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.


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.)

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.