Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Persian New Year!


Give me your beautiful red color and take back my sickly pallor!” A Persian new year tradition begins with this beautiful quote. It is screamed as one jumps over fiery flames to mark the end of winter and beginning of spring. Persian New Year is upon us and Tuesday March 16th the city of Berkeley will celebrate in style. The Persian center brings an evening of dinner, dancing, and children's crafts.

Not only does the Persian center offer this event, but it is a place for Persians to meet, share ideas, and keep customs alive.

If you are not available to attend, The restaurant Bijan, has opened its second location in Walnut Creek. Offering traditional Persian Cuisine as well as live belly dancing. Menu items include Must-o-musser (homemade yogurt with wild shallots), and a variety of different hummus.

Persian food is known for its combination of savory, sweet, and sour. A personal favorite of mine is Tah-Dig. It's a golden crusted crunchy rice. The recipe is as follows:
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (not converted; preferably basmati or jasmine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
In a 2- to 3-quart nonstick saucepan melt butter. Spoon rice over butter and cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until tender and a crust forms on bottom, 30 to 35 minutes.
Spoon loose rice onto a platter and dip bottom of pan in a large bowl of cold water 30 seconds to loosen tah-dig. Remove tah-dig and serve over rice.

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