It probably isn’t fair to use ‘first’ and ‘last’ when there are only two, but I started with it last week, so now I gotta finish it.
The second/last dinner with an Iranian bent at my place consisted of a polow (rice dish), an attempt at vegan kebab, and some salads.
I used the recipes from Saraban as a guide, but changed them so much they are no doubt unrecognisable to their creators by now. For the jewelled polow I used a half-half Persinan/Central Asian rice cooking method. I soaked the rice and parboiled it, as per the Persian method, but I did not make a crunchy bottom. Instead I sort of stir-fried the rice with the fruit and nuts, with some turmeric thrown in for colour.
It tasted good, and looked good too, although it was missing the distinctive Iranian crunch.
For the kebab, I drew inspiration from a recipe for chicken kebab with lemon, mint and chilli.
The original recipe called for chicken soaked in yoghurt and the flavourings. As I chose to use Fry’s strips I avoided this soaking concept. The strips DO NOT like being cooked in liquid, as I found out many moons ago when I turned them to mush in an attempt at making Malaysian red-cooked chicken.
Instead of soaking, I fried the strips with some turmeric, a teensy bit of lemon and some cumin and dried mint. I then made a serving sauce to go with it, that was sort-of yoghurty. I served it up with some lime wedges to add the tang without melting the strips.
It turned out to be totally delicious, and is something I’ll make from time to time in the future.
The salad was a thrown-together affair of petal, purslane, lettuce and herbs from our garden. Mr found the basil too strong, but I thought it was just right.
So that’s it for Iran. I’m sad to say goodbye to the yummy flavours, but I’ll be happy to go back to easy and quick rice dishes :)
Next up on Around the World Vegan, a foray into Egypt, Sri Lanka, Germany or China – I haven’t decided yet!