This dish is widely served across the Middle East and South Asia. According to traditional wisdom, its cooling ingredients, especially the yoghurt, cucumber and mint combination, helps with digestion and to off-set any negative effects from eating a spiced dish. I serve it at home with almost everything!
For one cup of Greek styled yoghurt
1- Wash and peel a cucumber, preferably organic. Slice in the middle and take out the seeds scraping them with a small spoon. Then cut the cucumber in small cubes.
2- Mix in with the cup of Greek styled yoghurt: one glove of garlic smashed, salt and pepper to taste, a small handful of raisins (preferably golden), the cucumber cubes and handful of fresh mint leaves. You can also use dried mint if you do not have any fresh one.
Serve in a bowl to accompany the main dish.
Note: I often use plain natural yoghurt and it is as delicious!
Inspired by a recipe from this book “The Saffron Tales,” this is a great way to prepare potatoes. These tasty delights are known as Kuku in Farsi, and are traditionally fried. By using a muffin tray, the Kuku come out fluffy and very light.
You can serve them to accompany a main dish at lunch (as I did with a fish filet broiled with ginger and sesame seeds); or as a light dinner with a yoghurt, cucumber and fresh mint salad on the side.
For 500 gr of small potatoes
1- Wash the potatoes well and place them in a large pan with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until a fork can pierce through them. I always cook potatoes with their skin as it contains half of their vitamins.
2- While the potatoes are cooking, fry rapidly a very small red onion and when they become translucent add two cloves of garlic smashed. If the potatoes are still not done, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3- In a small bowl mix: half a tablespoon of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, some pepper and salt, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Set aside.
4- In another bowl, whisk rapidly three organic eggs.
5- Finally, chop some fresh cilantro and set aside.
6- Now drain the potatoes, wait for them to cool a little and peel. Mash the potatoes and set aside.
7- Pre-heat the over at 180º C.
8- Mix in with the potato mash: the flour mixture and mix; the eggs and mix; and finally the cilantro and two tablespoons of Saffron liquid (recipe “Preserving Saffron” here).
9- Place one large tablespoon or a bit more in per paper lined compartment of a muffin baking dish, as you would do for regular muffins. Bake for 25 minutes reducing the oven temperature to 170 C.
To serve: take out each little Kuku from its paper wrap, and place on a serving plate. For the left overs, keep them in a sealed container in the fridge and just heat them up in a toaster oven. They are also delicious at room temperature.
Wonderful traditional mousse au chocolat! “Chocolat de chez chocolat” as we say in French. I will be taking it to a friend’s place for dinner. It serves 12.
1- Melt 200 gr of high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao content) au bain-marie.
2- In the meantime, mix six egg whites very firm (I used seven eggs since they were organic and rather small). Set aside.
3- In another bowl mix six egg yolks with two tablespoons of brown sugar, until it is homogenous. Add two cup (400 ml) of heavy cream and mix again.
4- Mix the melted chocolate with the yolk mix. Then gently fold in the whites.
5- Pour in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least three hours.
A wonderful salad filled with vitamins and good taste!
1- In a large bowl mix: organic arugula, Parmigiano shavings, large golden raisins and a bunch of fresh herbs chopped (I used mint and cilantro).
2- Sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, sesame seeds, crushed black pepper and a little bit of salt.
Serve with warm bread.
Sharing some photos from my photo website. You can travel to markets around the world: France, Italy, Morocco, Iran, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Ethiopia and more. Just click here and you will start your trip! Thank you and enjoy!
Spice market in Isfahan, Iran.