Mom told me that Uncle Larry was expecting me to make dinner next Friday when we see him for the usual Friday night dinner.
So I’ve been thinking about what to make that would allow me to go out during the day and still have time to cook, and since Uncle Larry’s kitchen is better for cooking with other people around, could be easily transported and made at his house. In addition, I wanted something that if the weather was hot would not put anyone into a food coma.
So I have the solution: Kuku Kedoo for dinner and Faloodeh for dessert. The faloodeh has to be made ahead of time, and kuku is probably the quickest thing I’ve learned with only about 30 minutes of cooking time. And in my opinion, with the squash, is perfect for summer.

Faloodeh will make Dad excited, and me since while it is still one of those things that is yummier away from the house, it was still yummy homemade. Which made it very hard to believe that Ame Fereshteh had never made it before, and figured it out just so I could go home and make it. We had fun trying to make the strands though, since at first it came out as goop. But other than the sharbat she made for it turning out too sweet, it was really good. When I get home, I just have to play with the sharbat and finding something to push it through, and it’ll be perfect.

Friday night I went to آب سرد, (Ab Sard, literally “Cold Water”) or right outside of it, to a family friend’s villa. It was really beautiful. Inside the walls there were a couple of villas, and the first one that belonged to someone else, was a mix of old an new that was gorgeous and amusing at the same time. Such as the outdoor bathroom that was in this hut that you would never expect to house working plumbing, with a really old door. Since we were stuck in traffic and didn’t get there until nine, we stayed up until (actually, I stayed up until 1, I’m not sure about everyone else since I was the first asleep) and left in the morning. When we got back to Tehran (which took an hour, which was almost 3 hours less than it took to get there), Ame Farideh, Bababozorg, and I went rug shopping for a rug for Granma Bunny. We found one. It’s really pretty and I hope she likes it.
Then we went to Tavazo, to get the nuts we were missing and so I could get some packaged lavashak.
Ame Farideh mentioned kabob, and I said the kabob place I like where they made the kabab on one side and the lavash on the other was closed, according to Solmaz, and that’s why I hadn’t had any. I described it and she said it moved.
Where it used to be there’s a pizza place now, and its over a bit in a more discreet, but larger space. It looks fancier now, with the big pots for making khalim in the winter, and it has one of the more modern, easier to use, more efficient tanoors now, not the older-styled smaller one they used to have that I was amused watching. But it was still good.

In the afternoon, I went to Ame Fereshteh’s, where we made faloodeh, she carved a watermelon into a flower, and taught me that even when accidents happen they can be salvaged. I helped her with her little bundles for a bit too while she was in the shower and I was waiting for my clothes to dry and the faloodeh to harden. I put all my stuff in my suitcase and came over to Babazorg’s around 9.
I was going to watch the football (soccer, whatever, this is confusing me now) game, but I fell asleep on the couch half an hour before it started.

This morning I packed my suitcase, but a couple things don’t fit, and I need to charge all my batteries (camera, phone, etc) so I can finish packing those. I’m spending the night at Amu Farhad’s tonight, so the only chance other than today I’ll get to do any packing is probably a couple of hours Monday night, and I’m getting up at four probably on Tuesday morning, (which is still Monday in the US), so I don’t want to leave much for Monday night. Though if I do forgot anything, it would only be 3 months until I could get it back, though it could be forgotten then too.


8 July 2006


1 cup (200 mL) starch
3 cups water
a bowl of ice water
sharbat (see recipe [which isn’t here yet because it was sickiningly sweet])

In a small pot stir starch into one up of cold water to dissolve.
One dissolced, and remaining water and continue stirring. Place pot over high heat, stirring constantly to keep from becoming too stiff. After 3-5 minutes, whet it becomes gel-like and binds together, remove from heat.

