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Podcast featuring Persian and Indian recipes that use unique souring ingredients

Persian and Indian Recipes that Use Unusual Sour Ingredients

Learn about Persian and Indian recipes that use lesser known souring ingredients, from Persian sour cherries to Assamese 'jolphai' olives.

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 Endjavi-Barbé - Guest Speaker on the Deep Fried Podcast

Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé. Dubai-based international art curator and guest speaker on our podcast.

Cucumber, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Onions, chopped
Mint, chopped (dried mint can also be used)
Olive oil
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.


For the Stock:
1L water
200 g chicken or mutton bones
Salt to taste
Ginger, an inch crushed
2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
4-5 peppercorns
A very small stick of cassia
2-3 cloves
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
A few garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 tbsp of wholemeal flour (atta)
3/4 tsp of turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp of coriander seed powder
Dried kokum OR tamarind (cleaned and soaked in a bit of water) OR lemon juice
Optional Garnish:
Chopped fresh coriander leaves
Fried onions

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.

The soup is done when the oil collects at the top and the desired thickness is achieved.
Best eaten with chunks of stale bread or a very simple khichdi. Chopped fresh coriander leaves or fried onions are an optional garnish.