Persian Sweet Potato Stew

It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.

FullSizeRender 14

This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.


It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.IMG_5841

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime

1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves


Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.

FullSizeRender 12

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

FullSizeRender 15

To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.

FullSizeRender 11

Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.

FullSizeRender 13

Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.

Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.


Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Khoresh Karafs Morgh – Persian Celery Stew with Chicken

The celery from my CSA basket was adding up, perfect for some Khoresh Karafs – Persian Celery Stew.


I can vividly recall the first time I had Khoresh Karafs; it was the first time I was in Tehran, and we were having dinner at my husband’s niece’s apartment. His sister made khoresh karafs for dinner. I was not excited at the thought of CELERY stew, but my husband was very excited. All it took was one taste – this is good stuff! Earthy, yet bright, and very satisfying, Persian comfort food.

Typically, khoresh karafs is make with beef, but I happened to have some chicken I had recently roasted, so I made khoresh karafs morgh. It turned out surprisingly good! I Iike it just as well with the chicken, and what a delicious use for leftovers!


Khoresh Karafs Morgh

Adapted from My Persian

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 lb of chicken (cooked & cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 head of celery (locally grown)

1 bunch of mint

1 bunch of parsley (from the garden)

2 Tbsp dried fenugreek

3 dried Persian limes

2 tsp advieh

salt & pepper


In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, scallions, and garlic until translucent.


Add add the chicken and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper, puncture the dried Persian lemons and add them and 3 cups of water.  Cover and cook while you work on the greens.


Cut the celery in pieces about 2 inches long. In a separate pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, add celery, and saute for about 5 minutes.

Rough chop the parsley and mint.


Add the celery, chopped herbs, advieh, and 2 cups of water to the meat pot.  Cover and cook on medium for 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasoning.


Serve with rice and enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: | 1 Comment

Doogh (Persian Yogurt Soda)

I wanted to make my husband very happy, so along with a Persian dinner, I decided to make some doogh.  Doogh is a yogurt soda that is pretty much the most popular dinner drink in Iran.

Doogh is sour and fizzy and minty. For non-Persians Doogh may be an acquired taste. We would go to Persian restaurants and my husband would order doogh and have me drink some – I detested it.  I couldn’t understand why he liked it so much. But then we went to Iran and I had “the good stuff” – and I was hooked.

Making it at home allowed me more control over the flavor. I like mine a bit thinner than my husband does, but he also liked this version. But next time I will make his a little thicker, then pour some into a second container and make mine thinner, the way I like it.


1 cup Greek yogurt

1 liter seltzer

Dried mint (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp)

Kosher salt, to taste if necessary


Put the yogurt into a pitcher. Pour in the seltzer, mixing as you go.  If you like thicker doogh, use less – check it after about 3/4 liter, then continue to add to your preference.

Sprinkle in the mint.

Stir before pouring.

Serves 4.

Categories: Beverage, Kosher, Persian, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) without the oil, “Take 2”

During a visit to my friend in San Diego, she took me to this wonderful international food market, Harvest. After being drawn in by the warm, fresh flatbreads, I spotted the warm foods…persian dish after persian dish! I was home! After explaining all the dishes to my friend, and telling her that most of them are on my blog, I went off to find the spices and herbs I was running low on.



I was also inspired to once again refine my khoresh bademjun – our beloved eggplant stew.

I had already figured out how to make it without frying the eggplant and have the taste come out right, but it didn’t look right with the cubed eggplant.


So, I decided to try again, could I bake slices of eggplant? Perhaps if I cut them thicker, about 1/2″ thick. That worked, they baked up well.

So, I was able to arrange and cook the dish as I would with fried eggplant slices.

Success! Eggplant Bademjun – healthy and delicious!

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) without the oil “Take 2”

2 medium eggplants, or the equivalent amount of small eggplants

Kosher Salt

3 Tbsp Canola Oil, divided

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb chicken or beef, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 onion chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, about 2 large

1/2 cup hot water


Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.

Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1/2” thick.  Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil. Add the chicken or beef and onions. Brown on all sides – do not overcook.  After the meat is browned add turmeric and salt. Mix to combine.

Add a layer of tomatoes.

Add the water then cover with a layer of eggplants, covering the tomatoes and meat as completely as possible.

Cover and cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, check after 1 hour to see if more water is needed.

Serve with rice and pickled vegetables.   Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6.





Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | 2 Comments

Mirza Qasemi

After refining my kabob recipe, it was time to delve blindly into a Persian dish I have never had, little less even seen a picture for. But the ingredients are good as well as the prescribed cooking method, so I figured I would try…

It all started with eggplant from my garden.

Add in tomatoes from my garden and eggs from farmer Kim. Then, while making this I also made a whole wheat version of taftoon, a Persian flatbread.

It was intense to do both, and as the Mirza Qasemi took shape I had to ask my husband, “does this look right?” “Does this taste right?” The answer to both was “yes” so here it is Mirza Qasemi a la Andrea’s kitchen.

It was even better than I had hoped – especially since I had no idea what I was shooting for, I just used my instincts and aimed for – tasting really good. Phew! It worked!

Mirza Qasemi

5-6 small eggplants (from the garden)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

2 medium tomatoes (from the garden), cut a small “x” into the bottom of each tomato

3 Tbsp canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 400F.  Bake the eggplant until they are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Remove the peel and cut off the stems. Chop.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to boil and blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes.  Drain and let cool slightly.  Peel the tomatoes and chop.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat,  cook the garlic for 1 minute.  Add eggplant and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add tomatoes,salt and pepper and cook until the excess water cooks off, about 5 – 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs well with a fork and add to the eggplants.  Mix and fry for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or flatbread. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

Kuku-ye Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Omelet)

Italians have their frittata, Spaniards have tortillas, and Persians have kukus. They are all similar, yet distinct from each other.  The kuku gets its flavor from saffron – which is ground with sugar and dissolved in hot water.

My first introduction to the kuku was the second night during my first trip to Iran.  It was about 3 am and we had fallen asleep without eating dinner.  So when we woke up, my husband’s sister-in-law made tuna kuku for us. Ever since then, kukus bring me a feeling of being nurtured.


The star of this kuku is zucchini from my garden – or kadoo, as it is called in Farsi.


I like kukus with a good salad, here I paired it with a cucumber, tomato and feta salad – a bright, light, yet satisfying dinner.


Kuku-ye Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Omelet)

2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly (from the garden)

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp saffron

2 Tbsp Sunflower or canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the saffron: grind the saffron with some sugar in a mortar and pestle.  Add a few spoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron.

In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and fry the onions over medium heat until slightly golden. Remove to a plate with paper towels.


Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet.  Fry the zucchini in batches until golden browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Allow to cool.


Beat the eggs in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the saffron and mix well.


Add the zucchini and onions, mix and adjust the seasoning.


Wipe out the pan, leaving a light coat of oil. Heat until hot.  Pour in the mix, flatten the surface with the back of a spoon and cook over medium heat until it starts to set through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Cut the kuku into 4 wedges, turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 3 Comments

Khoresh-e Holu (Persian Peach and Chicken Stew)

There was a freeze this spring that hurt central Delaware’s peach harvest.  But seemingly not so to the north and south of us.  I was able to pick up some great peaches from Milburn Orchards in Elkton, MD.

Some went into a salad at lunch time, some will be eaten ripe and juicy, but these 4 went into an absolutely delicious stew with some of their dried cousins.

This stew is rich, yet bright – luscious might be the best descriptor. We had some leftover rice that we heated up, but this would be amazing with some nice tahdig.

The round circle on the left is fried potato – my attempt at some “fake” tahdig – it was passable, but the real stuff would have been even better.

Khoresh-e Holu (Persian Peach and Chicken Stew)

slightly adapted from Turmeric & Saffron

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces

4 firm, slightly under-ripe yellow peaches, peel, remove the pits and cut into slices (from Milburn Orchards)

4 dried peaches, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable oil or olive oil


Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot or dutch oven, add the sliced onion and saute until light brown over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and turmeric and saute for another 2 minutes.

Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and brown the chicken well, about 3 – 4 minutes per side.

Add the dried peaches, cardamom and stir to combine.

Add water to cover the chicken pieces (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced peaches and saute lightly on both sides for a couple of minutes. Add the sliced peaches to the pot with the chicken. Add cinnamon, lime juice and sugar, stir gently,  cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve over Persian rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: | 1 Comment

Salad Olivieh

I remember having Salad Olivieh in Iran in restaurants when we travelled into the center of the country.  When I asked my husband if he would like me to try making it, he jumped on the idea.  Unbeknownst to me, it is one of his favorites. So, the pressure was on.


