Persian New Year Recipes
Persian Frittata (Kuku Sibzamini)
Kuku sibzamini is the Persian version of a frittata. Shredded carrots, onion, zucchini and potato give it excellent texture--light and airy but deeply satisfying--while saffron adds the distinct Persian flavor.
Saffron Butter–Basted Poussins with Apples (Joojeh ba Sib)
These tender, juicy little chickens are ideal for special occasions because you can serve each guest a whole bird. Roasting them alongside shallots and apples creates an easy and delicious built-in side dish.
Persian Flatbread (Nan-e Barbari)
When Persian cook Mahin Gilanpour Motamed makes her addictive Persian flatbread, she uses store-bought pizza dough to save time. The trick is pulling and stretching the dough so it forms the classic oblong shape, then pressing deep ridges into it before brushing with yogurt and topping with the tasty mix of seeds and salt.
Braised Veal Shanks
To delicately braise veal shanks, Persian cook Mahin Gilanpour Motamed simmers them on the stovetop instead of in the oven, ideally using a heat diffuser to keep the braise from getting too dark.
Walnut-Stuffed Fish with Barberries (Mahi-e Fivij)
Traditionally, this deliciously sweet and sour stuffed fish is cooked with its scales, which prevents it from sticking to the pan. For scaled fish like the one here, Persian cook Mahin Gilanpour Motamed suggests brushing the pan with oil and lining it with parchment paper, so the fish comes out of the pan easily and intact.
Noodle Rice (Reshteh Polo)
Reshteh polo is a fragrant rice-and-noodle dish that's redolent with coriander, cardamom and saffron. It develops a wonderful crust (called tahdig) while cooking, which gets served alongside the rice.
Herbed Rice (Sabzi Polo)
Sabzi polo is a staple on the Persian New Year's table. It's made with basmati rice and layers of fresh herbs, but what is most coveted is the tahdig--the crunchy crust that forms on the bottom of the pot during cooking.
Persian Rice Cookies (Nan-e Berenji)
A combination of rice flour, cornstarch, confectioners' sugar and clarified butter makes these cookies called nan-e berenji perfectly crisp and light, but the lovely, delicate flavor comes from high-quality rosewater.
Rosewater-and-Saffron Ice Cream (Bastani Irani)
This fragrant ice cream is redolent with flavor. It's traditionally served between two thin wafers to make ice cream sandwiches, but it's equally delicious on its own.
Saffron Rice Pudding (Sholeh Zard)
This sweet Persian rice pudding called sholeh zard is made with three distinct ingredients: saffron, cardamom and rosewater. It's delicate in flavor but so deeply aromatic that it's hard to stop eating it.
Yogurt-and-Cucumber Salad (Mast-o Khiar)
Mast-o khiar is a refreshing yogurt salad made with cucumbers, dill, garlic and shallots. It can be served alongside everything from Persian flatbread to meats and fish.