Tas Kabab

Another dish from my childhood, Tas Kabab, is a wonderful Persian stew that I forgot about as I grew up and went about my life. My mother used to make it a lot and we loved it. I’m not sure if she learned it from my grandmother, but I don’t remember grandma making it in this version. It could very well be my mother’s interpretation. There are various recipes out there for Tas Kabab, with at least one that I would like to try and make one day, but I’ve decided to start with Mom’s recipe as it brings good memories.

I made it last week for my family and the feedback was so great that I’m making it again today.

And it was very easy to make, too. So, I guess we are adding a new dish to our home cooking repertoire.

4 tbs oil
2 large onions, peeled
4 large potatoes, peeled
8 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
5 medium tomatoes
4 Omani limes
3tsp turmeric
Black pepper

Slice the onions, the potatoes and the tomatoes and place each one of them in a separate dish.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Arrange some of the onions at the bottom of the pot in one layer. Arrange a layer of the potatoes on top of the onion. Try to use as much of the potatoes as you can.

Place the Omani limes in a small Ziploc bag. Close the bag and smash the limes until coarsely smashed. Sprinkle half the amount on the potatoes in the pot.

Sprinkle the potatoes with 1 tsp turmeric, some salt and some black pepper.

Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Sprinkle 2 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper and rub it in well.

Arrange the thighs as the next layer in the pot.

Top with the rest of the onions, the sliced tomatoes and the rest of Omani lime.

Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 45 minutes. Then turn the chicken upside down, cover the pot and cook for 45 more minutes.

Serve with some good bread to dip in the sauce and enjoy.

Chicken in Orange juice and Tarragon

Lately, like most of us, I’ve been busy getting ready for the possibility that we may have to hunker down due to Covid-19. It is very stressful to try and think of everything we might need at home, plan my shopping trips to the stores in a way that I can get everything in one trip while trying to avoid everyone, and in addition, still go to work, keep my distance from my coworkers and smile and hang out as if all is normal. It’s exhausting!! When it came to cooking, that meant I didn’t want to spend time preparing anything special that required time or effort. I needed my time and my head clear for others matters. So this was the motivation behind this really surprisingly delicious dish.

This chicken recipe is so delicious and tastes so gourmet that I’m still surprised how easy it was to make it. I had chicken thighs waiting for me in the fridge and I knew I had to cook them before they go bad. I looked to see what I could through on the chicken quickly to give it some flavor. I had in the fridge half an onion and some tarragon leaves that started to look tired. I decided to chop the onion and the tarragon and add to that juice, pulp and zest from one orange. Put it all in a Ziploc bag with the chicken, marinated for half an hour, then roasted it in the oven. Piece of cake… and the result was amazing! I will surely make this dish again.

2 ½ lb boneless chicken thighs
Juice from one orange with the pulp
Zest from one orange
1 medium red onion, diced
½ cup chopped tarragon
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Place all ingredients in a gallon size Ziploc bag, close the bag and shake well until chicken is fully coated with the marinade. Keep refrigerated for 30-60 minutes.

Turn oven to 375F.
Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet and cover with the marinade.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Did I say delicious!!!?


Apple Khoresh

Apple stew or Khoresh-e-sib in Persian, has a fun flavor. It has a gentle sweetness to it but it’s also sour. It has a flare of cinnamon and other spices, but none of them is dominant, so the result is a balanced, mild, but very interesting dish.

As in all Khoreshes, the dish is not about the meat. The meat is just one of the ingredients that help contribute to the combination of flavors and to the final result. For this reason, the amounts of meat in khoresh are less than you’ll find in other stews.

1/3 cup yellow split pea
3 tbs oil
1 large onion, chopped
1lb boneless chicken thighs (or beef, lamb), cut into thin strips
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cinnamon
1 cup water
2 tbs lime juice
3 tbs brown sugar
½ tsp turmeric
5 tart apples, peeled and cored
2 tbs oil

In a small saucepan combine the split pea with 2 cups water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the chicken and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.

Add 1 cup water, lime juice, sugar, and turmeric. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.

Cut each apple into 8 wedges. Heat two tbs oil in a skillet and fry the apples, turning them until they are golden brown on all sides.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In an ovenproof dish place the cooked chicken. Pour the split pea on top and arrange the apples on top of the peas. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve over white basmati rice.

Khoresh Sabzi

Khoresh Sabzi, which means fresh herb stew in Persian, is one of the staple dishes in Persian cuisine. You will probably find this dish in every Persian restaurant. The unique flavor of this wonderful dish comes from the large amount of various greens and Omani lime which is a prevalent ingredient in Persian cuisine. Omani lime, also known as dried lime, can be found in Middle Eastern stores and online.

Khoresh sabzi represents the kind of food I consider perfect in every way. Besides the fact that it reminds me of my childhood and my father’s side of our family, it is delicious with very rich and unique flavors, and is satisfying in a way that only slow cooking food can satisfy. It is also super healthy and guilt free, so you can enjoy it anytime, even when on a diet.

