Persian Herb Chicken Khoresh
Wading through lunch hour traffic,my friend was talking about Persian cuisine, I listened quietly since the growling in my stomach was louder than the din of the traffic…what is it about the cold season that makes you crave for something hot & spicy ? To both our surprise we found one closer to work, she insisted the food was good since she has tasted it before, my only limitation was, it be egg free, the rest I was willing to try, so we walked into this place,the aroma was enticing right from the door and frankly I don’t even remember how we reached our table and there it was the Persian cuisine, spread for us to savor ,I could not decide which I wanted to taste first coz everything smelt divine,so here I was tasting each dish since we were told except the dessert nothing contained egg.To say we were ravished would be an understatement.Among the many flavorful dishes I tried,the Persian stew, known as khoresh (pronounced hor-esh), which is the heart of a Persian meal. It is thicker and more delicate than the Western idea of stew, and it’s meant to be eaten on a plate, with rice to soak up the sauce. The hallmark of khoresh is the sweet and tart taste of fruit or vegetable/greens paired with slow-cooked lamb, chicken, fish, or even beans.
“A classic Persian meal includes certain key elements, which are yogurt, sour pickles, fluffy white rice, a delicate stew similar to cassoulet, and an “edible herbs” platter of fresh herbs, flatbread, and mild cheese. Each of these dishes is important, because together they make up a rich and complete flavor experience”says F. Khalid a food writer,which I was to discover during my lunch yesterday and indeed it was true, so here I am in my kitchen today trying to create some of the magic of the Persian cuisine.
Khoresh made of chicken and herbs is what I tried today and sure enough it turned out good,added a bit of Indian touch to it with spices & Lo & behold a new Indo- Persian dish is born.Necessity still the mother of invention.This dish goes well with flat breads or rice, so enjoy your meal from one of the ancient cuisines of the world.
Chicken- 4 – 6 chicken breasts/thighs cubed to desired size
Spinach- 4 cups
Onions- 1 big ( finely sliced)
Cilantro leaves- 1/2 cup
Mint leaves- 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Pepper- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Lemons- 2 ( for juice)
1.Heat some oil in a wok,add the cinnamon powder along with the finely sliced onions. Sauté them till they turn light brown.
2.Now add the finely chopped spinach & sauté it along with the onions, till the raw smell disappears & they become wilted.
3.To this add the chicken pieces & keep stirring for a few minutes till the chicken is coated with spinach mixture & is partially cooked.
4.Now to this add the mint & coriander ( blended) & keep stirring till the raw smell disappears.
5.Add the pepper, salt & garam masala to the mix & cover with lid, allow to cook in the steam for 20 minutes on simmer.
6.Now add the butter & stir it well into the mix.
7.Squeeze the juice of 2 lemon into the stew , before removing from heat.Serve hot with flat breads or rice.