Referring to our calendar, the Gregorian, between May 16 and June 14, 2018 is Ramadan, a sacred period for Muslims, with ancient roots and very specific rituals: these are the origins and rules of Ramadan, and some curiosities.
Like most Muslim countries, Ramadan is an opportunity to discover the richness and breadth of what the country's cuisine can offer. The typical Ramadan meal that we are going to present today has the particularity of being very rich in animal and vegetable proteins. The meal begins with a soup. However, the Ash Reshteh will more easily recall an Indian specialty, rather than Maghreb leschorbas. Indeed, this thick soup made of Kashk (fermented yogurt), is composed of parsley, spinach, dill, coriander, mint, peas, white beans and lentils. Fresh noodles called Reshteh are finally added to the preparation.
This soup is often accompanied by Sangak, an Iranian flat bread with soft wheat flour resembling the Naans, once again emphasizing its similarities with Indian cuisine. Another dish, very popular during Ramadan is the Haleem. This meat stew with lentils and spices has the characteristic of simmering for at least 8 hours, giving it a very thick consistency that looks almost like a paste. Haleem is a specialty that exists in many variations throughout the region of the Far East and Asia Minor.
We finally arrive at the main course. This is usually Shami Lapeh: fried patties of ground beef mixed with yellow split peas and eggs and flavored with saffron and turmeric. We can also find grilled meats such as Joojeh Kebab, saffron and cumin-flavored meat skewers and often accompanied by rice or tomatoes and roasted peppers.
For the last stage of this meal, many desserts can be consumed during the evening. Often made with dried fruits, especially pistachio, almonds and nuts, these desserts are extremely sweet and energetic. Zoolbia and Bamieh are the traditional crunchy and sweet Iranian pastry.
Another example is Fereni, a milk cream thickened with rice flour, scented with rose water and sprinkled with pistachios, which is similar to pudding.
For the bravest ones who want to recover from the hard day of youth, we can offer the Ranginak, the richest dessert we've talked about so far: dates stuffed with walnuts surround a paste made of flour, cinnamon and cardamom. On this, good appetite to all!
Does this Iranian menu whet your appetite?