Torsh-e Tareh: Gilaki Herb Stew

Torsh-e Tareh: Gilaki Herb Stew

Jasmin Khan’s The Saffron Tales came across my Instagram newsfeed and after flipping through the pages online, I had to buy myself a copy. I am slowly making my way through the book. It’s a cookbook I especially enjoy because it comes with a selection of heartfelt, personal stories highlighting dishes from Iran. The flavours from the Persian kitchen are multi-layered and so many of them are one-pot meals, perfect for gatherings of family and friends. I’ve tried a few recipes and now it’s time to share them with you!

Lately, I’ve had a craving for eggs poached in something tastier than water – that’s when the Israeli dish, Shakshuka, fit the bill. As you’ll see in a recent post, Shakshuka poaches eggs in a tomato-y sauce. Torsh-e Tareh counts on spinach and herbs as the poaching liquid. The recipe asks you to finely chop the spinach and herbs. However, all of the ingredients can be chucked into your food processor…that’s what I did, and it produced a smooth paste, similar in texture, to pesto. I think next time, I’d do half/half:  some chopping and some puréeing to give a little more varied texture to the dish.

As you’ll notice in my photo, there are roasted potatoes, crumbled feta, and some toasted pine nuts. I took the liberty of adding these to make it more of a full plate, so to speak. I really enjoyed this meal! The friend I had over was also impressed; and since his background is from an Armenian kitchen, I’ll take that as a compliment!

If you’ve tried Shakshuka, I invite you to give this spinach based recipe, Torsh-e Tareh, a try. It’s loaded with iron, protein, and vitamins. Good, and good for you 🙂

Ingredients

  • 300 grams fresh spinach
  • 65 grams fresh coriander
  • 65 grams fresh flat leaf parsely
  • 40 grams fresh dill
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 400 ml water
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 Tbsp water
  • juice of one lemon, plus a few extra squeezes when serving
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 eggs per serving (in the end, we used 4)
  • 10 grams butter

Directions

    1. Finely chop the spinach and herbs. For ease and speed, you can do this in a food processor. Place all of the greens in a saucepan and add the garlic, turmeric, and water. Stir well, cover and cook for 15 minutes over a low heat.
    2. Add the cornflour paste, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid off so the sauce thickens.
    3. ***Crack your eggs into the greens and let them cook for 1 minute without touching them. Run a wooden spoon through each yolk twice (in a cross shape – horizontally and then vertically) so you just break them. Don’t mix too much because you want the egg to be in chunks rather than scrambled in the final dish.***
    4. Place the lid on until the eggs are cooked. Take the stew off the heat and stir through the butter to finish. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Traditionally, this is a very sour dish, so if you like, add a few extra squeezes of lemon juice to your taste.

***I skipped this step. I allowed the liquid to poach my eggs, and left them whole when serving.

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