As seems to be my approach these days with Persian foods, I looked up a variety of recipes, go a general sense of the commonalities and then created my own recipe, tweaking as I went along.  The result: a really good tasting chicken salad that even I (who normally does not like chicken  salad) really enjoyed! I didn’t exactly get the taste he was thinking of, but that was because I used leftover chicken from Chicken Marbella – which had its own distinct flavor. But it didn’t really matter, he fully enjoyed it.


It was a double treat for me, since it was Kosher for Passover!

Salad Olivieh

1 large potato (about 3/4 lb), peeled and diced

Just over 1/2 lb (9 oz) cooked, skinless chicken breast

1 cup frozen peas, thawed if from the grocery store, lightly cooked if fresh frozen(from Highland Orchards)

2 or 3 Persian (or Israeli) pickles

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and diced (from Farmer Kim)

5 – 7 Tbs mayonnaise

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper


Place the potatoes in a microwave safe dish and add a little water (about 1/4 inch deep).  Cover and microwave for til tender, about 2 – 4 minutes, depending upon the size of your dice. Set aside.

Shred the chicken breast, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Dice the egg and pickles.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, chicken, peas, pickles and egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the mount of mayo to get the flavor and consistency to your taste.

Combine the dressing into the chicken mixture, mixing well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours to let the flavors come together.

Serve as a sandwich, with bread, a baguette, pita, or matzoh!


Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Passover, Persian, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Persian Haroset

First, I must apologize for not having my slew of photos for you.  I did not expect this experiment to turn out so well on the first shot.  The Haroset turned out so well, I had to quickly cover it and put it in the fridge to keep from eating it all now! SO I wanted to share it with you before Passover begins.

I made both Ashkenazic and Persian Harosets this year. Both are combinations of apples and nuts. The main differences are that the Ashkenazic version uses walnuts and adds in sweet wine while the Persian version adds walnuts, almonds and pistachios and includes dates, pear and is flavored with pomegranate. We shall see who prefers which at my Seders…

Persian Haroset 

1/2 cup almonds, roasted unsalted

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted unsalted 

1/3 cup pistachios, roasted, unsalted and shelled

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 cup dated, pitted and roughly chopped

1 large apple (Fuji), peeled, cored and roughly chopped

1 pear, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1/3 cup pomegranate juice


Place the nuts, spices and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until roughly chopped.

Add the dates, apple and pear, pulse until chopped and mixed.

Add the pomegranate molasses and juice, pulse a few times until well mixed.  Do not puree the mixture, leave it with a little crunch or bite to it.


Makes about 3 – 4 cups.


Categories: Apples, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Kalam Polo (Persian Rice with Cabbage and Beef)

I have to admit that I was shooting in the dark when I made this.  I had made a different version before, and it was ok, not great.  But I figured, making a tasty combination of rice, beef and cabbage is kind of in my eastern european, Jewish blood.  I just needed to figure out how to do a Persian version.

So, I researched some different recipes, and they were all very different from each other, and decided to follow my gut and go to the Persian flavors I know.  We ended up with this version…and it is yummy, and comforting, and so beautifully yellow! Gotta love turmeric and saffron!

This version uses a Persian rice cooker, but if you don’t have one, not to worry.  Instead of putting the rice and meat mixture into the rice cooker, put it in a pot and place a clean dishtowel on top then the lid and cook it over a medium-low flame. The rest of the directions are the same.

So much happiness from such humble ingredients.

Kalam Polo (Persian Rice with Cabbage and Beef)

3 cups basmati rice

1/2 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water

1 Tbsp grape seed or canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 medium cabbage, cut into 1/2” inch pieces

1 lb extra lean ground beef

3 cups water, divided

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp advieh (if you cannot get advieh, you can substitute cinnamon, but use a little less)

1 Tbsp turmeric

1 Tbsp tomato paste (or a little more)


Place the rice in a bowl, rinse with cold water until it runs clear.  Then leave the rice to soak in salted water for 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (one you have a cover for) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the cabbage and ground beef and cook until the beef is browned and the cabbage starts to get tender, breaking up the beef as it cooks, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, advieh and turmeric.  Stir to mix the spices through.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, a couple of minutes.

Add 1 cup of water and the prepared saffron.  Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes.

Drain the rice and place it in a rice cooker.  Add in the meat and cabbage mixture and mix through thoroughly.

Add 2 cups of water, cover and set to cook for 45 minutes.

To serve, break up the tah dig that forms at the bottom of the cooker. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: