I have had a lot of confessions this week…so here is yet another one: my husband and I are obsessed with all things Persian! We have a number of close friends from Iranian-Jewish families, and we have always been fascinated by their traditions, history and (of course) FOOD! But this interest has reached new heights over the past few months.
Last week writer Esther Amini welcomed us into her home for Shabbat lunch, where we enjoyed home-cooked Persian rice and two kinds of Persian stew including my favorite, ghormeh sabzi. My husband has also been experimenting with some Persian-inspired recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem, which have been delicious, if not somewhat time consuming to prepare.
And I would be remiss not to mention my husband’s almost-obsessive interest in the Bravo TV show Shahs of Sunset (his favorite character is Reza). While their typical Bravo-drama antics may be what is “entertaining,” a glimpse into the Persian immigrant culture of Los Angeles has been fascinating. A few of the characters even come from Iranian-Jewish families including handsome Mike and the ever-hysterical Reza, whose father is Jewish.
Purim is coming up soon, a holiday truly steeped in Persian history and tradition. The Book of Esther recounts the story of Purim, telling of how the Jews of Persia were saved from destruction. Purim is truly one of the most joyous Jewish holidays, when we are obligated to drink, eat and celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to share in the diversity of Jewish traditions and foods!?
Well, all this is to say….we are looking for YOUR Persian Purim recipes! If you’ve got a great family recipe and story to share, we would love to feature it for our readers. Email us your recipe, a photo if you’ve got one and if appropriate, a short story about the recipe, to TheNosher.Contests@gmail.com.
Deadline is Friday, February 15th at noon. We can’t wait to see what treats you’ve got – and try them out for our own families.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.