Posted by: samandal | March 21, 2010

Díg-i Júsh: Food for the Poor, Food for the Friend

Díyáfat-i-Bahá, the Feast of Splendor; Naw-Rúz, New Day

“‘Ísá ibn Máryám said of water, ‘This is my father,’ and of bread, ‘This is my mother.’ He meant that they nourish the body just as parents do.”                                (Hadíth)

We would like to thank our dear friend Husayn for his wonderful culinary contributions and generous assistance.

“I have come in order to sacrifice myself for the Friend.”

Lúbiyá Piláv

30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil                                                              1 large onion, finely chopped                                                                              500 g (16 oz) lamb, trimmed and cubed                                                              315 g (10 oz) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped                                           750 ml (3 cups) water                                                                                         2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) black pepper                                                                       2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) ground cinnamon                                                                375 g (1½ cups) basmati or sadri rice                                                                 250 g (1 cup) canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained                                          30 ml (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh parsley                                                       125 g (½ cup) raisins, soaked in warm water                                                       125 g (½ cup) pine nuts

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and sauté the onion until it is transparent.

Cook the meat in batches until it is brown on all sides.

Add the tomatoes and 2 cups (500 ml) of the water.

Season the mixture with the black pepper and cinnamon.

Bring the contents to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer the mixture for one hour.

Add the rice, kidney beans, parsley and the rest of the water to the pan, stirring well.

Simmer the mixture, covered, until the rice is tender.

Leave the pan to stand for twenty minutes, then fluff it up and serve it sprinkled with the plumped raisins and pine nuts.

Garnish the piláv, if you like, with goat cheese crumbles and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with lavash or pita bread.

Serves 4 to 6.

“‘Ísá ibn Máryám was seen leaving the house of a prostitute. Someone said to him, ‘Rúh’u’lláh, what are you doing in the house of this woman?’ ‘It is the sick that a physician visits,’ he replied.”                                                                        (Hadíth)

“What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.”                                         (Lucretius: De Rerum Natura)

Mást-i Khiár

2 cucumbers, peeled                                                                                          500 g (2 cups) yoghurt                                                                                       2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) salt                                                                                     2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) black pepper                                                                        15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped fresh dill                                                                 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped fresh mint

Cut the cucumbers lengthways and scoop out the seeds.

Dice the cucumbers and combine them with the yoghurt, salt, pepper, dill and mint.

Chill the mást well and garnish it with sprigs of mint.

Serves 2 to 4.

Nosh-i ján! (May it nourish your soul!)

“Hazrat-i ‘Ísá said, ‘Piety is nine-tenths silence, and one-tenth fleeing from people.’” (Hadíth)