|picture borrowed from http://www.persianfoodie.com/?p=2431|
I love Persian food!
For those of you not familiar with this cuisine, there are clear similarities with Turkish or Greek food. Persian dishes use a lot of fresh ingredients, and a lot of herbs and different pulses.
The 'problem' is that many Persian dishes take a long time to prepare and in a busy household we only enjoy Persian food on weekends.
I have learnt cooking Persian food by watching my mother-in-law and reading cookbooks. However, after 26 years with The Professor I still find it hard to make Persian rice...
But I have mastered many other of the traditional dishes!
My in-laws are due to visit us soon and we are very lucky as my mother-in-law is a great cook who enjoys cooking the traditional dishes for us...
Yes, I know we are spoilt!
One of the simplest dishes is Mast-o-musir which literally means yogurt and shallots.
I am sure many will recognise the similarities between Mast-o-musir and tzatziki. The use of shallots instead of garlic offer a delicate cross between onions and garlic. I have a jar of dried shallots from which I soak a handful of shallots for an hour or two to revive them and reduce any bitterness. You should be able to find dried shallots in most ethnic food shops but you can use fresh shallots, too.
Mast-o-musir is often enjoyed as a side dish to any rice dishes or eat it by itself with pita, bread or potato chips (or cut up vegetables if you want a healthier alternative!). I prefer to use Greek yogurt as it is creamier than regular plain yogurt, but you don't have to.
3 cups of yogurt
a handful of dried, soaked shallots (or 2 fresh shallots)
salt, pepper to taste
Dice the shallots finely and mix it well with the yogurt and salt/pepper
Cover it and leave it to settle in the fridge for a while.