Iran (Part 2)

IMG_20160117_194132851 (2)

Uyghur Polo

Beef and rice pilaf, a staple dish among Central Asian countries including Iran. Pictured above (on left) with yogurt spinach dip (on right).

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 500g beef (we used tenderloin)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 500g carrots, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions (we used a rice cooker).
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the beef in the oil until evenly browned, stirring occasionally (about 10 min).
  3. Add chopped onion to the pot and cook until translucent (about 10 min).
  4. Add carrots to the pot. (Initially it may look like there are too many carrots in the pot, however they will shrink with cooking and mix well into the recipe).
  5. Pour water into the pot. When the water boils, add the garlic bulb. Let the mixture simmer (5 min).
  6. Remove the garlic bulb and reserve. Add cumin. Allow mixture to simmer on medium-low heat (15-20 min).
  7. Add cooked rice to the mixture and stir.
  8. Replace the garlic bulb and pour raisins on top of the rice. Cover pot and cook on medium low heat (10-15 min).
  9. Remove the garlic bulb.
  10. Serve with naan and yogurt spinach dip as garnish (see recipe on this blog).

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, very flavorful!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/uyghur-polo-pilaf-411849

Iran (Part 1)

IMG_20160117_194137298 edit

Borani Esfanaaj

Iranian yogurt and spinach dip.

Total time: 30min
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups thick balkan yogurt
  • 3 teaspoon dried mint
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see recipe)
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Steam baby spinach until just wilted. Drain well by squeezing out excess water and chop fine.
  2. In a medium saucepan, saute 1 1/2 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil until lightly browned.
  3. Add chopped spinach and salt to taste. Stir.
  4. Remove from stove and allow to cool. Squeeze out excess liquid.
  5. Toast chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan until dark brown and fragrant. Avoid burning the walnuts. Set aside to cool.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the baby spinach mixture, the remaining minced garlic, dried mint, and toasted walnuts. Stir.
  7. In a bowl and the yogurt, and sea salt to taste, stir gently.
  8. Serve with naan, crackers, or as a garnish for Uyghur Polo (see recipe on this blog).

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4/5, delicious!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/iranian-yogurt-and-spinach-dip-borani-esfanaaj-444419