Tuesday 2 March 2021

Persian Market Palau

Persian Market Palau

This is a recipe that I prepared with my aunt Villie many, many years ago for a fundraiser in Toronto. Attended by over 50 ladies, it was a wonderful experience and perhaps the stepping stone to the start of my career.
While traditionally these kinds of dishes are made in a deep pan and 'overturned' to show the beautiful tahdig or crust, one can prepare this for a large family gathering in platters and layers just as beautifully.
The flavours are subtle yet delicious, the textures are many, and it looks so pretty that it's a wonderful dish to share.
This recipe is a wonderful marriage/meld/combination of the past and the present. A blend of the Persian method of preparing the onion-based gravy in a rich meat broth. Cooking the meat in yoghurt with warm spices and a couple of chillies. The delicious aromas from the generous use of saffron only add to the flavour of this dish. The addition of potatoes is a must for all Parsis, Indian or Iranian, and the butter can easily be replaced with ghee to take us back in time. The dish is richly extravagant. It's a feast.

Serves 6

4 tbsp oil+ butter or brown butter

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 fresh or dry red chillie

500gm/1lb lamb pieces in 2 inch squares

1 tsp salt

1 cup yogurt

mixed with 1 tsp advieh or

a mix of 1/4 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp nutmeg + 1/2 tsp cinnamon powders

1 cup water

1 cup rice - cooked until al dente` 

3 cups finely shredded or sliced potatoes cooked in 4 tbsp oil and butter and salted  1 tsp.

1/4 tsp crushed saffron in 1/4 cup warm milk

1/2 cup chopped pistachio

1/2 cup zereshk barberries - rinsed

In a pan heat the oil and butter and cook the onion until a pale golden brown. Add the ginger, lamb and salt and cook until the meat is browned all over. Do this on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. 

Add to this the yogurt mixture thinned down with a cup of warm water.  - This will help prevent the yogurt from curdling.

Cover and cook until the meat is tender. Allow a thick gravy to remain approximately  1 1/2 cups.

Prepare the rice

Boil 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Add the washed cup of rice. Bring it to a boil until just cooked. Do not over cook. Rinse it out and leave on a flat platter to cool.

Prepare the potatoes

In a flat pan heat the oil and butter and lay out the potatoes to cook with a teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan, do not stir the potatoes it needs to get a crust. Assemble Lightly oil the pot or a non stick spring form pan or a ring mould.

If you are inverting as per the recipe

Press down the potatoes crust side down.

Layer with half the rice. Press down.

sprinkle the Pistachio and Zereshk berries

Top with the meat and gravy

Press down the remainder of the rice.

Make holes in it with the back of the spoon. 

Pour the saffron in the holes.

Seal tightly with parchment paper and a lid. 

Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes. Turn the stove off. Leave for 15 minutes. Overturn on a plate and serve.

Noosh e jan!

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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