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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:  

Loobia-polow Tahchin (i.e. Green beans and ground lamb stuffed Persian baked rice)

Loobia-polow, meaning green beans rice in Farsi,  is a pilaf of layered sautéed mince, green beans, and par-boiled rice. The major flavor profile of Loobia-polow is composed of mild spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron; its red color, furnished by an excessive amount of tomato paste. The pile of rice in the original dish is slowly cooked by the generated and ultimately evaporated steam. By now, almost everyone is familiar with the Persian crispy rice, also known as Tahdig. While the rice grains in the original dish get crispy and stick to the bottom of the pot and form Tahdig, the approach in the presented dish is different. Inspired by the ever-growing popularity of stuffed Tahchin dishes in today’s Iranian restaurant scene, the presented pilaf is stuffed inside a crispy rice shell. My niece is a big fan of  Tahchinbar, a restaurant with branches in Tehran and Toronto that pioneered the stuffed Tahchin dishes. This dish is inspired by her love of very red Loobia-polow and Tahchinbar. 

Yellow 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 rich saffron solution
Meat mixture:
1 Pound (~450 gr) low-fat (90/10) ground beef
½ TSP Garam masala
½ TSP cinnamon
1 TSP salt
Red Rice layer:
7.05 Ounces (~150 gr) green beans (fresh or frozen), finely chopped
½ TSP turmeric
1 TSP mild curry powder
3 TBSP tomato paste

To make the yellow rice layer:
·       Parboil the rice in 5 cups of boiling water with 2 TSP of Kosher salt added in. Unlike other forms of Persian rice, for Tahchin the grains do not need pre-soaking. When the rice is half-cooked, drain and rinse with cold water (click here for more instructions).
·       In the meantime, make the custard by mixing the yogurt, melted butter, salt, and saffron solution. Mix in with half of the drained rice and set aside.

To make the meat mixture: 
·       Also, while the rice is being parboiled, make the meat mixture. Brown the lamb with no oil added. Add the spices, salt, and the caramelized onions. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To make the red rice layer:
·       To the same pan, add the green beans and toast for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, turmeric, and a dash of water to make a very thick sauce. Add the rest of the rice and mix until all the grains are red.

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 the yellow half of the rice mixture on the bottom and sides of the dish. 
·       Evenly spread the meat mince mixture on the bottom of the chamber, created by sticking the rice to the pan edges. 
·       Evenly spread the red rice mixture on the previously laid meat 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.