To help us learn more about Persian (a.k.a. Iranian) food, we turned to culinary authority Najmieh Batmanglij. In addition to insight on Persian culinary traditions, she provided us with recipes from her book New Food of Life.
Sour cherry syrup can be found online at Kalamala.com.
You may substitute meatballs for the chicken. In a bowl, combine 1 pound ground meat with one grated onion. Add salt and pepper, and knead well to form into tiny balls the size of hazelnuts. Brown in a skillet in 2 tablespoons oil. Add 2 tablespoons sour cherry syrup to it and set aside. In steps 7 and 8, add the meatballs, 1 spatula at a time, along with the cherries and rice.
In the US, sour cherries are often called tart cherries. If using fresh or frozen sour cherries, add 1/2 cup of sugar to each pound of cherries. Cook over high heat for 35 minutes, then drain. If using dried sour cherries, add 2 tablespoons butter and cup [sic] sour cherry syrup and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. If using sour cherries in light syrup, drain and discard syrup. Add 1 cup sugar, boil over medium heat for 30 minutes, drain and save the syrup. If using sour cherries in heavy syrup, do not add sugar. Do not cook the sour cherries; just add 1/2 cup hot water to the cherries to dilute the syrup, then drain them for further use, because the syrup is too sweet to use on its own.
© 2007 From New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij by permission of Mage Publishers
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