Feeling human

I'm having serious difficulty answering questions from my readers. I feel I should use this time to say something that is more generally useful in light of Tuesday's tragic events. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. I would like to declare my outrage at this horrendous event. I, like many of you have been glued to the television, that ubiquitous presence that brings one person's problem into everyone else's livingroom.

I wept in sadness and sighed in shock and clenched my fist in anger on the day of the attacks on New York and Washington and most of today. But everyone has a limit of how much CNN sadness and horror they can take. I decided to turn the TV off and do something that has helped me before, as my figure is witness, in sad situations: eat.

I also wished this evening I was near other Iranians, family and friends, who feel both disgust and horror at this fanatical act and a certain fear of being singled out again as public enemy number one like we were in the Hostage Crisis. But living far from most of them I decided to do the next best thing.

I decided that the best way to fight the depression caused by this horror would be to cook for my husband and children. And what better than abgoosht? After eating it, I decided to come and share my recipe with you and tell you that sometimes when we are afraid and the world makes no sense at all, eating good old abgoosht is the only way to feel grounded.

So here is the recipe for what I call “Quick and Easy Abgoosht for the Shell Shocked Soul”.


— Osso Boccu Veal meat — Several white peeled potatoes — One large vidalia onion — One can garbanzo beans — One can white beans — One big can whole peeled tomato — One half can of tomato paste — Three omani lemons — A teaspoon or so Turmeric

You cut the onions and fry them with till they turn just brownish. Add the meat and saute while turning over medium to high heat in your pan.

It is quicker and easier to use a pressure cooker but any soup pan is okay. Then you cover with three lines of your finger in water (bande angosht).

Pour in the peeled tomato and its juice.

Close the top and cook for twenty minutes or so in the pressure cooker, more on regular pan.

Then remove, let cool, open and add potato and paste and the cans of beans and the omani lemon which should be pierced with a fork on two sides.

Let it cook on the pressure cooker for another thirty minutes and it will be ready.

Enjoy it with cut up bread and torshi or condiment.

Before you indulge say a prayer or think a good thought for the victims of the disaster, then put all that aside for at least the next thirty minutes and enjoy your momentary lapse into the wonderful flavor of this simple abgoosht and let your taste buds tell you that you at least are still human.


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