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Archive for the ‘Food Chit Chat’ Category

Chaghaleh Badoom 1 (Medium)

During one of my posts I wrote about my love for Gojeh Sabz and how exciting it was for us kids when spring came around back in the days in Iran. That post was solely dedicated to Gojeh Sabz because that’s what I personally like.  To tell the truth there was and still is something else that kids and adults look forward to with the arrival of spring. One is my beloved Gojeh Sabz and the other is Chaghaleh badoom, unripe almonds.  The almonds during this stage of their growth are enveloped in a green soft and almost fuzzy like skin.  Just like the unripe plums, these are eaten with a dash of salt.

The other day while talking to my mom about our abundance of gojeh sabz and how to make Gojeh Sabz Khoresht (recipe coming up next is posted!), she mentioned that one can also make a khoresht with unripe almonds. I seldom think about unripe almonds because I was probably the only kid who didn’t like them. Inevitably, for reasons that I can’t even explain, every time I see or think about unripe almonds there is always this traumatic, and in retrospect amusing, memory attached to it. Of course, the memory is traumatic because I witnessed and experienced it through the eyes of a child.

This event happened a good two and half decades ago when I was in elementary school in Iran. This was during the early eighties and just a few short years into the Iranian revolution when everyone’s lives turned upside down. By this time I was back in Iran after having lived in Italy for a few years. Going back to Iran was a tough adjustment given that not only I was accustomed to the westernize world, but also because until then my education had taken place in a French Catholic school. Those who have gone to French Catholic schools should be given an award for having survived the experience. Good God they were strict. You see, not only we had to study and get good grades, but they also took an active role in our manners. So much that when you sat at the lunch table you could never have your elbows on the table, your left wrist sat on the table next to your plate, and of course careful attention was paid to the way your held your utensils and how you ate. If for some reason your wrist was not in the correct position or your elbows landed on the table, the lovely nuns would stick a book under both of your armpits to make sure that you kept a correct posture. Now if the book fell…Or you got up from the table and didn’t clean the table…yeah…not a good thing.

Anyway, so this was what I lived with every day and I am sure I received a fine education. With this said, the nuns would be horrified to see that now I have accustomed to the American way and the table has not seen my left wrist, oh for a long time! My experience in Iran was a complete opposite of what went on with the lovely nuns. Heck no one cared how you ate. But what they cared about was that you prayed everyday and they took special care in brain washing you into believing their religious propaganda. Oh, and let’s not forget that they made sure that our uniform was not a centimeter shorter than it should have been, and that our scarves stayed on our heads without any hair picking out. ‘Cause you know, it is important to obey God’s will that women should cover themselves.

One fine spring day I had a very bad stomachache. So bad that I could not stand being in school and wanted to go home. In order to do so I had to go to the main office which was a long rectangular room where at the end sat our school’s principal. Once you entered the room, there were a few rows of desks on each side where the school administrators sat. Our principal was a nasty and huge woman who always wore a black chador.

So that day I made my way down the room toward her desk passing all the other crow looking women sitting at their desks and diligently working on their stuff. They all looked the same, with their black chadors. I remember trembling inside as I had to come face to face with the head crow. I finally approached her and explained that I had a bad stomachache and that I need to call home.  So she, the evil huge crow, looked at me dubiously, perhaps wondering if I was lying. And then she said sarcastically:

“Did you eat too much choghaleh badoom?”

“No,” I said trembling. Paused for a moment and added, “I don’t like them.”

“YOU DON’T like chaghaleh badoom??? How is that possible, what child doesn’t like chaghaleh badoom?”

I trembled inside and had to exercise a good amount of self control in order to remain calm and not burst into tears in order to avoid  making a fool out of myself. Now everyone was looking at me and I felt smaller and smaller, while the evil crow looked bigger and bigger. She then let me use the phone on her desk. Her fat fingers inserted a coin in the coil slot and I dialed my home number while my finger trembled as I dialed each number.

I may have been very young during that time period but I often wondered what I was doing there and God, the French nuns may have been strict, but this? This was ridiculous. My whole life, and that of others, was ridiculous.  I just hated it all. I would have gladly gone back to the French nuns and their strict rules.

All these years later I have never had the desire to try chaghaleh badoom. But the other day after my conversation with my mom I was at our local Persian store. There they were, waiting to be bought and enjoyed. I thought to myself that maybe it was time to try them and see if my taste buds had changed all this time later. I bought a few and came home, washed them, took a deep breath, as this was an important moment of truth, I took a bit and……

YAK!

Never again. The End.

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Gojeh 1 (Medium)

Do you have any fond childhood memories that involve food? I do. Many.  I always get that fuzzy feeling inside any time I see or taste something that I loved in my childhood.  Back in the days when I was a kid, there were a couple of things that I looked forward to as winter would come to an end making way for spring.  Hands down, spring is my favorite time of the year.  You see, there is the Persian New Year Norouz, then 20 days after it there is my birthday, the trees and flowers start blossoming, and Gojeh Sabz is in season.  That last one in itself was a huge deal. Everyone looked forward to when they were in season because every loves Gojeh Sabz. If you are Persian and you don’t like them, then there is something wrong with you. Can I be any more judgemental???!! Seriously….

Gojeh Sabz is actually sour plums which have not fully riped. They are sour and delicious! During this time of the year I buy them from our local Persian Grocery store. Much to my delight while I was at the Farmers Market in Torrance yesterday there was a vendor who was selling them. How awesome is that?I just stood in front of the tables and had a moment of happiness with me myself and I.

Gojeh 2 (Small)

The way we eat them is with a little pinch of salt.  The combination of sour and salty is just out of this world good! It will make you giggle!!!

Gojeh 3 (Small)

All you have to do is take a little bite, then sprinkle a little salt, take another bite, another sprinkle of salt and another bite….next thing you know you have gone through a whole bunch of them, because they are just like potato chips, you just can’t quite them! The only issue is that if you eat too many of them you might get a little stomachache.  🙂 Or at least that’s what my mom always told me.

Last night my friend Kumar came over and guess what he showed up with? A bag of Gojeh Sabz from…you know WHERE? The Santa Monica Farmers Market! He handed me the bag telling me that he didn’t know if I knew what they were but he bought them for me.  DO I NOT KNOW WHAT they are??!! I think I may have scared him with my reaction. Well probably  not, he has known me long enough!

So I was talking to my mom today and telling her about all the Gojeh Sabz that I have.  At the same time I was gearing up and making my grocery list for a recipe which also includes Gojeh Sabz.  My mom told me about a Persian dish that I had never heard of and so my dear readers tomorrow is going to be a marathon cooking day as I will be making two recipes! Woohoo! Stay tuned, I am on a roll here!

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Hello All,

Welcome to Persian Kitchen. This is a very exciting project for us. We have created this blog to share out Persian cooking sessions as they happen in our kitchen.

Most people in Los Angeles are familiar with Persian food because of the abundance of Persian restaurants.  Many non-Persians or Iranians don’t know how to make these delicious dishes. We would like to share our recipes with all, who are venturing into this wonderful and healthy cuisine, by showing the various steps in making such delectable dishes.  Additionally, we will also post about the Persian culture.

We hope you will enjoy the recipes. Please feel free to leave comments and share your experiences with us.

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