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My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:
https://www.amazon.com/Tehran-New-York-culinary-cultures-ebook/dp/B0861H47GS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=tehran+to+new+york&qid=1584810930&sr=8-1

Chicken tikka masala Tahchin


A hybrid between Persian Tahchin and Anglo-Indian chicken Tikka masala, the dish I first made 20 years ago when living in a flat in Tehran with my brother, "Chicken tikka masala Tahchin" fuses my love of Indian and Persian food. I posted an initial version of the recipe in 2012,  gradually improving the recipe since then, I now am confident that this is the final answer. 
Why this works? Acknowledging that Persian Tahchin or Indian Biryani dishes may feel too dry for the sauce-craving Western palate, especially as the main dish with no other curries or stews by their side, this dish might be a great serving idea for such guests in multi-ethnic gatherings. Note that the Tahchin could be served without the curry as an independent dish, as is the case in Persian cuisine. 

Masala: (Makes 4 servings)
½ cup caramelized onions (resulted from 1 very large yellow onion)
2 TBSP cilantro stems, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 TBSP ginger, grated
½ TSP cumin seed
½ TSP coriander powder
1 TBSP Kashmiri chili powder
½ cup chicken stock
½ Pound tomato puree
1 TSP Garam masala (my personal recipe contains equal parts cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves)
¼ cup 5% yogurt
Chicken layer:
1 Pound (~450 gr) boneless skinless chicken breast
2 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
1 TSP salt
2 TBSP of the above masala sauce*
Rice layer:
2 cups Jasmine, Basmati, or long grain rice
7.05 Ounces (200 gr or ¾ cup) thick 5% yogurt (or sour cream)
2 TBSP butter, melted
½ TSP salt
1 TBSP saffron solution

* If you plan to skip the masala and serve the Tahchin as an independent dish, toast 1 TBSP of tomato paste in a few drops of oil and add ½ TSP of Garam masala and 1 TSP of Kashmiri chili powder. Mix the result with the chicken mixture. 

Make the masala:
  •  Make the sauce by caramelizing a very large yellow onion. As has been stated here often times, you may prepare caramelized onions in advance and store in the fridge. Reserve 2 TBSP of the onion for the chicken mixture.
  • To a saucepan, set on medium heat, add the caramelized onions, cilantro stems, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for two to three minutes or until vegetables are translucent. 
  • Add the cumin seeds (if you will not blend the sauce in the end, use half the amount of cumin powder), coriander powder, and Kashmiri chili powder. Toast the spices in the oil for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the stock and tomato puree. Lower the heat, cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  • Add the Garam masala (warm spices always go in the end to avoid burning).
  • Mix in the yogurt. Finely blend the sauce, either with a stick blender or in a food processor. Set aside.  
To make the chicken stuffing:
  • Coarsely chop or process the breast meat. Add the caramelized onions and salt.
  • Mix half the meat mixture with chopped cilantro and the other half with above masala sauce. 
To make the Tah-chin mixture:
  • Parboil and drain the rice, following these instructions.
  • Make the custard by mixing melted butter, yogurt, salt, and saffron solution.
  • Mix the drained rice with the custard.
Assemble Tah-chin:
  • Rub some cold butter (or oil) on the bottom and sides of a 2 to 3 Qt. glassware baking dish. Evenly spread half of the rice mixture on the bottom and sides of the dish. 
  • Evenly spread the herbal half of the chicken mince on the bottom of the chamber, created by sticking the rice to the pan edges. Spread the second spiced half of the chicken mixture on top of the previous meat layer.
  •  Evenly spread the rest of the rice mixture on the previously laid chicken mixture. 
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375°F (~190°C) for forty-five minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another fifteen to twenty minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 
Invert the rice onto a flat plate, gently lift the glassware pan. Cut into slabs and serve with masala sauce.


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