh (sumac) symbolizes the spice of life
Seer (garlic) symbolizes health and to ward off bad omens
Samanoo (wheat pudding) symbolizes the reward of patience
 Serkeh (vinegar) symbolizes age
Tokhm-e Morgh Rangi (Colorful Eggs) symbolizes fertility
Mahi Ghermez (Goldfish) symbolizes life
Candle symbolizes Light
Spring Flowers
Ayneh (mirror) symbolizes reflection
Divan-e Hafez

Happy Nowruz! Happy Spring!سال نو مبارک