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Modern macrobiotic practices in western multicultural countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States of America and so forth should involve a cuisine derived from a variety of cultures. Iran has a rich heritage of rice dishes and vegetablebased stews, which can be converted to a macrobiotic format with a little thought and practice. The following dishes are based on rice or are served with rice. For those on cleansing or healing diets please note that excessively yin items such as tomatoes, eggplants, saffron and rhubarb may not be appropriate. In such situations it is advisable to stay as closely as you can to fundamental vegetables (kale, cabbage, roots such as carrots beets etc) in association with plain brown rice.
Saffron Steamed Plain Brown Rice
Servings: 6 Preparation time: 5 min. Cooking time: 1-1/4 hrs. cups long-grain brown rice, 3 1/2 cup virgin olive oil, 8 cups cold water 2 tablespoons salt 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 4 tablespoons of hot water 1. Pick over the rice carefully to remove any small solid particles or grit. 2. Wash the rice by placing it in a large container and covering it with lukewarm water. Agitate gently with your hand, then pour off the water. Repeat the process until the rice is completely clean. Soak the grains in water to cover to which has been added one teaspoon of sea-salt. Leave for 6-12 hours and then drain the rice. 3. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add the rice to the pot and boil briskly for 10 to 15 minutes, gently stirring twice with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen any grains that stick to the bottom. If preparing a small amount one can wait for the rice to float to the top as this signifies the onset of the next step. However, a better way is to taste several grains after a few minutes boiling. When they are soft on the outside and still firm inside the rice is ready for step 4. If you have lots of rice in the pot, this will happen before the grains rise.
4. Drain the rice in a large, fine-mesh strainer and rinse with lukewarm water. 5. In a bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil, 2 spatulas full of the rice, 1/2 cup lukewarm water, and 1 tablespoon of saffron water. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the rice pot. This will later form a golden crust. Note that sliced potatoes (a yin element) can also be laid on the bottom of the pot. In this case just place the oil in the pot, heat & then arrange the potatoes on the bottom of the pot. 6. One spatula full at a time, gently mound the remaining rice onto the bottom layer. Shape it into a pyramid to leave room for the rice to expand. Mix one cup of cold spring water with 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil and pour over the rice. Sprinkle on the remaining saffron water. 7. Put the lid on, place on medium heat and wait until the rice starts steaming this may perhaps require cooking the rice for 10 minutes. 8. Remove the lid & wrap it in a clean dishcloth to absorb water vapor. Place the lid back firmly, lower the heat as much as you can and let the rice cook with the steam. In my experience, this takes 20-30 minutes. Take longer, up to 50 minutes if you are cooking lots of rice - In any event taste the rice after 20 min, if it is cooked you are done. If the rice is not cooked and there is no steam (water) left in the pot, add a bit more water on the rice & put the lid back on and wait a little longer. 9. Remove the pot from the heat and cool it, still covered, on a damp surface for 5 minutes to loosen the crust. 10. Spoon the rice into a pyramid on the serving platter, taking care not to disturb the bottom crust as you do so. After the pyramid is shaped, detach the crust with a wooden spatula and arrange it in pieces around the pyramid or serve it on a small side platter. Note 1: You can use any kind of pot to make this rice, but to follow macrobiotic practice stainless steel, iron or enamel-over-iron pots are recommended. Note 2: At step 6 you can add different nuts, dried fruits (apricots, peaches, raisins etc.) or herbs layering the rice with them. Note 3: To reheat leftover rice, place the rice in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, cover and place over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rice with Tomato, vegetables, fruit, nuts
Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 min. Cooking Time: 1-1/4 hrs. 3 cups long-grain brown rice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil, 1-1/2 tablespoons salt, 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 large eggplant (about 1 lb., peeled and sliced with bitterness removed*), about 4 large, fresh tomatoes, peeled and pureed, or 4 cups tomato puree, 1 large green pepper, seeded and sliced, ï¿½ teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot spring water. 1 Pick over, wash and soak the rice per the master recipe for plain brown rice. 2. In your pot, heat 3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil and stir-fry the onion, garlic, eggplant, and green pepper for 10 minutes. 3. Add the salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron water and stir-fry 3 minutes. 4. Either (A) stirring gently, add to the mixture the rice and tomato puree. Cover and cook 40 minutes. Or (B) following the recipe for plain brown rice, as you are putting the rice in the pot, layer it with your mixture and layer the mixture with rice. Cook this the same as the plain rice. Avoid adding all the liquid so the rice grains will not stick together. 5. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Serve the rice as in the plain rice recipe. *Peel and slice the eggplant, sprinkle slices with salt and leave for 1 hour. Rinse eggplant pieces and pat them dry.
Celery & Mint Khoresh (with tofu instead of meat)
Meat is replaced with pieces of tofu in these traditional Iranian dishes. You will not have to cook as long as meat dishes. Servings: 4 Prep Time: 30 min. Cooking Time: 1-1/2 hrs. 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 stalks celery, washed and chopped into 1-inch lengths (4 cups chopped), 3 cups chopped fresh parsley , 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint or 2 tablespoons dried, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water (optional), 1 package of firm tofu cut into cubes (350 or so grams) 1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the celery and stir-fry 10 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and mint and stir-fry 10 minutes longer. Set aside. 2. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir-fry 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the celery mixture then salt, pepper, turmeric, limejuice, and saffron water and stir-fry 1 minute longer. 3. Pour in 2-1/2 cups water, bring to a boil but add the tofu when the celery is half-cooked. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remember to add the tofu cubes when the celery is half-cooked. 4. Taste the Khoresh and adjust the seasoning for salt and limejuice. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. 5. Serve hot with saffron steamed rice.
In Iran, rhubarb has been reputed, since ancient times, to cleanse the blood and purify the system. Servings: 4 Preparation Time: 30 min. Cooking Time: 1-1/2 hrs. 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil, 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 3 cups chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint or 2 tablespoons dried, 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water (optional), 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 pound fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 2-inch pieces, 1 package of firm tofu cut into cubes (350 or so grams). 1. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir-fry 5 minutes, until translucent, add tofu cubes and continue stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, and turmeric. 2. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the parsley and mint, and fry for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aroma rises from the skillet. 3. Add the parsley and mint mixture, saffron water, tomato paste, and limejuice to the onions and tofu mixture. Pour in 2 cups of spring water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the mixture to a deep ovenproof casserole. Arrange the rhubarb on the top and cover the casserole with aluminum foil or preferably a fitted and perforated steel lid. If foil is used, pierce it with several holes Do not let the aluminum foil touch the food in the casserole. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Remember, rhubarb is fragile: The pieces must be cooked, but not to the point that they are falling apart. 5. Adjust seasoning. If the Khoresh is too sour, add 1 tablespoon honey. If the rhubarb needs more cooking, continue until it is soft. 6. Serve hot with saffron steamed rice.
Helpful hints to speed you along the macrobiotic way
â¢ Reduce intake of fats and oils because hormone-disrupting (and eventually cancer-causing) chemicals tend to accumulate in the fat of animals. â€¢ Avoid cooking in plastics, and reduce or eliminate storage of food in plastics, especially long term storage and storage of hot foods. Use glass or stainless steel containers. â€¢ Buy organic food. If your supermarket does not carry organic fruits and vegetables get organized and get your family and friends to ask that they do.
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