Persian Feast: Recipes

Above the Salt

Morassa Palav
3 c rice & 4.5 c boiling water made enough for 12 people
115 people = 20 lb rice
Fry almonds until golden in tons of butter. Add pistachios and fry, then golden raisins until they puff. Set aside.
This method is quite incredibly easy and makes perfectly steamed rice. One half-hotel pan holds enough rice for two tables/12 people. Pour dry rice, spices, salt, and a butter in each pan. Add boiling water and seal the pans very tightly with heavy aluminum foil, and immediately pop into a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Leave to re-absorb the steam for 10 minutes, fluff, dress with almonds, pistachios, dried fruit and serve.

Nargisi kofta
Makes 8 eggs

16 oz 85/15 ground beef
3 tsp combined cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves
½ tsp white pepper
2 egg whites
8 hard boiled eggs
Tapioca Starch
Gluten-free dry breadcrumbs

Combine ground beef through egg whites in a food processor. Process until a paste forms but not entirely smooth. Set up a production line: dust egg in starch, then wrap in 2 oz meat mixture, then roll in bread crumbs. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to come to room temp. Fry in oil until crispy. Serve cut in half.
This recipe worked perfectly at home, but at the event kitchen the damn meat split. We tried deep frying and cooking the wrapped eggs in the oven- made no difference. I think it was a temperature difference. We just cut the eggs into quarters and that hid much of the carnage.

Ash e-omaj
10 small servings

1.5 oz ¼ c pink lentils
12 oz thinly sliced cabbage
6 oz carrots
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp dry ginger
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp turmeric
2.25 oz pearl couscous
1 egg, scrambled
¼ c fresh dill, chopped
2 tbl butter

In a pot, combine lentils through veg paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least an hour or until lentils disintegrate. Cook pearl couscous separately until al dente, then rinse in cold water and set aside. When the lentils have disintegrated, add garlic through turmeric to simmering soup, cook for 10 more minutes. Just before serving, bring up to simmer and pour in eggs slowly while stirring, until the eggs set in shreds like egg drop soup. Add couscous, fresh dill, and butter last. Salt to taste. This soup is really spectacular, probably my favorite thing in the feast.

Meatballs with Buttery Fried Onions
2 meatballs pp
160 meatballs
13 onions, sliced
2 -3 lb butter
Fry onions in butter until golden and starting to caramelize, then remove the onions and fry the thawed meatballs in the onion-scented butter until steaming hot. Dress with pepper, salt, and a dusting of cinnamon.

Lamb kabob
75 ppl
150 oz=10 lb lamb
Salt, pepper, olive oil

Chicken kabab
15 lb boneless chicken thighs
5 bunches cilantro
3 bunches parsley
½ c garlic paste
Salt, pepper, olive oil

Spinach-stuffed Samosas
Makes 25 small pastries- shape like hamentaschen
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) olive oil
1 egg
pinch of salt
one sachet (2 1/2 teaspoons) dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
500 g frozen spinach, squeezed dry
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sumac (optional)
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice


7-1/4 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
7 cups warm water
2 tbl white sugar
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons salt
32 cups bread flour- 12 lb
1-3/4 c olive oil 32 oz
Lots of butter

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, yogurt, salt, oil, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Form into a ball, roll out thinly. Slap onto a hot tawa or griddle, dry. Let cook until bubbles rise, flip and cook until it puffs up. Flip again, spread with butter, then flip again and let it brown nicely, then put it in a basket covered in a towel. Repeat until dough is gone.

Yogurt and garlic sauce
½ c per person=4 oz x 115 ppl
460 oz yogurt
dried mint
Garlic paste
Salt, pepper, olive oil

Wheat Halwa for 20 tables
20 cups fine semolina
10 c sugar
10 c salted butter
10 tsp cardamom seeds, freshly ground- no pods
40 cups water
1 ½ cups charoli nuts or almonds- fry separately until golden
Edible camphor
Musk sugar
Take the sugar and water in another pan. Keep this pan on a medium to high flame and let the sugar solution come to a boil. Heat ghee in a large pot. Once the ghee becomes hot, add the semolina and stir. Keep on stirring the sooji/semolina so that it does not stick to the pan and is roasted evenly. Boil sugar solution, then turn down to simmer. Keep on sauteing & stirring the semolina until the grains change their color. Then add the cardamom powder and edible camphor. Stir and add the bubbling hot sugar solution slowly. Keep on stirring often till the whole mixture starts thickening and starts to leave the edge of the kadai or pan. Add the fried seeds and keep stirring until thickened. Scrape into a buttered shallow bowl to set the shape. Turn out, sprinkle with musk sugar right before serving. Serve warm to room temp, not cold.

Below the salt recipes

Qelyeh-ye jazar- Carrot Stew
Serves 8

1 lb stew beef
1 can chickpeas
1 lb carrots
½ box chopped frozen spinach
1 onion, chopped fine
Cinnamon, sugar, pepper, salt, cloves, cardamom, ginger
Dump everything but spices into a pot, cover with water. Simmer slowly until the meat is falling apart and the spinach disintegrates. Spice liberally, salt and pepper to taste, cook for another 20-30 minutes until everything melds. Really great, easy stew.

Roast Chicken

20 lb chicken legs
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Cook in roasters on low until tender and done, then grill or broil at the last minute until nicely browned.