Red Lentil Soup with Saffron
This hearty red lentil soup uses spices common in Persian cuisine: turmeric, cumin and saffron. Enjoy it with a warm baguette or steamed rice.
This version of chorba, a soup popular in North Africa, features broken pieces of spaghetti and chicken in a fragrant broth.
Lemon Chicken & Rice
This easy Persian-inspired chicken and rice dish has a beautiful golden color and a wonderful fragrance. If you have saffron in the cupboard, do add that optional pinch; just a little will enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.
Rhubarb, Ginger & Saffron Baked Chicken
This easy baked chicken recipe is perfect for entertaining because you can mix most of the ingredients together ahead of time. While the chicken is baking, you can throw together a salad and make couscous or rice to sop up the delicious sauce from the chicken. Red onion is key here, as it helps the rhubarb retain its pink color even when baked.
Basmati Rice & Curry Casserole (Chana aur Sarson ka Saag Biryani)
Biryanis are rice-based casseroles that combine a saucy meat, vegetable or legume curry with basmati rice, whole spices, nuts and raisins. This particular dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to the mustard greens and chickpeas. Look for the specialty spices--cardamom pods, saffron and garam masala--in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.
Quick Paella with Shrimp & Mussels
Our quick take on paella is studded with mussels and shrimp. Traditional paella made with short-grain rice takes a while to cook and can be a bit tricky. Instant brown rice is a great shortcut--what it lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in convenience. Make sure you seek out saffron, which gives the dish its distinctive yellow color and signature flavor. Serve with: Spinach salad.
Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup
This easy soup recipe is inspired by cocido, the hearty stew of assorted meats, chickpeas and vegetables considered a national dish of Spain. Each region, family and restaurant has its own variation, but this slow-cooker soup has enough meat to satisfy the carnivores and enough vegetables to make it healthy. Ask for a 4-ounce slab of Serrano ham or prosciutto at your deli counter instead of buying slices. If you don't have a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, opt for the stovetop variation instead.
Persian-Style Butternut Squash Soup
Stock up your Iranian-inspired spice cabinet to brighten up a simple butternut squash soup for your Thanksgiving feast.
Saffron Chicken Korma
Layers of spices including cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, saffron and more flavor this yogurt- braised chicken, a spin on the Mughlai Indian dish. Serve with basmati rice or naan.
No-Churn Ice Cream with Cardamom & Saffron
This recipe was inspired by kulfi, an Indian frozen dessert often flavored with cardamom, saffron and pistachios. Counting saffron threads seems tedious but it is an accurate way to measure one of the most precious spices on Earth. Rather than using an ice cream maker, you whip the cream mixture to form soft peaks before freezing it. The results are über-creamy.