On this podcast episode, we’ve discussed Persian and Indian recipes that use a range of acidic ingredients beyond lemon, lime and vinegar.
Call it acidic, tart or sour—this critical but often underused flavour balances out sweet or fatty dishes. It adds a spark of brightness to something stodgy or plain. Dubai-based international art curator Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé (@mojganendjavibarbe) takes us on a journey of Shiraz, Iran to share recipes that use a number of sour Persian ingredients, including ab ghooreh (unripe grape juice) and albaloo (sour cherries). And our Eating Designer Mufaddal Husein (@mufaddal.husein) shines a light on Assam in North East India that boasts an entire category of sour ingredients called tenga.
We’ve also shared the recipes of Mojgan’s Shirazi salad with ab ghooreh and Mufaddal’s chicken kurdi soup with kokum below.
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MOJGAN'S SHIRAZI SALAD
Mint, chopped (dried mint can also be used)
Ab ghooreh (juice of unripe grapes) or lemon juice
Toss all the ingredients together and put them in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
MUFADDAL'S CHICKEN KHURDI SOUP
Make a stock with the water, bones, salt and crushed ginger. Skim off any impurities and let stand.
In another pot heat the oil till shimmering. Add peppercorns, cassia and cloves. Add cumin seeds and garlic. Before they burn, add wholemeal flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour is bubbling and fragrant but not browned.
Mix in turmeric, red chilli powder (to taste) and coriander seed powder and cook for a minute to remove the rawness of the spices. Stream in a few ladlefuls of stock to prevent lumps and then add the rest of the stock, bones and all. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer to thicken the soup.
Once simmering add your desired souring agent, dried kokam is recommended but you can add tamarind or lemon juice as well. The amount depends on your preference and the strength of the souring agent. Try to get Kokam that is not too old as it will darken the soup.