Persian Rice & Noodles with Raisins & Dates

Nowruz (the Iranian new year) is just around the corner (March 20, 2022) and what better way to prepare for the festivities than learning about one of the traditional dishes that is served on the first day of the Iranian new year, and the first day of Spring.

In this episode of #FarhangFlavor Farhang Foundation visits Shadi Khakpour from Instagram’s @HappinessBakes to share her personal family recipe for this delicious rice dish with us.

“As far as I remember,  starting from childhood and until the day I left my parent’s home in Iran, I always remember the great memories of delicious Iranian food on our dinner table. One of my fondest food memories is from the Nowruz period! During Eid-e Nowruz, my mom used to make “Reshteh Polow,” and she believed that if you have “Reshteh Polow” before the new year then “sar-reshteh kar dastet miad” which means it would help you have better control over your life events throughout that year. This dish was always so mythical and magical for me, so I have decided to share this recipe with everyone on Farhang Flavor, especially this time of the year as we are all getting ready for the upcoming Nowruz celebrations.” – Shadi Khakpour

Recipe & ingredients:

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KL./

  • Serves 4-6
  • Reshteh Polow
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups “reshteh” (Persian toasted style noodles made specifically for rice), cut into small pieces. Reshteh may be found in Iranian or middle eastern grocery stores.

Chicken

  • 4 drumsticks
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 tsp of salt, pepper, and turmeric
  • 3 cups of water
  • Koofteh Ghelgheli (Small Meatballs)
  • 400 gr ground beef
  • 1 large grated onion
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp meat spice (optional)

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup washed black raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp slivered pistachio
  • 1/2 tsp dried rose petals
  • 1/4 cup fried julienned onions
  • 1 cup saffron-flavored rice

Method:

Rinse the rice with cool water a few times. Soak in 4 cups of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and set aside for a couple of hours.

In a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.

Drain the soaked rice and pour it into the pot. Bring the water back to a boil on high heat, add the toasted noodles, and boil them together for about 7 minutes. Rice should be al dente. Then drain the rice and rinse with cool water.

Wash the pot and return to heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and 1-2 tablespoons of liquid brewed saffron. Add the rice into the pot, building it into a pyramid shape. In order to release the steam, make 3-4 holes in the rice pyramid.

Leave the uncovered pot on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until the steam starts to come out. Cover and steam the rice on low heat for another 45-50 minutes.

To cook the chicken, add all the ingredients into a pot and cook for 40 minutes. When it is cooled down completely, separate the meat from the bone and shred it into small pieces. Set aside.

For making the “koofteh ghelgheli” or small meatballs, add the ground meat, grated onion, and spices into a bowl and mix them using your hands until everything is well mixed. Make hazelnut size balls and fill your frying pan with the meatballs before putting them on the stove. Add oil and fry them on high heat for  5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and let cook completely with the juice for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Add oil to a small pan and fry the raisins with the cinnamon. Take the raisins out and add the dates and fry the dates in the same pan for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Time to assemble:

1.     Take some rice out of the pot and mix with bloomed saffron, and set aside.

2.     Transfer the rice into your serving dish and start garnishing.

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KL./

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