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Persian Cuisine: Part 1-Zereshk Polo O Morgh

Mini Series on Persian Cuisine: PART 1 - Zereshk Polo O Morgh (Barberry and Chicken)



I mentioned wayyyy back when that I was thinking of starting a mini series on Persian Cuisine, and finally got around to introducing it in my Eid/New- Year post.

I'm both excited and nervous about sharing Persian Cuisine with you guys and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!





First a quick back story: I am an Iranian-Canadian, and proud of it! Though I consider myself to be quite Canadian (check out my Canada Day cupcakes!) I still have very strong roots to my Iranian culture. Though I may be quite  a bit bias in saying this, but Persian food is good. Like. Really. Good. Its the type of food that satisfies many palates. Unlike other cuisines that might be too spicy or too mild for some, Persian cuisine is a delicious middle. However, though I enjoy eating it, it dawned on me that I have absolutely NO CLUE on how to make any of it! So, I have asked my mom to show me, and I plan to document my learning through the blog so you guys can learn too!

I also happen to be very fortunate because I have a mother who knows how to cook. And I know many people may say, "SO?! My Mom knows how to cook too!" But no. seriously. You dont know how good you have it until you dig into what you think will be REALLYYY good food, only to find that your friend's mom just...doesn't make it as good as your mom! I guess this food obsession is genetic? ;)



Still not convinced that my mom is like the super genius of Persian food? Then take everyone else's word for it. OTHER Iranians are always commenting on how delicious my moms cooking is, and are often asking about 'her way' of making things. Her most requested recipe? This one right here. Consider this a secret family recipe. The thing that makes this go over the top is, are you ready for it? The tomato paste. Who would have thought huh?



Anyways, I thought I would kick start my mini-series on Persian Cuisine with something that is not only delicious (duh!) but relatively easy to make, fits many taste buds (I mean...its chicken) AND is a 'secret family recipe' ( which makes me giddy inside because we don't have too many of those around here).




The literal Translation of this recipe would be Zereshk (Barberry) Polo (Rice) O (and) Morgh (chicken)




Zereshk Polo O Morgh


Ingredients:
(serves about 3)

Morgh:
- about 1/2 a chicken cut up into individual size pieces
- Saffron
- 2-3 tbsp Tomato Paste
- about 1 cup Water
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion

Zereshk:

- small onion (optional)
- 1/4 cup Barberry
- Saffron
- 1 tbsp sugar


Instructions:




 1. chop up a medium sized onion and pour it into a medium-large sized pot 




2. Take a 'pinch' (really small amount) of saffron (make sure to use the tip of a spoon and not your fingers!) and pour it into a small bowl. Add about 2 tbsp of boiling water.




I used a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon to show you how little it is.


**TIP** Crush your saffron down to a powder using a mortar and pestle. This makes your saffron smell better and give off a stronger color

3. In a separate medium size bowl combine the following: 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix. Add in the saffron mixture. Pour over the chicken in the pot.




4. Put the lid on and put it on low-medium heat to cook for about 40-45 min, depending on the strength of your stove top.







And thats it! your done your chicken! Now, while you are waiting for the chicken make your rice the same way you always do. Then, make the Zereshk. This is optional too, but I would suggest making it and trying it. I used to not be a fan when I was a child, but its grown on me over the years. It has a really sour (like lemoney not bitter) taste to it, and gives the dish that tiny little extra pop.


How to make the Zereshk:

1. Chop up your small onion if using and pour it into a pan and fry it up a bit.

Dice it up nice and small




2. Prepare some more saffron 'liquid' in a small bowl as you had before.





3. wash your barberries really well. Give them several rinses and pick out any stems or dirt.

Cleaning it out- pick out stems and any dirt/rocks that may be there
Wash
oohh look at my mommy's pretty ring! ;)
Drain
Use Berries while they are still moist!



4. Then, while barberries are still moist, add them to the pan and toss in the saffron.



5. Add 1 tbsp of sugar to cut back on the sourness.



** NOTE: Barberries 'bake' really fast, so only a few mixes should be enough. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER HEAT IT OR IT WILL BURN!

6. Take it off the pan and mix in some of the prepared rice into it. (about 1/2 cup)


How to arrange:

Pour some rice on to your plate. Top its of with about a spoon or two of the Zereshk you made, and top it with the chicken (and some of its juices)






Enjoy!!

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Turkish Festival

**Please help me out by voting on the side bar…jump to the last paragraph for more details. Please and thank you! :) ***

Hello all!


I apologize for the lack of posts! After my last post, I got a bit sick with what I thought was a common cold. I figure all I should do is just rest lots and chug lots of OJ. After a week of this and not getting better, I went to the doctor who said don’t worrryyyy you’ll get better! And refused to give me antibiotics. Long story short, turns out I *needed* antibiotics! So anywho, all this to say that I was sick for about 3 weeks and have only started to get back on my feet. I promise I will update much, much, more this month! :)



Now, on to the Turkish Festival. I went there about a week ago, and we had a blast! Since I haven’t been baking I thought I would share my experience with you instead. We went on the weekend and there was much to enjoy. From face painting and inflated play structures to live pottery, clay/oil painting (literally painting with oil!), dance, music, and most importantly, LOTS OF YUMMY FOOD. Trust me. I know.


I went a little photo crazy so heres all the crafty stuff:







And here is all the food!





I had a delicious shish kebab….nice and spicy with marinated tomatoes and onions. Also enjoyed freshly baked, right on the spot spinach and cheese pitas, and some Turkish coffee. We also had some baklava, but it was a MAJOR rip off…$1.50 EACH! :o

Some people just take advantage don’t they?!

And of course lots of dancing!







Hopefully I will update with a foodie post sometime in the next few days (any ideas on what to make? :) )



**Also, could you guys please help me figure something out? When I go to food blogs I LOVE gawking at all the delicious pictures, and the bigger the better. However, a ‘friend’ rather rudely pointed out to me that I post ‘too many pictures’. I took it offensively at first, but now I’m pondering whether its annoying to my followers? If so, please let me know by voting on the side! Thank you for your help! :)

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Song of the week: Glee Season 2!!

Watching: Criminal Minds season 6 (man! its mind blowing)

Inspirational Quote:

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Random Foodie Fact:

"The world's first chocolate candy was produced in 1828 by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad J. Van Houten."

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