Thursday, April 2nd 2015, will be Sizdeh-be-dar (Out with the 13th), the 13th day of the New Year and the day the Haft Seen is put away. Traditionally this is the day you go out for a picnic with your family and friends in hopes to rid the bad luck of the 13th. Sprouts are often released in a river to take the bad luck with them.
And I read this wish for Sizdeh beh dar in Persian and couldn’t help but wish it for you all of you (and loosely translate it for my non-Persian-speaking friends):
امیدوارم با جمع کردن هفت سین نوروزی، کتابش نگهدارتان، آینه اش روشنایی زندگیتان، سکه اش بارکت عمرتان، سبزه اش طراوت وشادابی دلتان، ماهی اش شوق ادامه زندگیتان را به شما هدیه دهد
Omidvaram ba jam kardaneh Haft Seeneh Norouzy,
Ketaab negahdaretoon, ayeneash roshanayi zendegitan, sekkeash barekateh omretoon, sabze’ash taravat va shaadaby deletoon, mahiash shogheh edameh zendegitan ro beh shoma hediyeh dahad.
I hope that with putting away your Haft Seen, the Holy book acts as your protector, the mirror reflects it’s light into your life, the coins bless you with longevity, the sprouts offer you happiness, and the gold fish present you with the zeal to carry your passion forward.
Pishapish Sizdeh Be Dar mobarak! An early Happy Sizde-be-dar!
Wishing you all a very Happy Persian New Year. Norouzetoon mobarak! May your health be optimal, your love life phenomenal, your problems solvable, your vacations tropical, your success unstoppable, your enemies invisible, your friendships and love invincible, and your year blessed with everything wonderful <3 #PersianMomma #Norouz #Norooz #Nowruz
It’s Chahar Shanbeh Suri چهار شنبه سوری (Tuesday March 17 2015)! This is traditionally known as the Festival of Fire and is celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year and serves as a prelude to Nowruz. It is a festival rooted in the beautiful and ancient Zoroastrian religion and involves jumping over a small bonfire to wish away illness for the New Year and hope for the energy and vitality of the fire as a purification ritual.
Another tradition on this night is Ghashogh Zani قاشق زنی which is very similar to the Halloween trick or treating. Ghashogh zani (ghashogh means spoon and zani means striking). This tradition is rooted in the belief that the living were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. So children pretend they are the ancestors and disguise themselves in shrouds going door to door striking pots with spoons to rid the bad luck and are offered treats.
It’s March and it’s time to begin our countdown to Norouz!
Khooneh Tekooni خونه تکونی (spring cleaning) is traditionally done a few weeks before the arrival of Norouz. It’s really a thorough cleaning from the top of your house to the bottom! It’s a good time to donate unused items and tend to those ignored windows and curtains.
Usually two weeks before Norouz is a good time to start growing your Sabzeh سبزه (sprouts).
Here’s the recipe I used to make these yummy Persian Cake Yazdi Cupcakes (recipe by Najmieh Batmanglij)
4 eggs, separated (room temp) 1 c sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 c plain yogurt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp ground cardamom 1 Tbs rose water (optional) [I used it] 1/4 c rice flour 2 c sifted all-purpose flour 2 tbs ground pistachios
Preheat over to 350.
Blend egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl for 5 minutes until creamy.
Add melted butter, yogurt, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, rose water, and gradually add both types of flour; beat the egg whitesuntil they form soft peaks and fold one third into the flour mixture using a rubber spatula before folding in the rest.
Pour the batter into individual cupcake molds, greased or lined with papers.
Sprinkle each cupcake with ground pistachios.
Place the cupcake pan in the center of the oven and bake for 20-35 minutes, or until golden.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool a little. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, and cool them on a wire rack. Store them tightly in an airtight container.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a healthy and vegetarian side dish. The measurements were estimated as I normally don’t measure while cooking. But you get the idea
4-5 Squash and Zucchini کدو
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
A dash of Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Fried Onions (piaz daagh) پیاز داغ
Cut up zucchini and squash and simmer in a pan with a little bit of water and olive oil. Add in all the other ingredients and cook on low for 10 mins or until squash is cooked. Don’t over stir as to avoid mashing the squash and zucchini. The amalgam of flavors and spices is what makes this dish delicious. Enjoy and noosheh jan!
My friend has kindly shared appetizing pictures of her Albaloo Polo. She followed this recipe ALBALOO POLO , except she added more saffron and homemade advieh (spice).MEATBALLS:
For the meatballs she mixed finely grated onions, ground beef, chickpea flour, salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes. and fried them. Then she put the cooked meat balls in the remaining cherry glaze prepared from the aforementioned Albaloo Polo recipe to soak up the sour cherry flavor.
For those who can’t get a hold of sour cherries, you can substitute the sour cherries from Sour Cherry Jam, although that tends to make it a bit sweeter. My suggestion would be to give the sour cherries from the jam a quick rinse in water before using.