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 tbs oil
2 lb beef shank or chuck roast, or boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
6 cups water or broth
1 cup red kidney beans, soaked in water for 5 hours
5 Omani (dried) limes, crushed coarsely and seeded
½ tsp ground turmeric
Salt, Black pepper
4 cups parsley finely chopped
4 cups cilantro finely chopped
2 cups scallions finely chopped
2 cups leek (green part), chopped
1 cup celery leaves and stem chopped
1 cup dill finely chopped
Juice from one lemon (optional)

Place the beans in a pressure cooker and cover with water. Cook according to instructions until the beans are barely soft. When cooked, drain the water and set the beans aside.

Heat 3 tbs oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the meat and brown it for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the broth or water, the limes, the beans, turmeric, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes over medium heat.

In a separate pan, heat the remaining 3 tbs oil over medium heat, and sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes. The greens should be wilted but still retain their bright green color. Add the greens to the pot with the meat. If you like the khoresh to have a pronounced sour tone, add the lemon juice, as well .

Cover and cook over medium low heat for 30 – 40 minutes longer, until the beans and the meat are cooked and are tender.

Serve in a soup bowl, together with white basmati rice.

Turkey Chili

Americans are very familiar with chili and its endless variations, given we have such a strong, positive Mexican impact on our food and culture. So really, no introduction or explanation is needed for this wonderful, hearty, Mexican stew.

On second thought, not everyone around the world knows chili, and I’m not sure that even Americans know its origins. Chili was invented in the 1850s by Mexican and Tejana working class women, in what is now northern Mexico and south Texas. It included beef (sometimes dried beef) and chili peppers. Over the years it has spread all over the U.S. and evolved to include ground beef, red or black beans, vegetables, and of course chili pepper. That is the very basic recipe. The variations, however, are endless – with or without meat, different types of meat, different kinds of beans, more or less veggies, and a different ratio of spices. Whichever combination you choose, you still want to keep the same selection of spices (especially the chili powder), otherwise the flavor of the dish is completely altered, and you end up with something that isn’t chili.

This version calls for ground turkey, instead of beef, and a mix of different beans.

4 tbs oil
1 large onion chopped
4 sticks celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 lbs ground turkey
3 cans of beans with the liquid (red, pinto, white)
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs chili powder
1 heaping tbs chicken soup powder
1 tbs salt
1 tbs powdered garlic
1 tbs ground coriander seeds
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups cilantro leaves chopped


In a large pot, sauté the onion, celery and carrots in four tablespoons of oil, until translucent.

Add the bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes longer.

Add the ground turkey and stir in with the veggies, breaking the turkey into small chunks with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the beans with their liquid, tomato paste, and spices and mix to combine.

Add one cup of water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the dish for an hour.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped cilantro to the chili.

Serve the chili over rice or just as is. At home we like to add some tangy hot sauce to the bowl.

Buen Provecho!


Chicken and Potatoes In the Oven

We usually associate a festive meal with a lot of work and money. We want to impress our family and friends, and come up with something special that is not part of our usual menu. We spend a lot of time looking for just the right recipe that would impress, be delicious, and is different from what we’re used to. But who says the dish has to be complicated and expensive? Sometimes the answer is to turn ordinary ingredients into a beautiful dish without much effort. The following recipe does just that. All it calls for are chicken, potatoes, and sweet potatoes – not very exotic, right? But look how impressive and yummy it looks when you serve it. I can assure you no one at the table will complain (except for vegetarians).

The recipe below is good for one chicken, but as you can see from the pictures, I doubled it to accommodate the large company we had over.

1 whole chicken
5 medium potatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs chicken flavor soup powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp papper
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt (for the potatoes)
1 oven bag (found in every supermarket)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Rinse the chicken and discard of the giblets (sometimes it all comes in one bag, easy to dispose).

covered chicken

In a large bowl mix all the spices (use only 1 tsp salt). Add the chicken and rub it with the spice mix inside and out, making sure you cover the whole chicken with spices. Place the chicken in the bag.


Peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cut them into 1” thick slices. Place them in the un-rinsed large bowl, add the onion, olive oil and 1 tsp salt, and mix well. The potatoes will be covered with some of the spice mix that was left in the bowl from the chicken. Add the potatoes to the bag, and arrange nicely around and under the chicken.

ready to bake

Seal the bag using the string provided with the bag. Using a knife, pierce two holes on the top of the bag, to let the steam out. Place the bag on a baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for about one and a half hours. Remove the pan from the oven. Using a knife, cut the top of the bag open, then return the pan to the oven to brown for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and place on a nice serving dish with a rim (to collect the sauce). discard of the bag and place the whole chicken on top of the potatoes

This dish goes well with a salad composed of green leaves and lettuce, and dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Bon Appetit!