June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
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November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
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  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
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May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
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  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
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Alternative Feast: Persian menu

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
15 December, 2016

Yasmin Kahn, author of The Saffron Tales shares her favourite Persian dishes for a celebration.

Most cultures in the world have a mid-winter festival and in Iran it is Shab-e Yalda, which celebrates the longest night of the year. It takes place on the winter equinox around the 21st December and is a time when friends and family gather to feast on seasonal fruit such as pomegranates and quinces and stay up late into the night reciting famed Persian poets. 


When your guests arrive

Pomegranates and walnuts are a Persian marriage made in heaven and they come together in this flavoursome appetiser from northern Iran. Olives cured in oil are best for this recipe but if you can only find olives in brine then soak them in a couple of changes of water for an hour to get rid of their saltiness. What elevates this dish is golpar is a deeply aromatic and citrussy Persian spice. You can find it in Middle Eastern stores or order it online but if you can’t track it down, then don’t worry the recipe is still delicious without it.

Start your meal

Pistachios are one of Iran’s culinary treasures and no feast or big celebration takes place without a big bowl of them decoratively placed on the table. This unashamedly rich and indulgent soup showcases their elegance and makes a great starter for any festive feast.


Carve at the table 

It isn’t the holidays without a big bird roasting in the oven and this herb- and pomegranate-glazed chicken is a firm favourite in our house. The dark, sticky, juices from the pomegranate molasses give the dish an opulent wine-red hue and impart the obligatory Persian sweet and sour tang. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb mix of dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac, that you can find online or in Middle Eastern stores.

Finish with fruit

This aromatic winter fruit is incredibly popular in Iran where they are peeled, sliced and eaten raw, cooked into jams or added to savoury stews. I like to poach them with warming winter spices and rosewater and then add a generous dollop of cream – the perfect way to end a Persian feast…

For more Christmas recipes, check out our compendium here

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