For this month’s International Cooking Challenge, our host Savitha Ramesh @ Savitha’s Kitchen has taken us on a culinary tour of Persia/ Iran. Iranian cuisine or Persian cuisine refers to the traditional and modern styles of cooking related to Iran. Situated in the Middle East, the Iranian culinary style is unique to Iran, but it has been influenced by Iran’s neighbouring regions at various stages throughout its history.
Many foods famously associated with Middle Eastern, and indeed World cuisine have their origins in Iran, such as kebab and ice cream. Fresh green herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Typical Persian main dishes are combination of rice with meat, lamb, chicken, or fish and some onion, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic Persian flavorings such as saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.
I made this very flavorful and colorful Iranian Jeweled Rice. It is sweet, nutty and very aromatic. I’m lucky to live in an area that is close to good Turkish/ middle eastern groceries and I have access to good quality ingredients. I bought orange blossom water on one of my so-called ‘window’ shopping days, which was put to good use in this recipe.
This dish is truly a fruit of love. It should not be made when you have a toddler waiting on you to be taken care of or when you have to urgently pick up your injured son from school. This dish needs some serious one-on-one time. It took me about 3~4 rounds to actually grasp what was written in the recipe because there are a lot of steps and ingredients. I will try and break it down, so it is easy to follow the recipe. I scaled the recipe down to th third of the original recipe since I was making only for me and my 18 month old. Even with all the aforementioned distractions, I enjoyed making this dish while the little one was busy munching on the nuts and carrots. All in all, it is a great dish and is totally worth the time spent in making it.
Recipe adapted from the Kitchn: