The Perfect Persian Recipes to Deliver Festive Flavor
December 1, 2017 |
Who ever said that Christmas had to be traditional?
No matter what you’re celebrating this holiday season, I personally think that the best way to make the festive period great for your family, is to add something unique to the mix. Sure, stick to the turkey if that’s what you love – but why not add a few different recipes to the mix for New Year’s Eve or the day before Christmas?
Whether you’re trying to pinpoint new traditions for your family, or you simply want to shake Christmas up a bit by trying something new, I’ve got some delicious Persian recipes that are sure to spice up your festive parties.
While these dishes from the Middle East might seem strange for this time of year, the chances are they’ll give you that same comforting feeling you get from chowing down on roasted potatoes and Brussel sprouts. After all, many of the fruits, nuts, and spices that we find in our festive foods today come from the Middle East.
1. Persian Squash and Pistachio Roast
The flavors in Persian cuisine lend themselves naturally to vegetable based dishes, like a Persian squash and pistachio roast. All you need is:
Plenty of squash
1 red onion
50g of dried apricot
Cumin and coriander seeds
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
100g of in-shell pistachios
100g of brown rice
2 medium eggs
Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease up a tart tin with some olive oil. Peel and chop the squash into thick chunks and place them in a baking tray with some oil, before roasting for twenty-five minutes. Roughly chop the onion, garlic, cranberries, and apricot, and add the coriander and cumin seeds along with the lemon zest. Throw the onion into some oil for around ten minutes in a frying pan, then add your garlic, and the rest of the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes, while you blitz the pistachios in a blender.
Shell the pistachios into a bowl with your rice and dried fruit, then beat and stir in the eggs, with the onion. Finally, take your squash out of the oven and mash half of it into a blend, before pouring the whole lot into the mixture too. Cook it in the tart tin for around 50 minutes. Learn more here.
2. Candied Almonds
The festive season isn’t just about huge button-popping meals. Snacks are important too! These delicious candied almonds will keep your guests coming back for more whatever the occasion might be. All you need to make them is:
2 cups of raw California almonds
A quarter cup of white sugar
Half a cup of lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of salt
Half a cup of water
Place a saucepan on your stove, and combine the sugar, half the salt, the honey, and water into the pan over a medium heat. Stir until everything dissolves into a thick mixture. Throw the California Almonds into the pan and coat them thoroughly, then strain the sauce into the saucepan and allow the almonds to sit for a while. Add the lime juice to your sauce and cook for a further ten minutes, then add the almonds again, cooking for around five minutes while constantly stirring. Spread your almonds out over a sheet of wax paper and let them cool! Get more info here.
3. Persian Yogurt Soup
Finally, as a starter or supper, this delicious and unique collection of flavors is sure to warm up your winter wonderland. All you’ll need is:
2oz of butter
1 finely chopped white onion
14oz of chickpeas
Basmati rice (125g)
Half a bunch of dill
Half a bunch of coriander
Half a bunch of parsley
Half a bunch of mint
Half a bunch of spring onions
3 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
1oz of butter
Melt your butter in a pan and add your onion with a hefty pinch of salt. Sweat the onions for around fifteen minutes until they’re soft, then stir in your rice, adding enough water to cover the rice by around three centimeters. Bring the pan to the boil then turn it down to a simmer, before leaving it for around ten minutes.
Once your rice is cooked, stir in your chopped herbs, chickpeas, garlic, and spring onions. Whisk your egg yolks into the yogurt and stir the lot carefully into the soup, adding around 300ml of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t boil. Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt the rest of your butter and garlic until it starts to color, then stir in the mint. Take it off the heat, transfer your soup into bowls, and drizzle each bowl with a spoonful of minty garlic butter. More guidance here.