I know I have been away for a while and my marketing side tells me to say that it was because of various inspirational, professional and motivational reasons!
My journalistic side, however, urges me to be honest and say that lack of sleep and loads and loads of piled up work were the cause; add to this, a general preference of being lazy and pushing everything to be done in the future!
Okay, now that the elephant in the room (blog?!) has been acknowledged and dealt with, let’s talk food:)
With the rapid approach of the beautiful, chilly season of autumn, many households have been seeing a lot of “fall-y” ingredients and cuisines; eggplants being on top of the list in our household!
In previous posts, I have shared the value and importance of eggplants in Middle Eastern, and more specifically, Persian cooking. We roast, fry and stuff this delicious vegetable and make exotic, mouthwatering dishes.
If you travel to northern Iran, you’ll understand the popularity of this ingredient, “Eggplants, squash, and pulses make up the bulk of traditional Gilaki food, making this the best place in Iran for vegetarians.” Yasmin Khan writes in her amazing book “The Saffron Tales”.
Gilan province lies along the Caspian Sea in northern Iran and it’s famous for its diverse and divine cuisines and in my opinion, Mirza Ghasemi is “the” great example of such a bold statement!
There’s a cute background story to this dish. Centuries ago and during the reign of the Qajar dynasty, the province of Gilan was governed by a man named “Mirza Ghasem khan Qajar”. It is said that he was a great cook, willing to take risks in the kitchen and had s great ability to chop different ingredients, mix them together and make a masterpiece.
During one of his adventures in the kitchen, he has mixed eggplant, garlic (lots and lots of garlic), tomato, and eggs together and made a dish that has not only survived throughout a century, but it has become one of the sought-after dishes in Gilan.
Thus, Mirza Ghasemi (named after its creator) came to be!
Traditionally, Gilaki locals eat this magnificant creation with rice as a main dish. In other parts of Iran, however, some people prefer to serve it with bread (especially traditional Sangak bread).
At Farside Foods, we have decided to introduce Mirza Ghasemi as an appy/dip that can be served with a bread of your liking. Although, we will most certainly not take offense should you decide to have it as is or even try it over a hot steamed rice.
If you decided to try out this beauty in your kitchen, you can take a look at this step-by-step recipe by Azita on Turmeric & Saffron blog post. And if you thought: “well, I like to try it, but I don’t want to make a mess in my kitchen”, then we strongly recommend Farside’s own Mirza Ghasemi (Eggplant and Tomato Dip), with its well-balanced taste and rich, vibrant colour.
Happy Friday and…