Today's bento is courtesy of some tutelage from couple that use to own a Persian restaurant here in Austin. For one of the dinner parties they hosted for our coworkers they were nice enough to have me over so I could watch and help prepare the meal. As with many middle eastern cuisine there's a lot of stews and curry type items, but what I found interesting was in Persian cooking, the preparation of rice is very important. There are a huge variety of recipies for the preparation of rice. For this bento I selected Baghali Polo which is a lima bean/Dill rice. I tossed in some of my Baba Ghanouj (courtesy Alton Brown, my hero).
The main stew is called Fesenjoon, it's rather unique in that the recipe calls for a pound and a half of ground walnut to be cooked until the oils are released. It's then cooked with chicken and pomegrate syrup for two hours. The result is a dish that is a little sweet, a little sour, and a very tender chicken.
The second stew is called Mirza Ghasemi, it's primarily composed of eggplants and tomato and calls for a whole head of minced garlic. You definitely get a spicy kick from the amount of garlic
And because I love the artistic nature of the shot of the baghali polo I've posted it too. Now with this rice I intentially skipped some of the flavoring as each of the stews had a strong independent flavor that I wanted the rice to help temper.
- Baghali Polo
- Baba Ghanouj
- Mirza Ghasemi