Saffron Infused Rice Speckled with Tangy Barberries-Zereshk Polo:A Persian Delight

Watermark Zereshk

Having lived for fifteen wonderful years in the Dubai and now currently in India,my taste buds have been hankering for some Middle Eastern flavours. Yes we did make a couple of short trips last year and revelled in all our favourite haunts. Especially the Lebanese,Persian and Moroccan ones.I’m very fond of Iranian cuisine ,especially the varied assortment of flavourful kebabs and the buttery,crispy rice that is an accompaniment with them.An all time favourite over the years has been the Pars Iranian cafe that served some of this deliciousness.This Persian  rice is termed as a Zereshk Polo or very simply put-a Saffron and butter infused rice and garnished with some sweet and sour Barberries,which are ever so popular in this cuisine.

A family dinner a couple of weeks ago got me making up some aromatic chicken kebabs and I thought I’d delight them all with a lovely Iranian rice dish.  Zereshk translates into the Barberries and Polo is the rice in Farsi.So it was decided I would go ahead and serve this rice. It was just as well  that my pantry had been recently replenished  with packets of Zataar, Sumac,Freekeh,Dried lemons and of course a generous amounts of these tart and tangy Barberries that lend a burst of flavour to this rice dish. Continue reading

Beetroot Hummus

Beetroot Hummus watermark

 

Hummus in Arabic literally translates to mean chickpeas. That’s exactly what this mezze is all about.A combination of crushed chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste) some lemon juice,garlic and olive oil…And Voila a delicious dip to serve with grilled meats,crisp pita or even some chopped vegetables.

How about Jazzing up your favorite Hummus recipe with the goodness of beetroot? I’ve used some beetroot puree into a batch that I made up earlier this week.

The beetroot totally livened up the hummus and gave it a wonderful texture, sweetness  and a gorgeous color of course.The base recipe for the Hummus is pretty much a standard one. It was almost all gone and I had to reserve some to take a quick picture for this blog post.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas ( or tinned)
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 pod garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pureed beetroot ( 1 small beetroot boiled and pureed)
  • sprinkling of sumac

Directions

  1. Put the chickpeas into a food processor and blend for a minute.
  2. Now all  ingredients (except yogurt ) and blend further for 3-5 minutes till the mixture is smooth.
  3. Place in a small bowl and whisk in the yogurt.
  4. Drizzle some more Olive oil and sprinkle some sumac or zaatar powder.
  5. Garnish with some chopped parsley.