Tradition... Spring has arrived...
The delicious aromas of fresh herbs, basmati rice, and smoked fish signifies that spring has arrived. At least if you are Persian ;)
March 20th is a very special day for all Persians around the world. On this day we celebrate the Persian New Year, Nowruz. We welcome spring with sparkling clean houses and a new set of clothes. We set a table Haft Seen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haft-Seen), We fill our homes with hyacinths and daffodils, colored eggs and sweet treats. Of course food plays a big role in this celebration.
This is a fabulous holiday as It is a secular one and is enjoyed by people of different faiths, dating back over 3,000 years. Nowruz is the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to observe the rituals and celebrate Spring. Traditionally, families gather around the Haft Seen table at this moment and wait for this moment to arrive no matter what time of the day or night it might be.
We thought it would be nice to offer some of the traditional dishes offered in Persian homes and this way we can celebrate the Persian New Year with all of you :)
#1 Sabzi Polow and Fish- Fresh herbs signify new beginnings and fish signifying life. Smoked white fish is the most common fish served on this day, but for you we are getting a beautiful shipment of Wild Salmon from Alaska via FedEx. You will have a choice of smoked and roasted.
#4 The lentils and garbanzo dish is inspired by a traditional soup/stew that is usually prepared right before the moment of vernal equinox. It is said that this dish needs to come to boil right at that moment. Our version of this dish will not have the soupy consistency but won't lack the bold flavor of the legumes, and caramelized onion and garlic.
#8 Salad of herbs- fresh herbs are part of every meal in most Persian homes. When in season, we pile up mixture of fresh herbs on a platter and set it on the table no matter what the meal is and as we take a bite of our food, we literally shove a hand full of the mixed herbs in our mouth with almost each bite. My American friends love it when I serve this platter as an appetizer with some fresh feta and flat bread. This often is a quick snack or lunch for Persians. We pile the herbs on the flat bread, crumble some cheese on it and lay a few nuts and roll the bread. Yum! So I thought I would make this into a salad for you.
#11 Fesenjan- A walnut and pomegranate sauce, a last taste of winter. We will make a vegetarian version so you can serve it with your favorite meats or as I do, over rice.
B- Persian yogurt dip- Mast-o-Khiar, similar to Tzatziki, the mixture of cucumber has dill and oregano plus rose pedals that we had brought to us from Iran.
All the other dishes this week are inspired by spring and hopes of some warmer weather.
We hope you will enjoy the meals as much as we enjoy preparing them for you!
From everyone at Ezie and Emil... It's All about food... Enjoy!