Share the delicious Persian cuisine that I serve at my restaurant in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. I have started publishing my recipes online so that everyone is able to enjoy the taste of my dishes. Try it at home and maybe you’ll even make it as well as I do!
Ghormeh sabzi is a traditional Persian herb stew, which is a very popular dish in Iran, Iraq, and Azerbaijan to this day. It is usually served when family members return home after being away. The main ingredients are a variety of sautéed herbs, mainly spinach, parsley, spring onions, fresh coriander; seasoned with the key herb, dried fenugreek leaves (or shanbalileh), which gives it the peculiar flavour. They are cooked with beans, onions, and most importantly, pierced and dried ‘limu omani’ (Persian sun-dried limes).
My version serves four, and is prepared as follows.
Nosh-e-Jan | Enjoy!
1 Bunch of Fresh Spinach (or 1 Medium Size Package/200g of Frozen)
1 Large Bunch of Fresh Parsley
1 Bunch of Spring Onions
1 – 2 Fresh Leeks (Only the Green Stems)
1 Bunch of Fresh Fenugreek (If Unavailable, Use 2 Tablespoons of Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
2 Sun-Dried Limes, or Juice of a Fresh Lime
1 Medium Onion, Finely Diced
½ Teaspoon Turmeric
4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 Cup of Pre-Soaked Beans (Rose Coco Beans, Borlotti Beans, Saluggia Beans, Roman Beans, Crab Eye Beans, or Red Kidney Beans)
½ Tablespoon Salt and Pepper to Taste
Soak the beans for 24 hours prior to preparation of the dish, or overnight at a minimum.
Chop the leeks, spring onions, spinach, dill, parsley, and fenugreek fairly finely.
Sauté these in 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan for about 5 minutes, or until the water has dried, then take the pan off and put it aside.
Using another pot, sauté the diced onions in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until they are golden brown.
Add salt, pepper, and turmeric and continue for a few more minutes.
Add the beans now and switch heat to medium.
Crush the sun-dried limes and add them to the mixture.
Add approximately two cups of boiling water and with the lid on, boil for an additional 15 minutes.
Now add the fried vegetables into the mixture and simmer on medium/low heat for 45 min to an hour, stirringly occasionally.
Add the lime juice, blend, and serve over pollo. Alternatively eat with Naan-e-Barbarri or Lavaash.
Also called Khoresht-e-Fesenjan, this is a Persian dish for special occasions. Traditionally, it is made with duck or pheasant in the province of Gilan in north of the country along the Caspian Sea, where these wild birds make their nests in the swamps. It is a thick, rich, sweet-and-sour dish. Fesenjan improves in flavour if served the next day, as all the flavourings soak up into the meat!
I have prepared this dish with all kinds of meat, and occasionally without any at all. See how I prepare it with chicken below, and experiment with cooking it in your own kitchen!
Nosh-e-Jan | Enjoy!
1 Whole Chicken, Cut up into 12 Pieces (Alternatively, 2 – 2½ Lb Boneless Meat)
1 Onion, Thinly Sliced
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Cup Walnuts, Toasted and Finely Ground in a Food Processor
1 Teaspoon of Salt
3 Cups of Pomegranate Juice, or 3 Tablespoons of Pomegranate Molasses
2 or 3 Cardamoms
Half a Cup of Almonds or Cashew Nuts (Optional)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the chicken and onions, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this stage, you may add diced aubergine, if you wish.
Mix in pureed walnuts, salt, pomegranate juice or molasses, and cardamom. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in ¼ cup of warm water.
Adjust the seasoning, and simmer for another 10-30 minutes, and serve.
Joojeh Dum Kardeh Ingredients
4 Whole Chicken Legs and Thighs
Few Strands of Saffron in a Tablespoon of Boiling Water
3 – 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 – 4 Garlic Cloves
¼ Teaspoon of Cracked Black Pepper
Juice of 1 Lime
A Few Chilli Flakes (Optional)
½ Teaspoon of Salt, to Taste
Joojeh Dum Kardeh Procedure
If chicken is not already off the bone, remove it while leaving the meat whole.
In a large mixing bowl, put two tablespoons of olive oil, saffron, crushed garlic, lime juice, cracked black pepper, chilli flakes and salt.
Mix well and add the chicken pieces into it. Make sure that the marinade has worked itself into every bit of the chicken.
Cover with a cling film and refrigerate overnight, or preferably for 24 hours.
Spread the chicken into a steamer as a single layer.
Sprinkle more black pepper and few more chilli flakes, if desired. Steam for 45 – 60 minutes.
Take the steamer off the heat, smear a bit of olive spread or any margarine onto the cooked chicken, and let it rest in the steamer for another 10 minutes.
Cut them to bite-sized pieces and serve with any type of bread, potato, etc, and a fresh seasonal salad. A dollop of mayonnaise makes it even tastier!
In Persian cuisine, khoresht refers to a variety of colourful and tasteful stews, which are typically served with pollo (steamed basmati rice). There are some similarities between Persian and Indian cuisine stews; however, Iranians generally use less spice.
Preparing a Persian stew is simple, but time consuming, taking at least a couple of hours. While it is traditionally made using red meat, my version is suitable for vegetarians, and the following recipe is for approximately six servings.
Nosh-e-Jan | Enjoy!
1 Cup of Yellow Split Peas
3 Ripe Plum Tomatoes, Chopped
2 Sun-Dried Limes
¼ Cup of Oil
2 Onions, Thinly Sliced
½ Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
3 Cups of Water
Lime Juice from Two Fruits
Small Potato – to Make Fries for Garnish
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
Put the split peas, with a little salt and half the turmeric, in a saucepan and add water to cover by about two inches (or three cups’ worth).
Bring the water to boil, cover with a lid, and simmer on gentle heat until the lentils are thoroughly cooked. Set the saucepan aside, while you prepare the rest of the dish.
In another pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and sauté until thoroughly wilted and have begun to caramelise. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes on medium heat, until it has a sauce-like consistency.
Stir in the rest of turmeric, salt, and pepper and continue to cook for a further 2-3 more minutes. Add the crushed sun-dried limes.
Pour this preparation into the saucepan with lentils and cover. Take utmost care while pouring, as it may spit!
Simmer for another 20-35 minutes on a very low heat.
Add water as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency.
Stir in the lime juice, adjust seasoning, and rest for at least 10 minutes.
Garnish with thin fries and serve with pollo rice.