Jul 31

Its summer and time to get out doors and begin grilling some good stuff! How about some Joojeh Kabab to satisfy your appetite?!
Note:you will need skewers that are thinner than those used for Kabab Koobideh.

Below you will see two different types of marinated Joojeh Kabab. One is the normal Joojeh Kabab (left) and the other is a spicy version (right):

regular-joojeh-kabob-marinationjoojeh-kabob-marination

Ingredients:
Chicken breast(s) — Every skewer holds about 1 chicken breast, and usually you will need 1 to 2 skewers per person
olive oil — Approximately half a cup (for 2-3 chicken breasts)
salt — desired amount
pepper — desired amount
turmeric — half a teaspoon or slightly more than that
chopped onion(s) - 1 large for 2-3 chicken breasts
saffron (optional) - just a tad
red pepper or chili pepper (optional) — if you want to make them spicy

regular-jooje-kabob-halfcooked

Directions:
Cut up the chicken breast into pieces. The size of the pieces depends on the size of your skewer.

Add the chicken pieces to a container or bowl that has a lid.

Marinade the chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, a tad bit turmeric, chopped onions, and saffron (finely ground). Make sure to mix the chicken pieces into the marinade so that all the pieces are coated. Note: If you want to make the chicken spicy add the red pepper as part of the marinade. Place the lid on the container (bowl) and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

When you are ready to make the Joojeh Kabab prepare your grill. If you are using charcoal you will need to fix the grill and wait until the charcoal is heated prior to placing the skewers onto the grill.

joojeh-kabobspicy-jooje-kabob

Place chicken pieces onto the skewers and cook them on the grill. Rotate the skewers to make sure both sides are cooked evenly. Depending on how juicy you want the Joojeh to be you will need to adjust the grilling time (5 to 10 minutes). It does not take long for the Joojeh Kabab to be cooked and ready, but you want to avoid having too much of a flaming grill because your Joojeh will burn on the outside and not cook on the inside. With practice your timing will become better.

Serve with rice, sabzi khoordan (herbs such as mint, tarragon, etc.), or bread.

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Apr 19

In general I am a huge fan of Tahchin. I decided to try Tahchin-e Esfenaj and see if the spinach version is just as tasty as the regular Tahchin that I typically make. Its definitely tasty!
One thing I did differently is that instead of adding aloo (prunes) to the spinach, I only added lemon juice. My reason for this is that I didnt like the idea of taking a bite and ending up with a haste (seed) in my mouth! :) Its a personal choice.

Tahchin e Esfenaj

Tahchin e Esfenaj

Ingredients (4-6 people):
3-4 cups rice — wash and soak your rice prior to cooking. Add salt to the water it is soaking in.
2 bunches of spinach
.5 lb chicken or meat
oil
100-200 grams aloo (optional) , or you can use 3-4 tablespoons powdered ghoreh (sour grape)–I used lemon juice instead. If using aloo make sure you soak it in water prior to using it.
1.5 cups plain yogurt
2 egg yolks
1 medium onion –chopped up
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
baking soda
salt/pepper
turmeric

Directions:
Clean/wash the spinach and then cut off the stems. Chop the spinach up a little. Note: do not chop the spinach up too much, or into little pieces. Place the spinach in a pot and add about a cup of water, salt, and baking soda to the pot and set on the stove top on medium heat (cover the pot with lid). Allow the spinach to cook for a bit.

Once the spinach is cooked use a strainer to drain out the water. Note: you will need to use a spoon or spatula to squeeze the spinach a bit and make sure most of the water is drained out. In a pot fry 3-4 tablespoons of the chopped onions in oil until slightly golden then add th spinach and fry the spinach. After a few minutes of frying the spinach remove the pot from the heat and place it aside.

In another pot (on the stove top set to medium heat) fry the remaining chopped onions until slightly golden then add the chicken (or meat) pieces and fry them. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric (and if not using prunes some lemon juice) to the contents of the pot and stir. Add 1- 1.5 cups of water to the pot and cover the contents with the lid. Allow the chicken to fully cook and to have at least 1/2 cup of water left in the pot by the time its cooked.

Once the meat is ready you can prepare your rice. In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add your rice (that has been soaking in salt water) to the pot and allow the rice to come to a boil. Drain the rice in a strainer and set aside.

