Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 21, 2013

Persian dinner set to benefit Iranian student


Karam Polo Shirazi

If you cannot find all the herbs, just use parsley, cilantro and dill.

Adapted from Fatemeh Golesorkh

3 c. basmati rice

1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion, peeled and grated

2 T. chickpea flour or unbleached white flour

1 t. ground turmeric

Olive oil, as needed

6 packed c. shredded cabbage

4 T. verjus or freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 c. lightly packed fresh Italian parsley

2 c. lightly packed fresh cilantro

2 c. chopped lightly packed garlic chives

1 c. lightly packed Persian or Thai basil leaves

1/2 c. lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves

1 c. lightly packed fresh dill (picked off thick stems)

Optional: 2 T. dried summer savory

Soak rice with 1 tablespoon salt 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. In a heavy 4-quart pot with lid, bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a big boil (to parboil the rice).

Knead ground beef with onion, flour, turmeric and season with 2 to 3 teaspoons salt. Roll the ground beef mixture into long ropes about 1/2-inch thick. Cut or pinch into 1/2-inch pieces and roll into tiny meatballs, the size of marbles or hazelnuts. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet and add the meatballs. Cook over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Set them aside.

Meanwhile, heat a 5- to 6-quart non-stick Dutch oven with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil and add the cabbage. Cook over medium heat until wilted. Add the verjus or lemon juice and season cabbage with a little salt. Simmer cabbage until moisture evaporates. Chop the herbs and stir into the cabbage mixture. Remove pan from heat and scrape mixture into a mixing bowl; set aside. Reserve the non-stick Dutch oven for constructing polow.

Parboil rice: Set a large, fine strainer into a bowl set in the sink. Stir rice into prepared pot of boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Loosen rice from bottom of pot with heat-proof rubber spatula twice. Pour rice into strainer and drain. Discard cooking water. Rinse rice with 3 cups warm water, and drain again.

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