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! 

Fish with pomegranate molasses and sesame seeds

So easy and with a slight tang and sweetness that fills you with sunshine.

Pomegranate molasses is a marvellous ingredient that can be used to sweeten, and can be added to soups, lentils, salads and more.

I prepared this dish with fresh Tuna, and any kind of fish can actually be used.

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For one Tuna steak
1- Cut the Tuna in cubes. Do it when it is slightly frozen so that the cubes come out nice and even.
2- Place the Tuna in a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Mix.

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3- Add a tablespoon of Pomegranate molasses (it can be found in any Middle Eastern food store) and mix again gently.

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4- Place some olive oil in a pan, and fry the Tuna cubes rapidly. Mix often with a wooden spatula so that all side become nice and golden. The inside should remain red.

I served it with potato Kuku to keep with the Persian theme! 

Za’atar

Za’atar is a simple Middle Eastern spice mix that gives a great taste to almost any dish. I like to have it in the morning sprinkled on olive oil with toast and white cheese.

You can find it in any Middle Eastern food store, but in case you want to make it yourself here is a nice recipe.

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1- Roast a tablespoon of sesame seeds and let it cool thoroughly. Grind slightly in a mortar.
2- Add a quarter cup of Sumac, two tablespoons of dry thyme, two tablespoons of dried marjoram, two tablespoons of dried oregano and about a teaspoon of salt (preferably coarse).
3- Mix well and keep in a tight container.

It lasts for six months in a tightly sealed glass jar, away from the light. 

Note: Just multiply the quantity of each ingredient if you want to prepare a larger portion

Dates with eggs, Persian style

A slightly different recipe than the Moroccan version of dates with eggs (recipe here), with a slight Persian touch. Excellent for breakfast or a light meal.

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For three large organic eggs (or four small ones):
1- In a pan, place a little bit of butter and half a cup of good quality dates cut in small pieces. Make sure the fire is on low and let the dates get soft.
2- In a bowl, mix with a fork three eggs (try not to make bubbles) and add a teaspoon of the Persian spice mix adviyeh (recipe here) and a dash of cold mix. Mix again with the fork.

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3- Pour the egg mixture on top of the dates and let it cook on low fire until desired consistency. Do not mix.

Serve immediately with the bottom part placed on top of the plate (so that the golden side is visible). Place some sea salt on the side, along with fresh bread. For a light lunch or dinner, you can serve it with a cucumber and tomato salad. 

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!