Norouz 1394 Mobarak

Norouz 1394 Mobarak

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

NOROUZ1394

Chahar Shanbeh Suri (Festival of Fire)

Chahar Shanbeh Suri (Festival of Fire)

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.

ChaharShanbehSuri

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.

ghashogh zani

Countdown to Norouz 1394

Countdown to Norouz 1394

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).

 

Cake Yazdi

Cake Yazdi

CakeYazdi3 cakeyazdi2

CakeYazdiHere’s the recipe I used to make these yummy Persian Cake Yazdi Cupcakes (recipe by Najmieh Batmanglij)

Ingredients

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 

Directions

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 whites until 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.

Number of Servings: 24 cupcakes

Squash (Kadoo) Vegetarian Side Dish

Squash (Kadoo) Vegetarian Side Dish

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 ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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!

Kadoo

Albaloo Polo (Sour Cherry Rice and Meatballs)

Albaloo Polo (Sour Cherry Rice and Meatballs)

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).albaloo poloMEATBALLS:

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. 

1662048_10152724776958004_240781866240189555_nFor 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.

Kotlet – Persian Beef Patties

Kotlet – Persian Beef Patties

I remember as a child that whenever my non-Persian friends wanted to come over my mom would resort to making Kotlet for us because my friends loved it so much. It seems to satisfy all palates, even for the most picky eaters. It makes a great food to pack for school lunches and picnics since they taste equally delicious hot or cold. You can even heat one up in the middle of the day for a filling midday protein snack. So without further ado, here’s my Persian Momma recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
Serves 8-10

2 pounds Ground Beef (you can substitute Ground Turkey for a leaner patty or mix 1 lb of Beef with 1 lb of Turkey)
3 large Potatoes, cooked, peeled and grated
2 Eggs
1 large Onion, finely grated (I use a food processor)
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
Salt and Pepper to taste (make sure to always start with a little salt and adjust accordingly)
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Chickpea Flour (optional but I like to add it in because it prevents the mixture from falling apart)
Plain Bread Crumbs (If your bread crumbs are salted, make sure not to over-salt the beef mixture)

kotlet

PREPARATION:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the bread crumbs (those will be used for coating) and mix well.
  2. Take a scoop of the mixture, flatten into an oval the size of your palm. Make the patties equal sizes for equal cooking times.
  3. Cover both sides of each patty in dried breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry the patties in hot oil in a frying pan, until brown on both sides.
  5. Remove from pan and allow the patties to cool on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Kotlet tastes delicious all in itself but is usually served with tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, onions, bread, and ketchup. Noosheh jan konid (Bon a petit)!