DATE ROULETTE WITH WALNUT AND CINNAMON (Ranginak)

Date roulette (Ranginak)Walnuts (Gerdu) Dates (Khorma)

Last night we had some friends over from dinner and I decided to treat them to this Date Roulette, which is a healthy and delicious desert from the south of Iran. It was a big hit with our guests and so I thought I would share it with you.

Dates are one of the most popular fruits across the Middle East and can be used in everything from omelettes to dips dishes. They are also commonly eaten with a cup of tea as a substitute for sugar. Dates are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to overall well-being. They are rich in dietary fibre, which prevents cancer-causing chemical binding to the colon (the American Cancer Society recommends 20 – 35 grams of dietary fibre per day), and are also

Although this dried fruit first appeared in the UK in the early medieval period, it has gained something of a stuffy image in recent years; journalist Homa Khaleeli suggest that this is because of the varieties pressed upon us at Christmas time, which ‘tend to be hard and sticky and fibrous, complete with ugly plastic “stems”.’ Anyway, with an increasingly varied range of dates now available in supermarkets, the availability of fresh dates in speciality grocers, and high profile chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi espousing the benefits of dates, things are looking up for this often under-rated fruit. This simple Date Roulette recipe, which features walnut and cinnamon, is my small contribution the championing of the date :)


DATE ROULETTE WITH WALNUT AND CINNAMON (Ranginak)



Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: N/A
Serves: 4 to 6
Vegetarian option: Yes

INGREDIENTS

350g pitted dates *
85g walnuts, coarsely chopped
65g plain flour
20g butter, melted
1.5 tbsp walnut oil (or any unflavoured oil)
Ground Cinnamon
Pistachios, coarsely chopped (for topping)

*The type of date you use is optional, however, keep in mind that if your dates are too moist or too dry, it will be difficult to create the roulette shape.

METHOD

  1. Using a food processor, chop the dates until completely mashed.
  2. Place the dates between 2 sheets of baking parchment paper (approximately 25cm x 25cm in size) and roll using a rolling pin (parchment paper prevents the dates from sticking to the rolling pin).
  3. Remove the top sheet of baking parchment and shape the flattened dates into a square (approximately 20cm in length).
  4. Place the upper sheet of parchment back on top of the dates, and flatten again to make the surface of the dates even.
  5. Toast the flour over a medium heat in a frying pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until it turns pale beige, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon so as to avoid burning.
  6. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the butter and oil, stir until they are completely mixed with the flour (you should achieve a consistency of thick yoghurt, add a little more oil if needed). Set aside to cool slightly.
  7. Spread the flour in an even layer over the dates.
  8. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and then place the chopped walnuts evenly on top.
  9. To create the roulette, start to roll, initially leaving the lower sheet of baking parchment on. Gradually remove the baking parchment as you roll.
  10. toss the pistachios on top and cover the roulette with the parchment paper and place in the fridge for one to two hours before cutting into slices and serving.

 

 

PERSIAN HERB, WALNUT AND CHEESE SANDWICH (Noon Panir Sabzi)

PERSIAN HERB, WALNUT AND CHEESE SANDWICH (Noon Panir Sabzi)
radish3

This Persian herb, walnut and cheese sandwich is extremely popular in Iran. It is best served using Persian naan bread, however, because most people will not have access to Persian naan bread you can also use other types. In this recipe I have used sourdough bread, which works really well and is a personal favourite.

This sandwich, which I love and practically lived on growing up in Iran, is easy to make and really delicious. It’s great for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. The inclusion of fresh herbs reflects a common practice in Iranian culture, in which a plate of herbs is served as a side dish. I have to confess that I have been somewhat lazy in keeping up this tradition since moving to London, however, recently I began to include a side plate of fresh herbs in my everyday cooking because it is so healthy and easy to prepare.


PERSIAN HERB, WALNUT AND CHEESE SANDWICH (Noon Panir Sabzi)



Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: N/A
Serves: 4 to 6
Vegetarian option: Yes

INGREDIENTS

100g feta cheese
35g flat-leaf parsley, leaves and soft stems
35g coriander, leaves and stems
25g chives
25g mint
25g tarragon
15g basil leaves
40g walnut
6 radishes
1 loaf of Sourdough bread

METHOD

  1. Wash and dry the herbs in a salad spinner (if you don’t have a salad spinner simply place the herbs in a tea towel and spin until dry).
  2. Slice the radishes, feta cheese and the bread.
  3. To assemble the sandwich, first place a layer of cheese on a slice of bread followed by radishes and walnuts. Finally, place a generous amount of mixed herbs (chives, mint tarragon, parsley, basil, and coriander) on top of the cheese and finish it off with a slice of bread on top.

 

 

CHIA SEED YOGHURT AND BERRY SAUCE WITH GRANOLA

CHAI SEED YOGHURT AND BERRY SAUCE WITH GRANOLA

This chia seed yoghurt and berry sauce with granola is a great way to start the day. I started to make this breakfast recently as an alternative to my usual mug of coffee and maybe a banana as I’m dashing out the door, a habit that I developed as a kid who wanted to stay in bed as long as possible before my mom dragged me out the door.

In this recipe I have added hemp seeds, which are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, including Omega 3 and 6, and protein. They are also rich in Vitamin E, high in fibre content and magnesium, a mineral that helps with relaxation, blood sugar control, and blood pressure. Fortunately, or unfortunately, hemp seeds won’t get you high J

In addition to hemp seeds, I have included sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, nuts, dried fruit, and berries, which are used to make the sauce. This breakfast option is easy to make and will set you up nicely for the day!


 CHIA SEED YOGHURT AND BERRY SAUCE WITH GRANOLA



Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 to 6
Vegetarian option: Yes

INGREDIENTS

For chia seed yoghurt:
500g natural yoghurt
2 tbsp chia seeds

For granola:
50g pistachio
40g almond
40g hazelnut
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp date syrup or light agave nectar syrup or honey
30g goji berry
2 tbsp red currant
4 dried apricot, cut in 4
½ cup puffed quina
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp flaxseeds

For berry sauce:
300g of your preferred berries
1 to 2 tbsp date syrup or light agave nectar syrup or honey
Half a lime, juiced

METHOD

  1. Add the chia seeds to the yoghurt, stir to mix and set aside in the fridge.
  2. Add the berries, lime juice, syrup and 50ml water in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the berries are completely soft. Pass the berries through a sieve to remove the pips, reserving the liquid. Pour the reserved liquid into the same saucepan and simmer on a low heat for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Set aside to cool*.
  3. Meanwhile, place the pistachio, almond, hazelnut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into a frying pan and cook for couple of minutes on a low to medium heat. Add the syrup and stir well to mix, remove from the heat (leave the heat on) and immediately add all of the dried fruit and berries, puffed quina, flaxseeds and hemp seeds and mix well. Place frying pan back on the heat and stir for 30 second. Set aside on a plate to cool.
  4. To serve, divide the berry sauce into bowls and pour on the yoghurt. Finally, top off with the crunchy granola.

* You can make the sauce the night before and leave in the fridge where it will keep for up to three days. You may also decide not to make the sauce and simply add the berries to the yogurt.

 

 

PERSIAN MACARONI

PERSIAN MACARONI

Although it looks similar to a regular pasta dish, Persian macaroni is quite different because of the methods used to cook it, which is similar to the method used to cook Persian rice.

A unique feature of this recipe is that it includes a crispy potato base, which is called “tahdig”, which I think is one of the best parts of this recipe 😉 . Continue reading