Fill a bowl with ice and ice water, place someting with holes (that isn’t a sieve) such as a steamer insert, over the bowl and push the starch mixture through it with a spoon or your hands. (Warning: Things are going to get a little bit messy/sticky.)
Stir the strands of starch in the ice water (make sure the water remains really cold.) Let the starch sit in the ice water for at least 5 minutes to firm up.
Remove the strands using a finely slotted spoon or pouring through a sieve.
In an at least 600 mL bowl that fits in your freezer, stir the strands into the sharbat and place in the freezer, stirring occasionally, for at least 5 hours, or until firm.

کوکو کدو
(Kuku Kedoo, Squash Pancake)
Serves 3-6

2 medium size squash
1 heaping table spoon + 1 tea spoon flour
3 eggs
1/2 tea spoon adviyeh
1 tea spon salt
1/8 tea spoon saffrom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
80 mL oil

tomatoes, onions, picked veggies, greens, and bread (to serve)

Coarsely grate squash into a medium sized bowl.
Add flour and spices and stir to combine.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Heat oil in a 9″ skillet over medium-high heat and pour in egg mixture. Lower to medium heat. Put lid on with a cloth to absorb moisture.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove lid. Cut in half twice (into four even sized pieces) and flip each piece over. Cut each of those pieces into half so that there are 8 slices.
Continue to cook for for another 10-15 minutes, or until well browned on both sides.

Excerpted from my journal:
Mamanzari’s Kitchen
Tehran: 10:46 _ Chicago:2:16
I feel like I’m at home right now. There’s no PMC at Mamanzari’s, and listening to World Cup highlights in Farsi without watching the screen in dull. So I’m listening to my iPod, just not as loudly as it would be at home because its in the same room as me, hooked up to the speakers I took from Bababozorg’s computer.

Rice Pudding? (Milky Rice?)
Serves 8
1 cup (200 mL) rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 cup milk
1 table spoon sugar
cinnamon to taste

Soak rice in water for half an hour. Add oil to rice and stir. Put pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
Cover, simmering, for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Stir. Add milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and stir occasionally. Remove from heat after milk is absorbed.

Notes: Made a relatively dry rice pudding, but not bad. I made an azgeel sauce that I mixed with a quarter of the rice pudding and then layered it in cups. Half of the rice pudding is still in the bowl. I’m thinking of making another sauce today, maybe from a different fruit, since it made the rice pudding moister. I’m going to maybe try to add more milk next time. Or use less water and cook it in mostly milk. I’m not sure yet. But experimenting is fun, considering I drew upon merely having eaten rice pudding, which this really didn’t resemble, and what I’ve learned recently about cooking rice.


Mamanzari's Kitchen
Tehran: 11:27 _ Chicago: 2:57

Mamanzari's having me make makaroni for lunch. I've always liked her pasta. It is prepared kind of like lubia polow or something. She roughly told me what to do, so I wrote down what I think I did.

1 onion, chopped
7 cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
frozen hunk of ground beef size of about 1 to 1 1/2 bars of soap, thawed
1 green pepper, diced
2 table spoons tomato paste
200g pasta ( I used those ones that are like fat macaroni noodles. I'm not sure what they're called)

Put water on for pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

While pasta cooks, saute garlic in deep skillet. (I guess that would be a pan… I'm not sure. I must learn their names). Add onions a minute later and continue cooking until onions are soft. Add green pepper and cook for another minute or two. Make a large well in the middle, exposing the pan. Put ground beef and sprinkle with black pepper and dried basil. Brown the meat and then stir in with the onion mixture. Cook, covered, for another few minutes. Add mushrooms and tomato paste.

Prepare pot for tadig of choice (which could include just oiling the pan and pouring the pasta in), pour in pasta, pour on beef mixture, and cook for a few minutes over high heat, and then continue cooking over low heat for about 30 minutes for tadig to set.

