When I was in Iran, I really wanted to buy a cookbook. I can think of no better souvenir from a country than a nice thick tome on their fare. But alas, the only English written cookbook I found was the Australian Women’s Weekly More Slow Cooking. I am afraid that wasn’t what I had in mind.
When I got home, I did a bit of research and found the book that everyone agreed was the best Iranian cookbook, Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij, so I ordered it. And I must say, it is a jack pot. I have already cooked three recipes from it, all of which have been a success. And I have my eye on another. Tomorrow night’s dinner, in fact.
There are a few ingredients I don’t have, including dried limes. The same dried limes the quarantine man confiscated from me at Perth Airport. Luckily, I have seen them at Kakulas Sister in Nollamara. Another ingredient I didn’t have is ‘golpar’, which I had never heard of. I went on-line and only got one hit in Australia. Zaffron Grocery, West Fairfield, NSW, had it, but in 240g packets, which is a lot of golpar when I will probably only ever use one teaspoon. I bought it anyway and … paid $10.00 for the postage. What the hell? You only live once! 🙂
The quantity in the header photo is one third of the published recipe. I have given these quantities as this is more than enough to serve as part of a starter for six.
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced very finely or shredded and drained
- 25g Iranian sultanas, chopped. Australian sultanas will do but Iranian sultanas are really yummy – If you are in Perth, Kakulas Sister in Nollamara sells them.
- 2 cups of yoghurt, drained overnight, which should produce about 1 cup of drained yoghurt.
- 2 tsp chives or spring onion, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 10g walnuts, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- dried rose petals
- Iranian sultanas
- herbs of your choice
- Place the cucumber, sultanas, drained yoghurt, chopped herbs, garlic and chopped walnuts in a bowl.
- Stir then season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- When ready to serve, garnish and serve with lavash.