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Khoresh-e maast
With a nice glass of iced green tea

By Johnny Waters
August 19, 2002
The Iranian

Now that my better half is visiting her parents for a month, I find myself drawn into the kitchen. I am somewhat new to cooking Persian food, mainly doing recipies from "A Taste of Persia" by by Najmieh Batmanglij, though I tried Linda Shetabi's Havij Polo and thought it was great. So, I am thinking to myself: "You want kufteh". I check out the recipe. A little labor intensive, to say the least.

So I thumb through the book, and come across Koresh-e maast. Flip back to kufteh, back to koresh-e maast... I throw caution to the wind and:

-- Take out 1/2 lb (American appetite ;) of ground sirloin
-- 1/8 cup of Coarse Chickpea flower
-- 1/2 tsp salt
-- 1 egg white
-- A bit of fresh parsley, dill, and leek
-- Half a lime, juiced

I roast the Chickpea Flower, let it cool, and mix the works together. I found that the more one kneeds this mix, the better it holds up in the chatti. form the meet into balls with a diameter of your choice, I usually go with a size around 20mm, so it's easier to pick up w/nan. I then put them on a plate, cover it, and put it in a cool place to wait.

Now, for the Koresh...

-- Some Oil
-- 1 small onion
-- The aforementioned meat balls
-- 1 cup of Celery (I should use less, but I like celery)
-- A bit of salt
-- Black pepper
-- 3-4 tsp's curry powder, I used Bolst's mild..
-- the other 1/2 of lime juice
-- 1.5 cups yogurt
-- 1 tsp corn starch

In the chatti, stir fry one small onion (again, for small american appetites) in the oil of your choice (I prefer olive oil). I prefer to not use much oil with koresh-e maast, mainly because the appearance of a larve amount of oil on top of the finished dish is a personal turn-off. Once the onion is finished toss in the meat balls, they are fragile and prone to stick at first, but become more durable within a few minutes. As soon as they are starting to brown, add the celery.

When the celery begins to deepen in color and become aromatic, add the salt/pepper/curry/lime juice and gently stir fry for a few more moments (make sure that the curry and pepper are uniformly distributed. Pour in enough water to cover the stuff in the pan 1/2 of the way (usually a cup). Cover, lower the heat, and let simmer.

Get the Yogurt and corn starch dissolved in a small glass of water (cold) and a pinch of salt. Mix it together for about 5 minutes. Mrs Batmanglij mentions that it shoudl be in a clockwise direction, ever the empiricist, I have discovered that this, in fact, does not matter :)

When the yogurt-base is complete, check the meatball/celery curry in the pan. I decided to drain off any excess fat, which can be accomplished by carefully soaking it up off the surface of the water with a paper towel. I think that this is why she used chicken in the cook book.

Lower the heat, so that it is not boiling. Let the temp drop for a couple minutes, and add the yogurt base to the chatti. Gently stir so that the meal is uniformly mixed, test, adjust spices to taste, and serve with some rice. I find that this dish goes VERY well with a nice glass of iced green tea.

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