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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

Butter chicken Udon


A major characteristic of  Persian cuisine is the liberal use of fruits in savory dishes in various forms such as fresh, preserved, or concentrated.  Fesnjoon, a chicken stew with a thick pomegranate molasses and walnuts sauce is exhibit A; other examples could include the famous plum and spinach stew or quince stew. Given the similarities between Indian and Persian cuisines, attained during centuries of exchanging ingredients and techniques, I decided to give a Persian twist to the popular butter chicken curry. The developed recipe has fresh mango as a refreshing ingredient that furnishes sweetness and fruitiness, ultimately resulting in a very well balance of flavors. Finally, as is mentioned in my book, I love my Persian style pasta with plenty of sprinkled fresh cilantro on top. Colored with tomato paste and flavored with green bell peppers and fresh herbs, Persian style pasta has a lightly spiced ragu of ground beef and is never consumed with cheese. Inspired by that dish, I here serve my butter chicken with oriental styles of noodles.     

Ingredients:

Masala:

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP ginger puree

1 TBSP garlic puree

1 hot green chili, finely chopped

¼ TSP turmeric

1 TSP Kashmiri chili powder

½ TSP cumin powder

½ TSP coriander powder

2 TBSP tomato paste

½ cup fresh mango pulp, finely chopped (or use thick mango juice)

½ TSP dried fenugreek leaves

½ cup heavy cream

Lime juice to adjust the taste

Tikka:

1.5 Pounds (680 gr or 3 small) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP canola oil

1 TSP Garam Masala (equal parts cinnamon, cardamom powder, allspice, and mace)

To serve:

1.1 Pound (~500 gr) Udon or Chow mein noodles

Start making the masala by caramelizing the onion in the butter over medium heat. Add extra oil, if needed. When the onion is light brown, add the garlic, ginger, and the green chili. Cook for another minute. Add all the spices, tomato paste, and mango pieces and sauté in the oil for a minute until fragrant. Add a dash of water and heat the sauce until it thickens again. Sprinkle the dried fenugreek and finely blend the sauce, adding water to assist the blender. Return the sauce to the pan and add the cream and adjust the taste by the addition of appropriate amounts of lime juice. Heat until the cream incorporates in the sauce and set aside.

You may alternatively use mango juice, as shown in the above panel.

To make the Tikka, cut the breasts into thin diagonal slabs. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan, set on high heat.  Season the chicken pieces with salt and Garam Masala. Cook one minute per side and then add in the masala sauce.

You may serve the curry with the traditional options such as Naan or rice, or like me, with the unconventional Udon or Chow Mein noodles. The above picture also has mint and coriander chutney on the side.


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