Friday, February 13, 2009

Yummy persian food


A few weeks ago I took a one-time Persian cooking class at PCC (a natural foods supermarket in Washington state) about Persian cooking. It was my first time trying Persian food and it was wonderful - flavors totally different to anything I'd experienced before. I was mistaken when I thought it would be similar to other middle eastern cuisines (Lebanese, Egyptian, etc).

Yesterday I decided to try and recreate Khoresh-e Fesenjoon, which is Pomegranate-Walnut Stew, traditionally served with chicken but for our purposes with chicken-style seitan (a vegan "meat" made of wheat).

Since I just got a new cookbook called Yellow Rose Recipes, I was excited to find a recipe for chicken-style seitan. It was my first try at making seitan, and while I think it was not super-successful (didn't follow the recipe carefully enough, although it was pretty basic), I still threw it in for the stew.

I put too much lemon in there and didn't process the walnuts finely enough, but otherwise it was pretty good, and you should definitely seek Persian/Iranian food in your life one way or another. We also got to try a cardamom-infused baklava in the class, so I'm hoping to try that soon too.

Khoresh-e-Fesenjoon- Pomegranate Walnut Stew with Chicken-style Seitan

2 cups walnuts
1 large onion, diced
4 tablespoons oil
1 package chicken-style seitan
1 cup pomegranate juice concentrate - more if you're using a thinner pomegranate juice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar - maybe less; this turned out quite sweet
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
2 teaspoons salt

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground, but be careful not to over-do it. You want it to be fine crumbs. Set aside.

In a large pot, saute onions in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the seitan and ground walnuts and mix. Add remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least one hour. Stir periodically.

Serve over basmati rice.

6 comments:

Rosiecat said...

What kind of flavors did you find in the Persian food you sampled?

Mmm, cardamom-flavored baklava! Now that's something I can get behind!

yasmin said...

Well, the pomegrenate walnut stew was sweet, and the pomegranate flavor in a stew like that was definitely something I never experienced before.

There was also another dish with carrots, orange marmalade and grated orange peel served over rice with a bit of sugar thrown in. Very orangey-flavored, and very good.

And that cardamom in the baklava of course!

Bethany said...

oooh! I'm taking that class next week and I can hardly wait!

btw, I took a pcc grains class and we made kosharri! it was really good.

Hopefully I see you on Saturday at the meetup.

yasmin said...

The persian cooking class is great, I think you'll love it.

I'm planning to go to the meetup so I'll probably see you tomorrow. : )

Rosiecat said...

Yasmin, oh Yasmin, where are you? Have you abandoned your blog?

Oh, and did you see the Gourmet article on Koshary? You're a trendsetter!

(I only saw this link because other bloggers are writing about it, but I thought I'd share it with you too, in case you hadn't seen it.)

http://www.gourmet.com/food/2009/03/koshary-recipe

yasmin said...

Wow, thanks for the link, koshary covered in Gourmet! I hadn't seen it, so thanks for sending it along.

I'm still here, just getting a bit lazy on the blog front.

Occasional art, comics, food, and other things of less interest to the general public.