Peanuts with turmeric

A wonderful Persian snack found in all dry goods markets in Iran. It is really delicious and very healthy. Sometimes I mix in some raisins just before serving it, as I like the sweet and salty taste combination.

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1- Either roast the peanuts -spread them on an oven tray and roast them at high temperature for a few minutes-; or buy them.
2- For 250 gr of roasted peanuts add three teaspoons of coarse sea salt (unless the ones you bought are already salty) and two teaspoons of turmeric. Mix well. Given that peanuts are oily, they will start absorbing the turmeric. Keep mixing until all the peanuts have a yellow colour.

Keep them in a glass container and eat with pleasure! 

Yellow Mung Dahl

A nice change from the usual lentils – Yellow Mung Dahl is a split lentil without its skin. It is easy to cook and filled with vitamins. There are many recipes available and here I made one with mustard seeds and Madras curry. I served it with white Basmati rice and Raita (plain yoghurt with cucumbers, cumin and fresh mint).

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For one cup of Dahl:
1- Clean then wash the lentils thoroughly until the water comes out clear. Let it stand in water for a few hours.

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2- In a large pan place some olive oil and add: one and half teaspoon of mustard seeds crushed, one and half teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of crushed black pepper, some fresh ginger root crushed according to your taste, and half a stick of cinnamon.
3- When the aroma of the spices comes out, add the Dahl with the water, and more water until covering it. Mix in one tablespoon of brown sugar and some salt.
4- Let it come to a boil and bring to a simmer. Cook 30 to 40 minutes until it is soft. Add water during the cooking if you see it is drying.

Take out the cinnamon stick and sprinkle with fresh mint and fresh coriander when serving. 

Preparing barberries for rice topping

Barberries traditionally accompany rice in Iran and in other parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. They are a great source of vitamin C, and, best yet, of colour!

They are called zereshk (زرشک) in Farsi, and simply barberries (pron. berberis – الباربِريْس) in Arabic.

Barberries are also filled with pectin and can be used as a natural additive when making marmalade.

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For a small handful of barberries
1- Clean and wash them with running water (use a sieve it makes it easier), then let them soak for about five minutes in water at room temperature.
2- In a small pan, place a little bit of butter add the barberries and half a teaspoon of brown sugar. Let it simmer mixing gently and you will see the barberries puff up!

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3- Add one tablespoon of saffron liquid (recipe here) and leave on low fire until the barberries have absorbed all the liquid. It should take two to three minutes.

To serve, just sprinkle on rice!

Fish cooked in green tea with mangos

This is a delight and takes about five minutes to cook!

I made it with tuna and it works with any white fish and salmon as well.

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For one tuna steak
1- Boil water in a deep and wide pan. When it is fully boiling turn off the fire and add some fresh ginger root roughly cut and a bag of green tea (or loose green tea in a tea ball). Close the lid and let it stand for about 20 minutes. Cook the rice in the meantime, if you will be serving some.

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2- Cut the fish in cubes while you put the fire back on and let the water return to a boil. Remember to take away the tea bag or ball!
3- Place the fish cubes in the boiling tea and let it cook not more than 5 minutes, so that the fish remains tender and juicy.
4- Place the fish drained in a bowl and mix with fresh mango, some lime juice and fresh cilantro.

Serve accompanied with white rice. Here, I served it with Basmati rice cooked with raisins, and topped with Saffron tainted rice and barbaries.

Rice pudding with cardamon and rosewater

A wonderful desert that is easy to make and just perfect if you have some leftover rice. The taste is a delight, like walking in a scented garden.

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I used cooked rice with raisins. The raisins can be added during the preparation if you prefer, and dates as well.

For one cup of prepared rice with raisins:
1- Place the rice in a large pot and cover with milk. (I only use whole milk) Bring to the point of boiling, then lower the flame.
[At this point you can add some raisins and/or dates cut in small pieces.]
2- Add a pinch of salt, the seeds of seven cardamon pods and half a cup of brown sugar, or less if you prefer (you can always add some later). You can replace the brown sugar with honey as well (maple syrup might change the taste too much). Use less honey as it has a “sweeter” taste than brown sugar.
3- Mix from time to time while it cooks. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.
4- Add one tablespoon of rosewater at the very end and mix.

Place in the fridge. It should be eaten cold.