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Recipes From My Persian Neighbour

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Good neighbors are the same all over the world. For a few years, I was blessed with wonderful neighbors from Persia. They had fled during the revolution, and for a time graced my life with their presence. Two highly educated professionals, they found that their degrees were worthless in the U.S.. He was an Engineer, and she a Mathematician. With a grace that I could never have mustered, these two worked in other positions. He as an aircraft mechanic, and she as a governess to the children of a movie star. Their two boys were friends to my son, and we all spent many happy hours over coffee and goodies.

Her name was Pari, which means fairy, and two of her dishes were magically unlike anything I had ever eaten before. I thought they were wonderful, and she taught me how to prepare them. For all the years since then, my friends have been as delighted as I was, that my good neighbor was willing to share her secrets. One of these dishes is sweet, a Rice Pudding which is commonly served for the Persian New Year. The other is savory, she called it a Vegetable Omelet.

Pari's Persian Rice Pudding


1 cup short-grained, Oriental Style Rice
2-2 1/2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon finely crumbled Saffron threads
6 cups Water
1/4 cup Cornstarch, mixed with 1 cup water
1/2 cup Rosewater
4 tablespoons Butter or Margarine
1 Pomegranate


Put the Saffron, Rice, and Water in a large saucepan to soak for 30 minutes. Place the pan over a medium heat , and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring often for 25 minutes, or until the Rice is cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in the Cornstarch mixture, Rosewater, Sugar and Butter. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Pile the Pudding in a smoothed mound on a platter. Cut the Pomegranate in quarters, and scatter the seeds over the top of the mound. Serve warm or cold

Pari's Persian Vegetable Omelet


2 cups finely chopped Parsley
2 cups finely chopped Spinach
2 cups finely chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 cups finely chopped Leeks (White part only)
2 cups finely chopped Scallions (Green part only)
3/4 cup finely chopped Walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground Black Pepper
8 Eggs
4 tablespoons Olive Oil


Toss the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the other ingredients, except the Olive Oil. Pour the Egg mixture in to the Vegetable mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour the Olive Oil into a 12 inch skillet, and place the pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the combined mixtures, smooth the top, and lower the heat. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is set, and the bottom browned. Remove from heat, and spray the top with Vegetable Oil. Place under a broiler, as far from the flame as possible and cook until the top is browned and crispy. This may be served hot or at room temperature..

Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah

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