Happy Nowruz!

Hello Everyone! Happy Spring!

Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is celebrated at the time of the vernal equinox, and includes many symbolic representations of birth and renewal.


You can watch a video explaining what it is (in German) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMvPIl_yBcw
or

Here in English (BBC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on9KQ5UTq4U

Here are a few ways you can celebrate:

A key tradition is to set up an altar in your house called a Haft-seen, which means seven S’s in Farsi. You place seven things on your altar that begin with the letter S in Farsi, which are symbols or qualities you’d like to invite in for the year ahead. You can have apples for good health, candles for light, eggs for fertility, wheatgrass for rebirth and renewal, vinegar for wisdom, and a gold coin for abundance and prosperity. Each person chooses items that have meaning for them. (Source: CNN Health)


The festival lasts two weeks. At the end of the festival, you take the wheatgrass you’ve been growing on your altar and you take it down to some running water somewhere. You tie knots in the wheatgrass then throw it into the running water. It would float off along with all your hopes and dreams for the year ahead.


Spring cleaning is a big part of the new year celebrations, and is called “shaking down the house.”


Recipes:

You can follow this recipe for an herb and spinach frittata called Kuku Sabzi: It is often served with flatbreads, sliced tomatoes and pickles, or feta and toasted walnuts for a heartier meal. It can be enjoyed hot or cold.


Makes 4 servings as a main or 8 servings as a starter

Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutesIngredients

7 ounces|200 grams spinach

1 3/4 ounces|50 grams fresh parsley

1 3/4 ounces|50 grams fresh dill

2 2/3 ounces|75 grams fresh cilantro

5 medium eggs

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaf

2 teaspoons sunflower oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Instructions

1. Wash spinach, parsley, dill and cilantro, then dry well on paper towels or in a salad spinner. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible; if the greens are wet when they are cooked, they will make the kuku go spongy. Chop finely or blitz in a food processor, in a couple of batches.

2. Heat broiler to high. Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add turmeric, flour, salt, pepper and fenugreek leaf. Stir in the chopped spinach and herbs.

3. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add garlic and gently fry over low heat to soften, about 2 minutes.

4. Make sure garlic is evenly distributed around the skillet, then pour in the egg mixture. Cook over low heat until kuku is almost cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Finish off in hot broiler.

5. Let kuku cool slightly, then cut into triangular slices to serve.

NOTE: This recipe is adapted from Yasmin Khan’s book “The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen.”

You can also follow this delicious looking recipe from Persian Mama for a fish and rice dish called Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi which is usually served on the first day of the celebrations: https://persianmama.com/sabzi-polo-ba-mahi/


Send us a message or comment if you have any other tips for how to celebrate Persian New Year in Berlin!

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