Albaloo Polow Recipe

13 June 2006

آلبالو پلو Albaloo Polow
400 mL rice
800 mL albaloo (sour cherries)
200 mL sugar
120g butter, divided
3 table spoons oil (about 45 mL), divided
1/2 tea spoon saffron (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)

Soak rice in water for at least an hour, and up to overnight.
Fill a large pot with water at least a few inches higher than rice would fill it, and bring to a boil.
Pour rice into boiling water and salt heavily. Let rice cook partially, until it is still a bit hard, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse rice.
While rice is cooking, put cherries in a deep skillet over medium-high heat with 100g butter, stirring.
After butter has completely melted and cherries are somewhat cooked, after about 5 minutes, add sugar and bring to a boil, cooking for another minute.

If making potato or bread tadig, prepare pot accordingly. Otherwise, coat bottom of large pot with 1-2 tablesppons of oil.
Place an inch thick layer of rice. Top with a third of cherries. Repeat with two more rice and cherry layers, reserving two tablespoons of clean rice. Top with clean rice, making sure not to get it mixed with the cherries.
Place pot over high heat for a few minutes, covering with lid.
Top rice with 20g butter and a spoonful of oil, replacing lid. If there is no steam when you lift the lid, add a few spoonfuls of water.
Cook over low to medium heat for 30-35 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked and tadig has formed.
Remove white rice from top of pot and place in a small bowl. Mix with saffron.

Pour the rice and cherries from the pot onto a plate. Garnish with saffron-colored rice and pistachios.


Kotlet Recipe

12 June 2006



Makes about 9 patties
3 small potatoes, cooked and peeled, shredded
1 onion, shredded and drained of excess water
100g ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal or finely ground breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon adviyeh spice (a mix of something to be determined, red pepper, cinamon, ground coriander, ground fennel, garlic powder, ground cumin, lavender, ground ginger, something to be determined, and salt)
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients, except for a 1/4 cup of cormeal, in a bowl and mix together with hands.
Heat oil in pan over high heat. Lower temperature as it heats up.
Put cornmeal in a plate. Wet hands and roll mixture into balls slightly larger than eggs and slightly smaller than a tangerine. Roll in cornmeal or breadcrums to coat, and flatten in hand to about 1/2 in. thick.
Fry in oil about 5-10 minutes a side, or until well browned.

تدیگ سیبزمینی (Tadig Sebzamani)
2 small potatoes, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1-2 tablespoons oil

Coat the botom of a 2-quart pan with oil.
Place potatoes in a single layer along the bottom of the pan.
Pour cooked rice over potatoes and place over high heat for a minute or two.
Place lid on pot, lower heat, and continue to cook for about twenty minutes.



باقالی پلو

(Baqali Polow)
Serves 2-4.
1 cup (200 mL) rice
2 cups (400 mL) water
2 cups (400 mL) fava beans
40 mL (approx. 3 U.S. tablespoons) dried dill weed
20 mL oil (1 U.S. tablespoon + teaspoon) oil

Combine rice, water, and beans in a 1.5 qt pot. Add salt to taste.
Let water come to a boil and remove the foam that rises to the surface of the water with a spoon.
Add the dill and oil to the pot, reduce heat and cover.
Cook until all water is absorbed, or approximately 10-15 minutes.

Azjeel and Goje Sabz

11 June 2006

Tehran: 10:51 _ Chicago: 2:21

Compote-e Azjeel
First, I peeled and removed the pits/seeds/I’m not sure what they are from the azjeels. They have 2-3. I think one had 5.
After I put them in the pot, Mamanzari added a glass of water and we added 4 spoonfuls of sugar (probably a bit too much, it turned out quite sweet.) We brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for half an hour.

Afterwards, Mamanzari said we should make compote-e goje sabz. She can’t eat them raw, they’re too hard. So she put them (I think 25, I can’t really count well) into the pot, told me to pour a glass and a half of water on them, 5 spoonfuls of sugar, and then to let them cook. I noticed they turned yellow as they started to cook. She then told me to add a cup and a half of گلاب which is literally, flower water. She said it’s made with the flowers of Mohammad, and it smells really nice. I think it might be very similar to rosewater, or it is rose water.