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Archive for the ‘Celebrations’ Category

Mast-o-musir1 (Medium)

Today’s newest recipe post is one of The Sous Chef’s favorites: Mast-o-musir, which is a delicious combination of Lebni and shallots. Must-o-musir literally means yogurt and shallots in Farsi.

As you may have noticed there is a lot of memory associated with a lot of food that I love eat and cook.  I love sharing, so here is another one for you all!

Every time I make or eat this dip it takes me back to the first time I was introduced to it as well as the first time The Sous Chef was introduced to it.

In the early eighties I was in elementary school and a kid who was used to the free life in Italy but lived where whatever happened at home remained at home.  So if there were parties, gatherings, and alcohol was served, the information was not to be shared with anyone out of fear that the news would get passed on the the Komiteh, ya know the ones that made sure that no one had a good time and obeyed the rules of the clergy.

One day my father and his girlfriend at the time we putting together a pool party.  I was only there during the set up time. As they were putting the food items out I got to taste this new dip which I had never had before.  It was white and looked like yogurt but it had a strong smell to it.  I was told that you ate it by dipping a potato chip in it.  So I complied. There was something so delicious about the combination of flavors. I loved how the delicate flavor of the firm yogurt with a touch of shallots came together with the  saltiness of the potato chips. My life has never been the same after thats day.  In some funny way, today this dip is one of my favorite comfort foods. I just love, love, LOVE it!  The world can come crashing down, but all will be well as long as I get to curl up on the couch with my mast-o-musir and chips.

The first time The Sous Chef tried this dip he would have licked the inside of the container it came in if he could, that’s how much he liked it! So here is the story: for our first monthversary, yes you read it right, month-versary, I know it is a bit cheesy, but bear with me, I took the Sous Chef on a beach picnic. I packed a nice spread of Iranian food, amongst which was a store bought container of mast-o-musir.   It was a love affair from the very first taste, I tell ya.! Next thing I know, the ambitious man that he is,  he started making his own masto-o-musir.  Nowadays, the store bought kind is not good enough for him! He literally will eat spoon fulls of mast-o-musir!

The picnic was a success and as time went by I sure realized that whomever said that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” was not smoking crack! It is true, I am sure The Sous Chef can attest to that!

Back to business here! Enough about the stories, let’s move on to this very difficult and complicated recipe, NOT! It is actually a very simple recipe and it only takes a few minutes to prepare, BUT it is best to let it rest a few hours in order for the flavors to blend in.

One more thing before we start. I would like to point out that there are a couple of options as far as the shallots go. Some people like to use dried shallots others like to use fresh shallots.  We always make our Mast-o-musir with fresh shallots.

We love eating this dip with either pita chips or regular potato chips. You can also serve it with bread, if you wish.

Ingredients:

1 small shallot

1 container of Lebni (16 oz)

Mast-o-musir2 (Medium)

I had a couple of shallots and for this recipe I picked the one of the left.

Mast-o-musir3 (Medium)

Fine dice the shallot. Beware, your eyes and nose are going to be affected during this process. I love shallots, but I hate the fact that they make me cry every time I chop them! Anyway, sometimes shallots can be bitter. Some people let them soak in water for a few hours to release the bitterness.  We don’t but the important thing is to not go overboard with shallots, if you have too much, it is going to completely overpower the whole dip. Unless you are like The Sous Chef who likes to eat his shallots with yogurt!!!!!

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Place the lebni and shallots in a bowl.

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Mix them thoroughly.  Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours.  Serve with regular potato chips or pita chips.

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Dear PK readers,

I have some very exciting news to share with everyone.  Tonight I was invited to a very fun evening with a few lovely Persian Ladies who are members of The Iranian American Society in Palos Verdes.  For the past few nights these ladies have been hard at work gearing up for their “Annual Norooz Bazaar” which will take place on March 14th and 15th in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

For the past few night these ladies have been making jar after jar of Persian Style vegetable and eggplant pickles. These homemade delicacies will be available for sale at the Bazaar and the proceeds will go to charity.

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I was very honored to have been invited to participate and help out.  I enjoyed myself very much chatting away with the ladies and sharing some hearty laughs.  I  helped out with beautifying the jars as seen in these pictures.

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So if you live in the area please be sure to stop by and do a little shopping.  There will be gift baskets, beautiful spring bouquets, and seasonal fresh flowers.  Additionally, there will be entertainment, door prizes, raffle tickets, and a silent auction.

When: March 14th  & 15th 2009
11am to 5pm

Where: Ridgecrest Intermediate School
28915 Northbay Road
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

For more information please call: 310.529.7272

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eshgh1

I received an email about today being the day of Sepandarmazgan.  I don’t think I had ever heard of the existence or celebration of this day before. I am copying and pasting the narrative (with some minor edits as some parts of the original did not make much sense as it looked like the info came from various places) that came with the email. This is really cool! Enjoy!

Sepandarmazgan is the celebration day of Love, Friendship and Earth in ancient Persian culture.

According to Iranian tradition, the day of Sepandarmazgan was held in the Great Persian Empire in the 20th century BC .  This day is registered on Bahman 29th in the Iranian Calendar, only 3 days After Valentine.

Persians have a rich culture with many great feasts based on natural occasions that have been mixed up with happiness &  joy.

In the feast of Sepandarmazgan, Earth was worshiped and women venerated. On this day, Women and girls sat on the throne and men and boys had to obey them and bring them presents and gifts. In this way, men were reminded to acclaim and respect women.

Sepandarmaz is another name for mainyu (earth) meaning Holy, Humble & Passionate.

Also Sepandarmaz is Earth Guardian Angel. It is the symbol of humbleness, it means modest toward the entire creation. These are the qualities attributed to Earth that spreads beneath our feet, thus the symbol of modesty and love. As human beings, there are creatures that we find unpleasant and repulsive, but Earth is not like us. She embraces all creatures the same and loves them the same; like a mother who loves all children alike, even when they are ugly. In our ancient culture, mother is symbolized by sepandarmaz or earth. Have you ever seen a Love more sacred than Mother’s Love to children?

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As of today we are exactly 56 days away from the Persian New Year known as Norouz.  The front plant that you see in the picture above is a purple hyacinth that I bought last year from our Haft Seen.  I decided to keep it and cut down the leaves once the flower was gone to see if the bulb would re-sprout this year.

With this said, I have to confess to you that I have a brown thumb, yes, I am really good at killing plants even though I really love plants and flowers. So after Norouz I placed the pot outside and sure enough, out of sight out of mind.  Then about a month go I noticed that it started sprouting.  I wonder if the flowers are going to be as big as last year. This  is what it looked like last year:

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I think the leaves look much fuller and better this year…I am so excited about this, I can’t even begin to tell you. I can’t wait to see the flowers!

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