Add hot water to the 3/4 of the saffron in a bowl and allow the saffron to dissolve a bit then mix together the yogurt, egg yolks, saffron, and 3-4 tablespoons oil. You will then add this yogurt mixture to the bottom of a pot. Note: I mixed two spatula’s worth of rice with this yogurt mixture, then poured it into a large pot. You may even choose to add more oil to the bottom of the pot before adding the yogurt mixture. If you plan on making the Tahchin in the oven, use an oven safe dish (preferably round in shape).

Add half the spinach on top of the yogurt layer and use the back of a spatula or spoon to press down on the contents of the Tahchin. Add a bit of rice on top of this layer and then add the the chicken (or meat) on top of the rice. Note: if using aloo (or powdered ghooreh) you will add it at this time on top of the chicken (or meat).

Add the rest of the spinach on top of the chicken (or aloo) layer. Finally cover the spinach with the remaining rice and use a spatula or spoon to once more press down on the contents.

Combine some of the chicken stock (strain it first) and 4 tablespoons of oil, along with some liquid saffron (use remaining saffron and mix with hot water). Pour this mixture over the surface of the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and place the pot on stove top or in the oven. Note: if you use the oven your crust will come out more even…at least thats how my luck usually goes. If using the stove top heat up the pot on the stove top then cover the lid with a cloth or towel and let it “dam bekeshe” or fully cook for at least 1 hour to a maximum of 2 hours. If using the oven for 30 minutes set the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then after 30 minutes set it to 300 degrees.

Enjoy!

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Mar 16

This dish is practically the same as Zeresk Polo ba Morgh (Barberry Rice with Chicken). When I first decided to make it I kept asking myself what is different about this dish compared to Zereshk Polo…but then I realized the main difference is that the chicken is steamed with the rice in Morgh Polo. Though some do this when making Zereshk Polo, its more common to prepare the chicken separately when cooking Zereshk Polo. In other words chicken is the garnish to Zereshk Polo.

Morgh Polo

Morgh Polo

Either way, whichever name you decide to call the dishes the recipe is below :)

Ingredients:
500 grams Chicken –you can lesson the amount of chicken if you wish
1 small onion - finely chopped up
100 grams barberries (zereshk)
3-4 cups rice
1-2 teaspoon zireh (cumin)
1 teaspoon liquid saffron
oil
2-3 tablespoons sugar
salt/pepper
turmeric

Directions:

Rinse the rice and soak it (add salt to the water) for at least 1-2 hours prior to preparing the Morgh Polo.

Begin by preparing your chicken. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces. In a pan you want to fry the onions in oil until they begin turning a golden color. Once the onions are turning a golden color add the chicken pieces.  Fry the chicken and add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add about 1 cup of water to the chicken and cover the pan with a lid and allow the chicken to cook for 30- 40 minutes on medium heat.

Once the chicken is prepared set the chicken pieces aside. If you want to keep a bit of the chicken stock to pour onto the rice you may do so at this time.

In a large pot bring water to a boil. When the water is boiling add the rice to the pot and allow it to cook until the water comes to a boil again (stove top should be on high temperature). Drain the rice and add a little water and oil to the pot and return it to the stove. Pour half the rice into the pot and then add the chicken pieces and cumin, and cover the chicken/cumin with the remaining rice. Should you like you can add a bit of the chicken stock to the rice at this time. Place a cloth or towel on the lid of the pot and cover the pot. Once the steam begins escaping from the pot you want to turn the temperature down to low and allow the Morgh Polo to cook at least an additional 40 minutes.

Clean the zereshk (barberries) and soak for a bit in water then rinse. Approximately 10- 15 minutes before serving the Morgh Polo you want to begin cooking the zereshk. In a pan pour a little bit of oil and add the rinsed zereshk to the pan. Fry the barberries a bit and add a desired amount of sugar to them. Add a little bit of saffron as well. Once the barberries are cooked set them aside and prepare the Morgh Polo.

In a serving platter you want to use a large spoon to place half the Morgh Polo on the platter. Then mix another half of the remaining Morgh Polo with most of the zereshk (leave a small amount of the zereshk). Pour the mixed zereshk and Morgh Polo over the rice in the serving platter. Finally, add a bit of liquid saffron to remaining amount of Morgh Polo and mix with the remaining zereshk. Add this to the top of the Morgh Polo in the serving platter (you can decorate it on top of the rice).

Serve with torshi, mast-o khiar, mast-o moosir, plain mast (yogurt), sabzi jat, or any other type of desired garnish.

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