December 20, 2012

Shab-e Yalda - The Longest Night of the Year (Winter Solstice) Persian Celebration 2012

شب یلدا Shab-e yalda (eve of yalda) is traditionally a night for friends and family to gather together to enjoy a delicious feast of seeded pomegranate, watermelon slices, ajil (nuts and dried fruits) and sweets, celebrating the victory of light over darkness. The dinner menu may vary for each family partly depending on which part of the country you are from. The traditional dinner may include ash-e reshteh, reshteh polow, sabzi polow and mahi (fish), fesenjoon, kashk-e bademjoon among many other favorites.

A couple of weeks ago my blog turned four years old! That's just beyond what I had in mind! This food blog as many of you might know was a spur of the moment decision as a way of coping with the pain of a great loss in my life. This was a challenge for someone whose native language isn't English, and wasn't into writing, taking pictures, or cooking professionally. However, through blogging I have pushed through my limitations and boundaries and in the process I have learned so much.

On the eve of yalda I would like to thank all my loyal fans who, through their sweet and kind comments, e-mails, tweets and joining my Facebook fan-page, have always supported me and warmed my heart. I cherish all your feedback. It makes me very happy to read a fan's email who made an anniversary three course meal for his new bride, a reader who baked cake yazdi and took it to work and everyone loved it, or a reader who has tried making many of the recipes and takes the time to come back and write about it and let me know how it went. I am very grateful to all of you who spend time reading my blog.

Shab-e Yalda Mobarak! Happy Winter Solstice!


  1. Azita - happy birthday to your blog! I truly enjoy reading your stories and your recipes have inspired me more times than I can count. Please keep it up! Best, Ahu

  2. Happy Winter Solstice to you too - and Merry Christmas in a few days :-)

    Also, in just 10 days - Happy New Year (where, oh where did the time go?)

    Thank you for your writing - it is a lovely way for me to keep "in touch" with the Persian kitchen that I have come to love so much (alas, I don't cook it so often anymore - the Persian boyfriend who introduced me to the delights of Sabzi Polow etc. is now a thing of the past - but I still serve more Persian than Danish food when I have friends over :-)

    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year!

  3. Happy Yalda for you and your family, Azita :) And Happy Anniversary to your blog too ; I learn so much through blogger, especially from you how to cook a delicious Iranian Foods -


  4. Happy Yalda,
    Would you please give us a recipe for a dish in Southern Iran called Tah Andaz? It has meat at the bottom of the pot which makes a very delicious Tah Dig.

  5. Happy Yalda, we have featured your blog on our website,

  6. Thank you for all of your wonderful advice, descriptions, recipes etc. But most of all thank you for helping me to maintain the Persian traditions. Merry Christmas, happy hanukah, shab-e Yalda. God bless you always.

  7. What is so interesting is the word Yalda is hebrew for girl and it celebrate the victory of light over darkness, I want if this holiday is jewish in origin.
    Thanks for posting this.

  8. I love Persian holidays!
    Beautiful table.

  9. You rock!! As an Iranian american living in NYC with 2 kids under 3, i lovvvve this blog and always come to it for inspiration! It makes me happy and connected. Thank you!

  10. Thanks for the great blog and wonderful recipes.
    Wishing you a Bright and Beautiful Winter Solstice.

  11. Azita Khanoom,

    Happy blogeversary. I very much enjoy reading your posts, especially on the days or nights when I am missing my relatives in Iran. Shab-e yalda was such a night but at least now we have Facebook to help keep us more connected. Your stories are inspiring and I look forward to reading all your future posts.

  12. Thank you so much for your blog. I often come here looking for great Persian recipes- your blog is my foremost resource for reliably delicious ideas. Your photography is also beautiful and inspiring. I look forward to future posts. COoking is one of my great delights, especially now since I have started graduate school and I savor all of life's precious moments to enjoy a meal by oneself or in shared company. Many thanks for your blog.