Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Chicken with prune and plum (Khoresh)

My friend is gone now, but before she leave she cooked this fantastic plum khoresh with chicken, I myself cook it with lamb but this was something new for me and definitely worth sharing. This serves 2-3.
Chicken: 6 pieces
Dried black prune and plum: 1.5 cup
Lime: 2
Salt, pepper, turmeric: 1tsp each
Tomato paste: 1Tsp
Sugar: 1 Tsp
Saffron: 0.25 tsp
Water:1.5 cup
Onion: 1 medium
Veg oil

Rob the spices on the chicken pieces really well, in a sizzling hot pan fry the chicken until golden on all sides. Mix the tomato paste, water and half of the lime juice and pour the mixture into the pan, add the saffron and reduce the heat for 15 minutes.
Chop the onion finely and fry them in a separate frying pan until golden, when its almost ready add the prunes and plums and fry them with the onion as well.
Add the plum, prune and onion mixture to the chicken and add 1Tsp sugar and the rest of the lime. Let it all steam together for about 10 minutes and serve it with rice or even naan bread. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pomegrenate and walnut khoresh ( fesenjoon)

My friends stayed over the weekend and she cooked this tradintional khoresh which is a nation's favourite and taste fantastic. So enough with the marketing and here's the recipe. This serves 3-4.

Onion: 2 medium
Chicken: 5-6 large pieces
Pomegranate paste: 1 bottle
Walnut: 2 cups
Water: 2 cups
Salt, turmeric
Veg oil
Sugar : 1 Tsp ( optional)

Chop and fry the onion really well until golden add 1tsp turmeric , add the chicken mix it with the onion and add the water, let it half cook for 15 minutes. Crush the walnut really well and add it to the mixture, add the pomagrante paste, put the mixture on really low heat and let it be for 70-90 minutes, this is until the khoresh changed colour to darkish brown and the walnut oil is oozing out. If half way through you think that the chicken is melting and shreading remove it from the pan and add towards the end again. Serve it with nice and fluffy rice and dig in!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ghorme sabzi khoresh

This Khoresh ( Iranian stew) is one of my favourites and its packed with herbs and all the good stuff. This serves 2-3.

Onion:1 large
Diced lamb: 5-6 pieces
Chopped chives, coriander, parsely and fenugreek: 1.5 cup
Red kidney beans: 1 tin
Dried lime: 3
Stock cube:1
Rice: 2 cups
Veg oil
Salt, pepper and turmeric

Chop the onion and fry it in a pan until golden, add the lamb and turmeric, pepper. In a seperate pan fry the chopped herbs and add it to the lamb. Cover the mixture with water and add a beef stock cube and dried limes and let it stew for around 90 minutes on a low heat. When its around 70 minutes in add the red kidney beans.
Prepare the rice, cover the rice with water and add a dash of salt and veg oil, put the lid on until the rice is nice and fluffy. Now all is ready, enjoy!

Saffron blast -Meshkoofi

Meshkoofi is an Iranian dessert and is perfect for dinner parties because you can make it the night before. Well I have a guest coming over tonight and this is going to be the dessert, although its going to be the two of us, this is easily good for 4-5 people. I know I am greedy :-)

Sugar :  5.5. table spoon
Milk: 1.5 pint
Corn flour: 4.5 table spoon
cold water: 1/3 pint
Rose water: 1 table spoon
Saffron: 1.5 tea spoon
Flaked almonds: a handful
dried rose for decoration

Mix the corn flour with the cold water and prepare the saffron ( as I explained before). In a large pan, add milk, sugar and the corn flour mixture, on a low-medium heat stir the mixture gently until it is thick like custard , add flaked almonds and rose water, the reason for adding the rose water towards the end is to keep the aroma as much as possible and not heat it all away. Pour the thick and beautiful mixture in something transparent (e.g. serving pyrex) and decorate it with almonds and dried roses. let it cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours and dig in.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Spinach goodness

I love spinach, its my favourite green and its really good for you and easy to cook. Tonight I was busy with a project and did not have much time to prepare lunch, so spinach was there to the rescue. This serves 2 but it's all mine this time. Here is The recipe.
Spinach: 2 cups
Red chilli: 1small
Cinnamon and salt
Veg oil

Dice the onion and chilli finely, add the spinach, cinnamon and salt to the mixture. Break the egg and mix everything together. In a pancake pan pour the mixture and fry it for 5-7 minutes on each side and its ready to go. Enjoy!

Chicken couscous cutlet

I like these ingredient but I was a bit bored by the way I usually eat them, which is couscous chicken salad so I have tried it differently and they came out real good. So there you are, familiar ingredients presented differently.

