Skip to main content

Featured Post

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:  

Hrous, North African fermented onion condiment

Persian people, traditionally, love to consume raw white onion slices with Chelow kebab or Abgoosht. A few, usually of younger generations, might find the act of eating raw onion as old-fashioned, unromantic, and repressive. Of the many existing gaps in the ever-changing Iranian society, one is the line between the raw onion lovers and the rest. "Hrous" is a North African fermented onion condiment. As soon as seeing a recipe for this dip, I found it a potential compromise to bridge the gap and posted the result to my Persian readership.
The word Hrous seems to share its linguistic roots with the word Harissa, a more well-known North African chili condiment. I originally considered the dish as Tunisian and posted the above photo with such title to a food forum. An Egyptian commentator cried loudly and declared it as EGYPTIAN, he further accused me of lying, changing the history, and wanting to f*** the Egyptian heritage up the arse. Given that dispute, I titled my dish as "North African fermented onion condiment" and thereby post a recipe in this post.         

1.65 Pounds (~ 750 gr or 3 medium) red onions, finely sliced
1/4 TSP turmeric
2 TBSP fine salt
2.64 Oz (~75 gr) dried chili of your choice (I used Kashmiri)
1/4 TSP coriander powder
1/2 TSP cumin
1/4 TSP granulated garlic
1/4 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP black peppercorns
1/3 cup virgin olive oil

Transfer the onion slices to a container with a tight sealed lid. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric. Toss well with shaking the container, with the lid sealed.
 Put the sealed container in a cold and dry place for 3 days. Open once a day and stir.
When the fermentation process is complete, transfer the slices to a colander and rinse with cold water to wash off the salt. Toast the chilies and spices in a hot pan. Transfer the onions, spices, chilies, and oil to blender and finely puree.
An excellent condiment to be served with grilled meat, indeed.