Friday, February 21, 2014

Persian Plums

In the days before I go home to visit my parents, my mom always asks what foods I miss so that she can make them. In the days before my parents visit me, my mom always asks what foods I miss so that she can make them, pack them in a suitcase, and then come fill up my freezer with enough food for a month. Well, like mother like... aunts...

Before going to Iran, my incredibly bā mohabbat aunts kept taking requests and asking what they could cook for me. What have you not eaten? Not the typical ghormeh sabzi, gheymeh, fesenjoon. But what's something you don't usually have? I would, of course, eat anything. Because even those more "typical" dishes taste different- more authentic- in Iran. So given that it was winter, they made some of the most delicious dishes involving aloo, dried golden plums.

The first dish was khoresht beh aloo, quince and plum stew with chicken. I'm generally not big on stews that involve fruit, but the sour plums and sweet tender slices of quince combined with savory chicken was just heaven. It's one of those meals that makes your stomach feel like a bottomless pit. For me, this was the ultimate winter comfort food.

Khoresht beh aloo

Continuing with the theme of aloo, the next dish was khoresht aloo esfenāj, plum and spinach stew with beef. I was starting to rethink this "no fruit in stews" deal. 

Khoresht aloo esfenaj

A few days later, I arrived at my aunt's house in Mashhad just in time for lunch. She had been slaving away all morning making koofteh, giant meatballs. And when I cut into one of them, I was surprised by a golden aloo in the middle surrounded by crimson zereshk, barberries

As you know, I'm no good with recipes since I "eyeball" things (or in this case, have never made the above), so check out these recipes from some wonderful Iranian cooking blogs who know what they are talking about!

Khoresht beh (A little different from what I had, but it's the closest I could find.)
Khoresht aloo esfenāj

Happy Persian plum cooking!!


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