PERSIAN COOKBOOK RECIPES

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KHORESH-E GHORMEH SABZI (PERSIAN HERB, BEAN AND LAMB …



Khoresh-e Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb, Bean and Lamb … image

There are three essential elements to this khoresh, or stew, which is often called Iran’s national dish. First, the sweet, pungent flavor of dried or fresh fenugreek leaves defines the stew, which simply isn’t the same without it. Likewise, Omani limes (also known as dried Persian limes) add a distinct aged sourness that is vital to the dish. Finally, the classic Persian technique of sautéing a mountain of finely minced herbs lends character and complexity to the foundation of the stew. Don’t be afraid to really cook down the herbs until quite dark and dry; this step is essential to concentrate their flavor.

Provided by Samin Nosrat

Total Time 4 hours

Yield 6 to 8 servings

Number Of Ingredients 15

1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder or beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried kidney beans
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound Italian parsley (about 3 large bunches)
1 pound cilantro (about 3 large bunches)
2 bunches chives
1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
4 Omani (dried Persian) limes, rinsed and punctured multiple times with a fork
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
Polo Ba Tahdig (Persian Rice With Bread Crust), for serving
Mast-o Khiar or plain yogurt, for serving

Steps:

  • In a medium bowl, season the meat with turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  • Rinse the beans and place in a medium bowl with 1 cup water and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, place a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil. When it shimmers, add meat and cook, turning regularly so that it browns evenly on all sides, about 15 minutes. Once the meat has browned, move it to the edges of the pot and add the onion to the center of the pot, along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion begins to soften and turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain the beans and add to the pot, stirring to combine everything and coat the beans with oil. Add 4 cups water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours.
  • In the meantime, prepare the herbs: Wash parsley and cilantro, then use a salad spinner to dry very well. Remove and discard the tough stems. Chop the leaves and tender stems very, very finely, or feel free to use a food processor to get these herbs as finely chopped as possible. The more finely chopped the herbs, the more green and unctuous the ghormeh sabzi will be.
  • Separately chop the chives and entire bunch of scallions (including the green tops) as finely as possible by hand. These, too, must be very finely chopped — nearly minced — but they will turn to mush in a food processor and thus should be chopped by hand.
  • Set a large frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the scallion-chive mixture. Allow to wilt, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, then add remaining chopped herbs and fenugreek leaves, crushing the fenugreek leaves between your fingers as you add them. Cook, stirring continuously, until the herbs are wilted and very dark green — but not burned — and they give off a bright green oil when pressed with a spoon, 18 to 20 minutes. This step is crucial to the flavor and color of the stew. You’ll know the herbs are ready when they feel dry and emit a strong, savory aroma.
  • When the meat has cooked for 2 hours, add the cooked herb mixture, Omani limes and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for another hour. Check on the limes occasionally to make sure they are submerged in the stew but not falling apart. Gently push them into the stew if they’re still floating after 20 minutes.
  • As the stew nears the 3-hour mark, remove the lid and check the meat; it should be very tender. If the ghormeh sabzi seems a little watery, leave it uncovered for the last 20 minutes of cooking and allow to reduce into a thick stew. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. If the stew needs a little acidity, juice a lime into the stew through a sieve by pressing down on it with a spoon (avoid letting the seeds through the sieve, as they can be bitter). Set aside. Taste the stew and continue adding more lime juice until the stew is sufficiently tangy. Stir in the saffron. The stew should be a very deep, dark shade of green and quite thick when done. Return dried limes into the stew to serve.
  • Serve hot with Persian rice and mast-o khiar.

ASH RESHTEH (PERSIAN GREENS, BEAN AND NOODLE SOUP) RECIPE



Ash Reshteh (Persian Greens, Bean and Noodle Soup) Recipe image

Ash reshteh’s flavor is defined by two uniquely Persian ingredients: reshteh and kashk. The soup, served during the festivities leading up to Nowruz, the Persian New Year, wouldn’t be the same without the soup noodles called reshteh, which are saltier and starchier than Italian noodles — though you could substitute linguine in a pinch. Kashk, a form of drained yogurt or whey, is saltier and more sour than Greek yogurt or sour cream. More like feta than yogurt, liquid kashk gives ash its distinct, satisfying flavor. If you can’t find liquid kashk, buy it powdered and hydrate it with warm water to the consistency of sour cream. Look for both items at a Middle Eastern grocery.

Provided by Samin Nosrat

Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes

Yield 8 to 10 servings (about 4 quarts)

Number Of Ingredients 18

1/4 cup dried chickpeas
1/4 cup dried white beans, such as navy or cannellini
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds spinach
1 pound cilantro (about 3 large bunches)
1 pound Italian parsley (about 3 large bunches)
2 large bunches dill
1 large bunch chives
About 20 large fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, 1 finely chopped and 1 thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried green or brown lentils
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 quarts chicken or beef stock (preferably homemade), or water
1 1/2 cups liquid kashk (Persian sun-dried yogurt or whey), plus 1/2 cup, for serving
8 ounces reshteh (Persian soup noodles)
1 tablespoon dried mint

Steps:

  • The night before you plan to cook, place chickpeas and white beans in a medium bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and 2 cups water. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The night before or just before cooking, prepare the herbs and greens: Wash spinach, cilantro and parsley, then use a salad spinner to dry very well. Run a knife through the spinach to cut leaves into large pieces. Trim the woody ends from cilantro, parsley and dill so that only leaves and tender stems remain. Roughly chop cilantro, parsley, dill, chives and mint leaves into pieces no larger than a quarter. If preparing ahead of time, wrap chopped greens and herbs in plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
  • To cook, set a large (at least 10-quart) Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is tender and golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Drain the beans and add to onion along with the lentils, turmeric and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the beans with oil and spices. Add the chopped spinach and herbs, along with stock or water, and stir to combine. Partly cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the soup for 1 hour, stirring regularly to prevent the greens from sticking and burning. If the soup remains very thick even after the greens have wilted, add another 1 to 2 cups water, as needed to thin it.
  • Place 1 1/2 cups kashk in a medium bowl. Add a ladle or two of hot soup and whisk to dissolve, then add the mixture to the pot. The kashk will change the color of the soup from bright to milky green. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then break the noodles in half and add to the pot. Stir gently to mix in the noodles and keep them from sticking together, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are soft and chewy and the beans are completely tender, about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare the garnishes: Set a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil shimmers, add sliced onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and caramelized, 16 to 18 minutes. Spread cooked onion onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil; let cool. Wipe out pan and return to medium heat. Add remaining 1/3 cup oil and warm gently over low heat, then stir in dried mint and remove from heat. Set mint oil aside and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes.
  • Place remaining 1/2 cup kashk in a small bowl and thin out with a few tablespoons of water until it’s the texture of thin yogurt. Set aside.
  • The soup should be as thick as a hearty chili. If it’s any thicker, thin it with water, 1/2 cup at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt as needed, accounting for the fact that both the noodles and the kashk are well salted.
  • To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Drizzle with reserved kashk and mint oil, then top with a sprinkling of golden onions.

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