21 January 2013

Torshe tareh; North Iranian egg, sour orange and herb stew

The distinctive nature of Persian food could be characterized as  salty and sour. Torshe tareh is a vegetarian sour dish from the northern Iran Caspian region; where the famous varieties of caviar come from. It is a great vegetarian option and is usually served with rice, horseradish and salted fish. Here I present the traditional version as well as a version with modern twists! Make and enjoy!

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bulb of garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons of rice
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
400 grams of spinach, roughly chopped
400 grams of herbs (100 grams of each  Chinese chives, mint, dill and parsley), finely chopped
 3 sour oranges, juiced (Substitute with  2/3 cup Verjuice if out of season)
1 cup of water
4 eggs
2 cups of Jasmine rice

Saute onion and garlic(set two cloves of garlic aside for later). When onion is translucent, add the spices and then the rice. Heat till the rice is toasted and spices are fragrant.

Add the herb mixture and cook and dry all the moisture out.

Juice the sour oranges. Use a strainer as they tend to have plenty of seeds.

Add sour orange juice and water, lower the heat, stew with lid on for 30~40-ish minutes or till  the rice is dissolved and starchy and  the stew is thick.

The stew is traditionally served with rice. I  cooked some rice with  twice as much as water(volume 1 to 2) , smoked salt and knobs of butter. When the rice was cooked half-way-through and all the moisture was evaporated, I transferred the rice to a baking dish and baked for 20 minutes.To trap the steam, the baking dish should be tightly covered with aluminum foil. 

Traditionally eggs are fried with the remaining garlic and added to the stew in the end.

Something like this to be more precise!. But I gave the dish a modern twist with:

Wilting some spinach with garlic and...

Poaching the eggs!

This is the composed dish! So damn delicious and an excellent veggie option for your diet. 

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