Hadassah Savors the Flavors of Persian Cuisine

Hadassah Savors the Flavors of Persian Cuisine

Members of the Hadassah Greater Atlanta Ketura Group experienced the exotic tastes and aromas of Persian food, courtesy of nutritionist Safa Nooromid.

Guests and members of the Hadassah Greater Atlanta Ketura Group recently experienced the exotic tastes and aromas of Persian food at a cooking demonstration at the home of Jill and Joe Ferst in Marietta.

Safa Nooromid, a well-known Atlanta area nutritionist, demonstrated the art of Persian cooking with samples for those attending.

Here are some recipes you can try at home:

Persian Tomato and Cucumber Shirazi Salad

3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, unpeeled

3 ripe, firm Roma tomatoes

¼ medium red onion

2 tablespoons thinly sliced sweet or hot green pepper (no seeds)

3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro (may also use fresh parsley, dill or mint instead)


½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

¼ teaspoon fine lime zest

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about one medium lime)

2 tablespoons olive oil.


You may prepare and combine the vegetables a few hours ahead and refrigerate without adding the dressing. Toss the vegetables with the dressing right before serving. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. For a delicious change, try substituting fresh shallots for the red onions in this recipe and see which you prefer. – Recipe by Safa Nooromid

Programming chairs Beth Mintz and Esther Low (right) show Ketura’s appreciation to chef Safa Nooromid (left) and hostess Jill Ferst (center) with certificate and an orchid.

Chelo Kabab Koobideh

Cook and prep: 1 ½ hours | Servings: 4

Chelo kabab means “white rice with kebab.” This ground beef version of kebab with onions and saffron is called koobideh.

For the koobideh:

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, grated and drained

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon sumac

A few saffron threads



4 tomatoes

2 onions

For the chelo:

2 cups basmati rice

Sunflower oil

A few saffron threads


Chef Safa Nooromid offers Chelo Kabab Koobideh (white rice with kebab) to guests.


Dilute saffron in 1/2 cup of boiling water, cover and infuse for 10 minutes. Mix the ground meat with the grated onion, then add the spices, salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes after each ingredient is added. Finish with 3 tablespoons of infused saffron water and mix well again. Place in a covered container in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Make 8 koobideh kebabs by pressing the meat well to barbecue skewers.

Pinch the meat with your fingers regularly throughout the skewer every inch to give its characteristic shape. Grill the skewers on a barbecue by placing them over the coals. Turn them regularly to ensure a perfectly even grilling for about 15 minutes.

Place the tomatoes and onions on the barbecue and turn regularly. They are served as an accompaniment to the skewered meat.

Chelo (rice):

Soak the rice in plenty of cold water for 2 hours. Rinse thoroughly and drain. Cook the rice for 7 minutes in a large amount of salted boiling water. Drain the rice, but do not wash the pot. Keep over high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons water, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Pour the precooked and drained rice to form a pyramid.

Poke 3 to 4 holes in the rice with the handle of your wooden spatula. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil in an evenly distributed fashion.

Put a dish towel over pot, then cover with pot lid and bring dish towel ends over pot lid. This technique ensures a better seal and is key the to success with this type of rice steaming. Keep the lid on during cooking.

Cook over high heat about 5 to 10 minutes until a little steam escapes from the sides of the lid. Then lower heat and cook for 40 minutes.

Place the rice in a serving dish and remove the crispy rice crust that formed at the bottom of the pot. Dissolve the saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water; take a part of the cooked rice and pour the saffron on top.

Serve the kebabs accompanied with the grilled tomatoes and onions and top the rice with a few tablespoons of saffron rice. – Recipe by Mike Benayoun | Source: 196 Flavors

For more about Hadassah Greater Atlanta and Ketura, www.hadassah.org/atlanta.

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