Chicken: 1 fillet
Couscous: 1 cup
egg: 1 medium
stock cube: 1
bread crumb: 1Tsp
vegetable oil
pepper and turmeric

chop and dice the fillet really finely, almost make it like a minced chicken. Cover the couscous with boiled water , don't add salt as we will add a stock cube and that is salty. Add the egg and bread crumbs and mix everything very well. Use a table spoon and pick pieces of the mixture and fry it in a really hot pan, you can use your hand for a really organised and round shape, but I prefer to use the spoon and minimise the mess. Fry the cutlet until nice and golden on both sides, serve them on a bed of fresh salad.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Aubergine (Bademjan) Khoresh

Khoresh in Farsi is a kind of slow cooked stew, which is usually made with diced lamb and served with polo (rice). I am a big fan of khoresh especially because they are very versatile and easy to make. I made aubergine khoresh the other day and just thought to share the recipe with you. This serves 3-4 ( I had guests coming over).
Diced lamb: 4-5 pieces
Onion: 1 medium
chopped tomato: 1 tin
Tomato puree: 1 TSp
Dried lime powder: 1.5 tsp
Aubergine: 1 large
Vegetable oil
rice: 2 cups
Salt, pepper, turmeric: to taste
Lamb stock cube: 1 cube

Chop the aubergines vertically and fry them until golden in vegetable oil and put them aside. chop the onion finely and fry them in a separate pan until golden, then add the lamb with turmeric, dried lime powder and pepper and let it fry for 5-10 minutes. Because I add a lamb stock later I don't add salt.  Add the tomato purée and fry the whole thing for a while , then add the chopped tomatoes, cover it with some water and let it be for 90 minutes. when it is 70 minutes into it add the aubergines, if you like you can add some lime juice to it.
To make the polo add 2 cups of basmati rice in a pan and cover it with water and add salt and 1 tsp of veg oil. My rule for adding the water is that it should  come up to the first joint of my finger if I put my finger on the surface of the rice (I know people have different fingers but the rule generally had worked). Put the lid on and let it cook slowly until the rice is soft and fluffy . Serve the polo with the khoresh and enjoy. This is perfect for a Sunday lunch and its best if you take a nap after the meal.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Green soup!

I like to make soups , well really I like to use the leftover vegetables in my fridge and have something warm and comfy to eat at the end of the day. So, here is the recipe for a green soup which is absolutely tasty and I think with as little calories as possible.It serves 2.
Potato: 1 medium, chopped
Leek:1/2 cup, sliced
Broccoli: 1/2 cup , chopped
Vegetable stock: 1 pint
Salt and pepper
Add all of the ingredients into a pan and let them boil and cook, add salt and lots of pepper ( I really like pepper with my soup). When the vegetables are cooked mash them all with a mixer and you are good to go! If you want to serve it to guests then just add tiny bit of cream fraiche and watercress on the top.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Healthy chicken combo

Well this is something I tried once and it turned out real good, so here is the recipe. It serves 2.
Courgette: 1medium
Tomato:1 medium
Chicken:4 small pieces
Vegetable oil: 1tsp
Bulgur wheat:2/3 cup
Water: 1cup
salt , pepper and turmeric
Fry the courgette until it is slightly changed colour, while it is frying add a pinch of salt to it. When it seems ready put it aside. In the same frying pan without adding any oil add the chickens, add salt, pepper and turmeric and leave it for 10 minute on medium heat so that it start changing colour and becomes golden all over. Cover the wheat with boiled water for 3-4 minutes. When chicken is nearly done (in about 10-15 mins) add the wheat with the remaining water in the frying pan and let the water evaporate. Chop tomato in small pieces, when the chicken is ready, and the wheat has become al dente then take it off the heat.
In an oven friendly dish put layers of the mixture, first put a thin layer of wheat, then put some of the courgette on top of it, then put half of the chicken and repeat all the stuff is in the dish. add a bit of salt and pepper. preheat the oven for 5-10 min, cover the dish loosely with a foil and put the dish in the oven (150 degrees) after about 30 mins take the foil off and allow the top to become a bit crusty, enjoy with an ice cold cup of  green tea.

How to use Saffron?

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices (?) there and often I have seen on TV that they just throw a bunch of precious threads in a bowl  and to me that is just wrong! Iran ranks first in saffron production in the world and being an Iranian, I have learnt how to use it and I am about to share that knowledge with you :-)
Take 3-4 threads of saffron and using a spice grinder, make it like a powder, boil water and add half a cup on to the powder and put some sort of lid on it, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then use the red watery mix on your food.