MA-HA Saffron Sour-Cherry Rice
IngredientsRice: 4 cups
Pitted Cherries: 1 1/2 cups + 1 1/2 cupfuls of MA-HA Sour-Cherry Juice
Brewed Saffron: 4 to 5 Tbsp
Shredded pistachio: 1/2 cup
Shredded almond: 1/2 cup
Ghee or Butter: To taste
Salt: To taste
To prepare the stock, pour MA-HA Sour-Cherry Juice over sour cherries and refrigerate for one day to achieve a watery consistency.
Recipe for Sour-Cherry Stock
Next, put the mixture mild heat until it begins to boil. Boil for 10 minutes before removing the sour cherries from the juice. Let the juice cook through. Return the sour cherries to the juice and allow it to stay on heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Recipe for MA-HA Saffron RiceRinse the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Swirl the rice around to release some starch, then drain. Repeat 10 times, until water runs clear, then cover with ample water again and add 1 tablespoon salt. Let soak for 30 minutes. If using a rice cooker, add rice and water, measuring one finger band of water over the rice. Add butter to the mixture and set it for 60 minutes. For a Teflon or non-stick pot, add 6 quarts of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add 7 tablespoons of salt (the water should be very salty) and stir until dissolved. In a small saucepan set the heat to low, add the butter and prepared saffron until butter melts. Rinse and drain the rice. Then pour some Saffron Ghee into a casserole dish and put it on mild heat until the oil gets hot. Afterwards, put three long rows of rice to the dish. Then pour two spoonfuls of sour cherries (without the syrup) in the middle of the rice. Next add a spoonful of saffron. Reserve some of the sour cherries for garnish. After you have added all the ingredients, put the rice on medium-to-high heat. Wait for 5 minutes until the casserole becomes hot. Add two spoonfuls of saffron Ghee and 1/2 cup of water and leave the casserole on heat for another 6 or 7 minutes until steam begins rising from the rice. Leave the rice to be cooked through. Reduce the flame to medium-low (or low, if using cast-iron) and cook for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pot a quarter turn every 10-15 minutes or so to ensure an evenly golden Tahdig (add 12 more minutes for cast-iron). The rice will be done when the grains are lengthened and dry and the edges of the crust turn a light golden brown. Serve ona large plate or platter with a spatula.
Recipe for Tiny Meatballs
IngredientsMinced meat: 300gr
Onions: 1 average-size onion
Black pepper: 1 spoonful
Turmeric: 2 teaspoonfuls
Salt: As much as needed
Ghee or Butter: As much as needed
Using your hand, mix the meat, grated onion, black pepper, turmeric and salt well. Take some meat and form it into a ball with your hands about 2 inches in diameter. Pour a few spoonfuls of ghee or melted butter into a dish and put it on the stove. Put the meat balls into the oil, adjust the heat to medium temperature and leave the meat balls to be fried well. Now your tiny meat balls are ready!
MA-HA Saffron Tahdig & PoloEvery dinner party in an Iranian home is not complete without taroof*, or rice. Tahdig is the crisp crust on the bottom of the rice pot. Tahdig is an international star of Persian cuisine, and it can be made of rice, potatoes, lettuce or bread, as it is here. My grandma, Dushu, loved to prepare it with lavash or potatoes on the bottom of the pot. My Grandpa’s favorite part was the Tahdig, yet he always served it to everyone else and ended up with the smallest piece himself.
My dad sometimes would warm up the stew from the night before that was soaked in the leftover rice, put it in the pan and make it almost crispy Tahdig and stew for his breakfast. Probably the reason I prefer savory breakfast to this day.
1- Rinse the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Swirl the rice around to release some starch, then drain the bowl and fill again. Repeat 10 times, until water runs clear, then cover with ample water again and add 1 tablespoon salt. Let soak for 30 minutes.
Recipe for Saffron Tahdig & Polo
2- If using a rice cooker, add rice and water, covering the rice to one finger band . Add butter to the mixture and put set it for 60 minutes. If using a Teflon or non-stick pot, fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add 7 tablespoons of salt (the water should be very salty) and stir until it is dissolved.
3- Use the grinder top of the MA-HA Saffron thread glass bottle to grind the saffron into a fine powder with a pinch of salt or sugar.
4- Use a large fine sieve to drain the rice well. Add rice to the pot and stir gently, then return the sieve to the sink. Cook rice, checking the grains frequently. When the rice breaks easily between your fingers when pressed but is not so soft that it falls apart, it’s done. Most long-grain basmati rice will take about 7 to 8 minutes to reach this point, but different brands will cook differently, so keep a closer eye on the rice than on the clock otherwise it will become “KATEH,” which is mushy rice. Working quickly, drain rice into the sieve and rinse with cold water until cool to remove excess starch and keep rice from overcooking. Taste the rice and adjust seasoning with salt as needed. Let the rice continue to drain.
5- Use the lid of an 8 or 9-inch nonstick pot or cast-iron Dutch oven as a guide to trim the lavash bread into a slightly larger circle or use your favorite chips crumbled. It's fine to use more than one piece of bread and patch things as needed.
6- Place the pot over medium heat and add the Ghee or butter. Carefully lay bread atop the melted ghee or butter and cook until it starts sizzling and turns a light golden color, about 30 seconds. Use tongs to flip bread and let it sizzle for another 30 seconds before adding the rice. Use a spatula to gently spread the rice evenly across the pot. Use the handle of the spatula to poke 6 to 8 holes in the rice down to the bread or bottom — this will encourage steam to escape from the bottom of the pot and yield a crisp crust.
7- In a small saucepan set over low, heat the butter and the prepared saffron until butter melts. Drizzle over the rice. Wrap the lid of the rice pot with a clean dish towel, using the corners of the towel to tie a knot atop the handle. Cover the pot with the lid — the cloth should not touch the rice, but rather absorb steam as the rice cooks to keep it from getting squashy.
8- Reduce the flame to medium-low (or low, if using cast-iron) and cook for about 48 minutes, rotating the pot a quarter turn every 12 minutes or so to ensure an evenly golden tahdig (add 12 more minutes for cast-iron). The rice will be done when the grains are lengthened and dry and the edges of the crust turn a light golden brown.
9- To serve you will need a large platter or plate which you place over the pot, enlighten yourself with strength,celebrate your culture and flip the rice. It sometimes needs a few slaps on the bottom of the pot or a cold towel, and it will drop onto the plate in one piece. Serve immediately. If you are not serving immediately, remove the tahdig to a separate platter to keep it from getting mushy as the rice continues to let out some steam.