For as long as I can remember, it has been a tradition to organise a family barbecue each summer. We marinate the meat together the night before and the final result is beautifully tender, succulent, charred and feverishly smoky. This dish uses a Mughal cooking technique called dhuandaar to impart the flavour of smoke into cooked chicken. While not essential for this dish, it is a really simple and effective way of bringing the barbecue flavour to your dishes any time of the year. All you need is a small piece of coal… intrigued?
Persian Spicy Fish and Herb Stew | Ghalieh Mahi
Samin Nosrat shared this recipe with us as part of our Persian food episode Four Persian Cooks.
Chelo ba Tahdig | Steamed Persian Rice with Tahdig
The perfect light lunch or appetizer, kuku sabzi differs from a typical frittata in two important ways. To begin with, the ratio of greens to eggs is heavily skewed in favor of greens—in fact, I use just enough eggs to bind the greens together. And kuku isn’t kuku without a deeply browned crust to provide a textural and flavor contrast to its bright, custardy center. Eat kuku warm, at room temperature, or cold, with feta cheese, yogurt, or pickles to offer the balance of acidity. Washing, chopping, and cooking down all the greens for a kuku can be overwhelming if you’re not used to staring down a mountain of produce, so feel free to prep the greens a day in advance.
Carrot + Walnut Halva | halva-ye havij-e urmia
Saffroned Almond Cake | loz-e badam-e yazdi
We wanted our baklava recipe to produce crisp, flaky, buttery lozenges, light yet rich, filled with fragrant nuts and spices, and sweetened just assertively enough to pair with a Turkish coffee. To achieve this goal, we sprinkled store-bought phyllo dough with three separate layers of nuts (pistachios) flavored with cardamom. We clarified the butter for even browning. We found that cutting the baklava rather than just scoring it before baking helped it absorb the sugar syrup. Finally, allowing the baklava to sit overnight before serving improved its flavor of our baklava recipe and was worth the wait.
This recipe is an ancient Persian take on the spinach salad from masterful writer Joan Nathan. Spinach is quickly blanched in boiling water, then pulsed in a food processor with cilantro, walnuts and garlic until roughly chopped. Toss with vinegar, salt and pepper and serve at room temperature alongside a chunk of whole grain bread and good butter and you have a delicious spring dinner.
If you like crackly pan scraps, have an appetite for anything extra crispy, or if you prefer your food more darkly tanned than pale, then you must try making tahdig.