For our Middle Eastern dishes our group was charged withmaking ghalihey maygoo, chelow and baba ghanoush.
Ghalihey maygoo is an Iraniandish of shrimp and herb stew. The sauce consists of garlic, shallot, and currypowder. Tomatoes are also stewed, and tamarind paste is included to add evenmore acidity and flavor. The dish is popular in the Khuzestan region of Iran.Khuzestan borders the Persian Gulf, which is a warm water body, which isteeming with shrimp. Though other variations of ghalihey are more popular inthe region, ghalihey maygoo is still considered a specialty of the area.Baba ghanoush is a vegetarian condiment made up ofroasted/charred eggplants that are pureed and then mixed with multiple thingssuch as sesame tahini, garlic paste, lemon juice and olive oil. The roasting ofthe eggplant provides a soft smoky taste to the mixture.
It’s used in dishesthat involve khubz (flatbread) or pita bread mostly. The actual location oforigin has never been determined but both cultures in Levantine and Lebanesetake ownership of its origination however it is considered to be a part of theLevantine dishes. In Arabic baba means father and ghanoush (ghannuj) meaningpampered. It is eaten in multiple places around the world such as the MiddleEastern countries of Syria, Lebanon, as well as being big in Brazil, WestIndies and Greece. It has recently been bought to American restaurants in NewYork City in the Turkish restaurants. A lot of vegetarians use this dish as astaple in their diets because eggplant by itself is a good source in fiber,vitamin B1 and B6, copper, vitamin K, potassium and more and when you mixtogether the eggplant, tahini and lemon juice it becomes rich in protein andcarbohydrates.With an abundantconsumption of rice in Iran, chelow’s popularity comes to no surprise.
Rice ismore of a main dish in Iran, whereas other parts of the world would consider ita side. Due to a variety of climates, the rice grown in Iran can vary greatlyand grows in abundance. Rice is consumed in practically every meal of the dayand there are over 100 dishes that consist of it as the main ingredient. One ofthe most popular rice dishes is chelow. It is a long grain rice typically mixedwith yogurt and saffron then fried to achieve crispness then topped with plainrice and steamed. Chelow can also be mixed with a variety of legumes such as black-eyedpeas to make Chelow Dizi, or it can also be mixed with meat to make Chelow Kebab.The people in Iran also have certain beliefs associated with some of thesedishes and believe they have medicinal properties.
Although each region hastheir own way of eating rice (hot, cold, sticky, or crispy) and certaincircumstances when rice is eaten (weddings, child birth, parties, and othercelebrations) it is fair to say that rice is a staple in Iranian cuisine.