Sunday 14 February 2016

Today's Lunch

Baghali Polo - Persian Rice and Dill and Broad beans

1 cup sella basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 table spoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped dill 
1 cup broad beans; frozen
1/4 teaspoon saffron; crushed and soaked in a warm water (1 tablespoon)


  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak with salt in some cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Boil the broad beans for 5 minutes, cool in cold water and peel.
  3. Place 3 cups of water with the drained rice in a pan and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat  and simmer for 15 minutes, drain the rice.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, when hot, add a third of the drained rice, cover with half the dill and beans. Add another layer of the rice and cover with the other half of the dill and beans, finally add the remaining rice.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil and the saffron on the top and cover.  Reduce the heat and leave the rice to cook for 15 minutes.  
Serve with lamb shanks

Ridge Gourd Curry / Turai / Ghisora Shaak

2 ridge gourds; ridges peeled and slices thinly into half moons.
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
6-7 curry leaves
3 tomatoes; blanched, peeled and crushed
3 cloves garlic; minced
2 inch piece ginger; peeled and grated
2 green chillies; minced
2 table spoons fresh grated coconut (desiccated ok too)


  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the curry leaves, mustard and sesame seeds.
  2. Add the onions when the seeds have popped, and fry until translucent.
  3. Add at the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillies.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced ridge gourds, and mix so that all the vegetables are coated with the tomato /onion mixture.
  5. It may appear dry but, do NOT add any water, cover and cook on a low flame for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Add the coconut and coriander and mix well.  Serve with Chapattis.

Mustard Spiced Carrot Salad

6 carrots grated
6 green chilies; sliced longitudinally

2 tablespoon olive oil
2 limes juiced
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 table spoon split mustard seeds
Salt to taste

1. Peel and grate the carrots and place in a bowl
2. Slice the chilies, remove seed if you want and add to the carrots
3. Place the oil, lime juice, turmeric, chili powder, mustard seeds and salt in a small jar and mix.
4. Pour over the carrots and chilies and mix.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Recipes from Wooden Spoon and Apron Cooking Class (11th Feb 2016)

Tarka Dal


250ml cup red lentils; rinsed until the water runs clear
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 Stick cinnamon
3 cardamom pods
3 cloves
6 peppercorns
1 onions; finely chopped
3-4 green chilies split into two
2 inch piece of ginger; grated
3-4 garlic cloves; minced
3 tomatoes (chopped fine
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander/cumin powders
1/2 lemon juiced
4 stems Coriander; chopped finely chopped


  1. Wash the lentils thoroughly at least 3 times. Place them with 6 cups of the water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender.
  2. When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and use a beat with wooden to break down the lentils. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.
  3. Meanwhile chop the onion finely and set aside.
  4. Place the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns on a plate, place the turmeric and coriander and cumin powders in a saucer.
  5. Chop the coriander leaves and set aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat setting. 
  7. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns, cook until they splutter and pop.
  8. Add the onions and fry until BROWN.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the turmeric and coriander/cumin powders. Season, to taste, with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce. 
  10. Add to the lentils and stir well, adding more water as necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to boil and add the lemon juice and salt.
  11. Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.

Friday 5 February 2016

Kashke Bademjan / Fried Aubergines Dip with Whey

The last recipe from yesterdays EFAB's Wooden Spoon and Apron Club

This is Azam Saeb-Parsy's recipe

4 Aubergines
Olive oil
100 g fried onions
1 cup water
100 ml Kashke / Whey
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 pinch saffron in 1-tablespoon water
Salt to taste

1.     Peel the aubergines and slice longitudinally into 3 pieces on cook each side for 5 minutes.  Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, and fry until golden brown. Mash it and add most of the fried onions (save 1 tablespoon for garnish).
2.      Add the water and salt and cook the aubergines and onions at medium heat for 30 minutes.
3.     In another saucepan fry the crushed garlic for 5 minutes, remove and set aside.  Fry the dried mint for 3 minutes and set aside.
4.     Place the aubergine and onion mix on a serving dish and drizzle the kashke on the top of the mashed aubergines and garnish with fried garlic, mint, fried onions and saffron.
5.     Serve with hot flat bread.

Kuku-ye Sibzamini/ Potato Patties

Another recipe fro EFAB Wooden Spoon and Apron Club

This recipe is another one of Azam Saeb's Recipes

7 medium potatoes; boiled and grated
6 Spring onions chopped finely
6 eggs, lightly beaten
100g Cheddar cheese; grated
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6 tbsp.  oil

1. Place some salted water in a pan to boil.
2. Peel the potatoes and add to the boiling water.
1. Chop the spring onions finely and set aside.
2. Grate the cheese and set aside
3. Lightly beat the eggs and set aside
4. Cool the boil potatoes in cold water and grate.
5. Place all the above in a bowl and add salt and pepper.
6. Mix and make patties.
7. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently place the patties in the oil, cook for 5 minutes and flip.  Repeat until all the patties are cooked.

Sabzi Polo ba Mahi / Herby Rice with Fried Fish

Here is what we cooked at the EFAB Wooden Spoon and Apron Club.  The theme was Persian Food, led by Azam Saeb-Parsy

Herby Rice / Sabzi Polo

This recipes uses Sella Basmati rice.  This is treated differently than ordinary basmati rice. The rice is subjected to heat after harvesting, while its husk (the brown covering on the grain) is still on.   The husk is then removed, it is usually used for Persian rice recipes

2 cups sella basmati (Ajaman brand) rice 
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped  coriander
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped  green garlic
1 medium leek; chopped finely
4 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed soaked in warm water

  1. Wash the rice 3 times and soak in clean water  with 1 tablespoon of salt for 30 minutes.
  2. Crush and soak the saffron in warm water, set aside.
  3. Chop all the herbs finely and set aside.
  4. Place 1 1/2 litres of water in a saucepan and bring to boil, add the drained rice and bring to boil, cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Drain water using a colander and layer the rice and herbs into the saucepan, pour the half the saffron on the top. (put the other half in the fish marinade.
  6. Pour the olive oil around the edges of the saucepan and cover, cook on very low heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is steaming. 
Mahi (Fish)

3 medium Sea bass; filleted 
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crush soaked in warm water (use half from the recipe above)
1 lemon; juiced
Salt to taste
Olive oil to fry

  1. Wash and dry the fish with paper towel, place in a dish and add the lemon juice, saffron and salt, make sure the fish is coated with the mixture.
  2. Fry each side for 5 minutes.
Serve the fish with the rice. 

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