Massoud Nasseri's Food Blog

Massoud Nasseri's Food Blog
Massoud Nasseri's Food Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saffron (King of spices)

How to use saffron?

First you have to make sure that the saffron you are buying is good quality. It should look totally red and no yellow stems mixed with it.
Persian saffron is one on the best. It gives deep red/orange color and has aroma & flavor

Never grind the saffron and store. 
Always use as you need it so the molecules break and release flavor at the time of cooking not stay in your storing container

Grind a pinch of saffron in a mortar.
Put the powder in a small dish and add a few spoon of hot water.
Leave it for a few minutes and then use.

Make a bowl of saffron rice to garnish and decorate the plain rice

Dill Potato Salad (Vegeterian)

You need:
(Serving for 5-6 persons) 

About 10 medium white potatoes
(Avoid the large steak or bake potato type)
1 medium onions finely chopped (sweet onion is better)
1 table spoon of dried dill weed
1 table spoon of mustard
5 table spoons of mayonnaise
1 tea spoon of salt
1 tea spoon of black pepper

How to make it:
Boil the potatoes until tender but not mashed
Cut the potatoes in small cubes
Add chopped onions/dill/mustard/mayonnaise/salt and pepper
Mix and chill for 1 hour before serving

Eat with pita bread or serve on the top of a toasted bread or cracker


Cabbage Rice (Kalam Polo)


 One pound (450 Grams of green cabbage shredded
(I use ready pack of coleslaw or shredded cabbage from the supermarket)
2 tablespoon of olive oil or corn oil 
4 cups of basmati rice
1 teaspoon of turmeric or saffron or both
1 pinch of whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of salt

How to make it:

Saute' the cabbage in a oil in a pan (I use a Chinese wok) 
Add turmeric and cumin seeds
Cook the rice half way read for steaming
Mix all or put layers of cabbage between the rice and steam for 15-20 minutes

* You may add some saute' onions to the cabbage mixture (optional)
* Also: You can add some saute' ground beef or tiny meatball to this dish

Serve with yogurt, fresh herbs and/or pickles


Spit peas Stew (Gheymeh)


1.5 pounds of beef stew meat, tiny cut
1 large onion, chopped
3 table spoon of corn oil
1 can of tomatoes, petite cut or diced
1 cup of yellow spit peas 
(Do not use the regular split peas because they tend to cook fast and mash easily. Instead use the "chana dal" that you may find in Indian or Persian stores)
1 table spoon of tomato paste
3 dried limes, with holes poked in them (to release the flavor)
1 table spoon cinnamon powder
1 table spoon of salt
1/2 table spoon of black pepper
1 table spoon of lime or lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
4 seeds of cardamon crushed (optional) 
Fried potatoes (French fries) or shredded potato chips for topping

How to make it:

Saute' the onions in oil
Add turmeric powder
Add meat and stir until they get brown
Add the diced tomatoes
Add the spit peas
Add salt, pepper, cinnamon powder and dried limes
Cook until the meat & split peas are tender (8-10 minutes in pressure cooker)
(If you want the spit peas don't mash cook them separately and add later)
Leave on low heat for 20-25 minutes
Add the lime or lemon juice

Serve on the top of plain fluffy basmati rice
( A side of Torshi "Picked Vegetables) or fresh herbs are recommended)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shiraz Salad (Salad Shirazi)


(Serving 4- 6 persons)
3 medium pickling or Persian cucumbers
(Avoid the big, fat seeded cucumbers)
1 medium onion (sweet onion is preferred)
3 Roma or salad tomatoes (hard texture)
4 or 5 branches of fresh parsley or cilantro leaves or both
2 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoon of lime juice
1 tea spoon of salt
1 tea spoon of black pepper

how to make it:

Chop the cucumbers/onions/tomatoes in tiny pieces
Chop the parley & cilantro very fine
Add oil/lime/salt/pepper
Mix and serve (no chilling required)

Serve as side or eat as appetizer

Great with Vodka/whiskey/wine!


Persian Yogurt Dip (Must-o-Khiar)


(4-6 servings)
One pound plain low-fat yogurt
3 Persian or salad cucumbers
(Avoid big, fat seeded cucumbers)
One table spoon of dried mint leaves crushed
Half table spoon salt
1 tea spoon of black peppers

How to make it:

If you want this dip to be creamy and thick, drain some of the water from the yogurt by putting the yogurt in a cheese-cloth or thick non breakable paper towel (Bounty brand does well)
Grade the cucumbers or chop the super fine & add to the yougurt
Add mint flakes, salt & pepper and fold with a big spoon gently 
(Do not beat or whisk because the yogurt will loose its texture & creaminess)
Serve with hard kettle cooked potato chips, or pita chips or white tortilla

Great with wine or Scotch whiskey 


Persian Summer Soup (Ab-dough-khiar)

 (Serving 4-6 Persons) 

3 cups or about 32 oz. plain low-fat yogurt
3 tiny pickling or Persian cucumbers finely chopped  
(avoid the big fat seeded cucumbers)
1 small onions finely chopped (better with sweet onions)
3 red radishes graded
10 pieces of walnuts crushed
1 fistful of red seedless raisins
10 leaves of fresh basil or mint or both chopped 
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves crushed

How to make it:

Whisk the yogurt until smooth and soft
Add all the stuff to the yogurt & mix
Add one cup of crushed ice
Add 2 cups of cold water & mix again

Serve with dried pita bread

Enjoy & stay cool!