Cooking for Persian New Year

Learn how to make Sabzi Polo ba Mahe (herbed rice with fish), a traditional Persian dish with Free to Feed chef, Tayebeh!

Persian New Year marks the first day of the first month (Favardin) on the Iranian calendar.

Also known as the Iranian New Year, or Nowruz (‘New Day’ in English), it’s the first day of spring for the northern hemisphere, falling on or around 21 March each year.

Tayebeh is a chef for Melbourne's social enterprise Free to Feed . Originally from Iran, Tayebeh says a lot of planning goes into the annual celebration.

“Before Nowruz, it’s important to clean the house and buy new clothes for the kids, gathering the Haft-sin, which is an arrangement of seven symbolic items, representing nature,” she says.

Each item that makes up the Haft-sin starts with the Persian equivalent of the letter S, as Haft means ‘seven’ and sin (or seen) is ‘س’, the Persian equivalent of ‘S’.

Tayebeh says this can include Sabzeh (wheat, barley), Samanu (wheatgerm sweet pudding), Senjed (Persian olive), Serkek (vinegar), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), and Somaq (sumac).

Originally from Ilam, a Kurdish city in the western part of Iran, Tayebeh remembers the smells of rose water and cardamom filling her home at this time of year.

She still celebrates the annual holiday here in Australia, gathering the Haft-sin and cooking a traditional dish, Sabzi Polo ma Bahe (herbed rice with fish).

Tayebeh has kindly shared her recipe for Sabzi Polo ma Bahe, and her Shirzi Salad, which you can make at home to celebrate Nowruz with family and friends!

Free to Feed have also just launched an array of new cooking classes and instructors - including Tayebeh! If you'd like to find out more about a class with Free to Feed, click the link below.

Register for a cooking experience with Free to Feed

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