Holding a bowl of comfort food...

Between the cold weather and all the craziness that is going on these days, holding a bowl of comfort food is what gives me some peace and warmth.

Biryani is one of those dishes that just warms my soul. The aromatic spices, the sweet onions, and the fresh herbs all in one bite somehow has the power of putting a smile on my face. Add saffron to that, and it takes me to my grandmother's kitchen. My grandmother Emil was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and immigrated to Ganja Azerbaijan as a child. She immigrated to Iran with my grandfather and had 12 children. Preparing complicated meals was her passion. What I remember from her immaculate kitchen is that as you reached near the entryway, the scent of aromatic basmati rice, saffron, and caramelized onions filled the air and suddenly your stomach started growling. Once you got through the doors, the samovar sitting on the table to the left was singing with your stomach in harmony :) I'm not joking, this happened every time! After you got over the fact that though you were not hungry a minute ago but now your stomach is signaling you as if you were starved for a few days, you could see at the end of the long kitchen the doors opened leading to the back courtyard. There, her helpers were washing herbs and vegetables in oversized peacock blue tiled sinks(more like pools). Hoping she wouldn't notice, I loved walking into the courtyard and grabbing a hand full of the herbs and literally shoving them in my mouth. Of course she never missed anything, and as I would graze on the greens/herbs (Sabzi) I would hear her in the background saying, "that is for dinner!" or "that is for the guests!" or my favorite "did you wash your hands before you walked in here?". I don't know if Grandmama Emil ever cooked Biryani, but whenever I do, our kitchen smells just like I remember hers did and brings nothing but comfort and joy to me.

We hope this weeks menu brings you warmth and comfort as well!

From everyone at Ezie and Emil... It's All about food

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