In the recent years, Iranians have begun observing holidays which are popular in the Western World. The Christmas countdown has already started, and ever body is busy noting recipes that they will prepare on the Christmas Eve. If you want to taste something unique this holiday season, why not try to explore other recipes aside from the usual Western dishes that you always prepare? Why not try some of the Persian recipes?
Try this comforting and inexpensive Persian recipe for the Christmas Eve to avoid last-minute flutter.
Persian rice with grilled squid, crisp onions, and orange zest
This is the dish that you can eat with a spoon when celebrating around a crowded table with your family and friends.
The ingredients are 6 medium-sized squid, 100g brown lentils, 200g basmati rice which should be soaked for 1 hour, 6 tbsp olive oil, 2 small white onions that is peeled and finely chopped, 80g sultanas that is soaked in a boiling water for 10 minutes, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 stick cinnamon, and 1 pinch saffron threads which is also soaked in 100ml warm water.
As for the onions, you must prepare a 150ml vegetable oil, two white onions that are peeled and finely sliced. One orange, one lemon, one and a half small bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, one small bunch dill, finely chopped, and 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for the dressing.
First is to cut down one side of each squid and open it out. Then, scrape out any gunk in it. Score the inside surface in a criss-cross pattern and refrigerate.
Start to warm the oil for the onions in a deep pan and sweat it for 30-40 minutes until it became golden and crisp. Then, put the lentils and rice in separate small pans. Make sure that it is covered with water and season with salt.
Cook the rice for 10 minutes, drain and leave it uncovered to steam it dry. Warm the olive oil in the casserole and sweat the chopped onions. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and sultans. Cook it for five minutes.
For the dressing, grate the lemon zest and orange into a bowl. Add onions mix and the herbs. Then cut off and discard the lemon pith. Chop the flesh and stir it into the salad mix.
Before serving, pass the remaining oil in the casserole and put on a medium heat. Place half rice in an even layer and top it with half the lentils. Pour some saffron water into the indents. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and cook on a medium heat for 25 minutes, until the bottom layer of rice is golden and crisp.
Make sure to heat a griddle and rub the squid in a little oil, salt, and pepper. Cook it for a minute and cut into big chunks. Finally, spoon the rice and lentils on a platter and scatter over the squid, spoon on the dressing and top with the onions.