Friday, 27 April 2012

Mokhalafat (Traditional Iranian Accompaniments)

Persian cuisine is one of the most ancient and developed styles of cooking in the world. I love exploring the dishes of countries which have a rich food culture and history and Iran is certainly one of them. This is my last recipe for Iran month (how I have loved it!), and to be honest, it's not really a recipe. It's something I wanted to share and discuss. When researching Iranian cuisine and recipes I found references to Mokhalafat - the traditional accompaniments which should be served with each meal. I loved the idea so when I had my friends around to help me eat all the Iranian food I had cooked I was sure to provide a big plate of mokhalafat with it! 

Mokhalafat varies between regions and probably between families but here are some core ingredients: fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, fresh tomato and cucumber and flat bread. I didn't add flat bread to mine because I was already serving my guests a wealth of food so I didn't want them to fill up on bread! Here is what I used in my mokhalafat:

1/2 bunch fresh mint (chopped)
1/2 bunch fresh dill (chopped)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 cucumbers, sliced
Gherkins or pickled cucumbers

You don't really need instructions for this one - just serve along with your main dishes as accompaniments. I arranged all of mine on one big plate but you could also serve in small separate bowls which can be passed around. As you will see I made my own pickles for this - so check out my recipes by clicking on the link.

Here are some other thing you can add to your mokhalafat (I would have loved to have been able to include it all!):

Fresh herbs - basil, corriander (cilantro), fenugreek, savory, tarragon, watercress
Flatbreads - such as lavash or barbari
White cheeses (if you're not a vegan)
Yoghourt (ditto)
Sliced raw onions
Wedges of lemon
Other pickles (such as pickled cauliflower, turnip, radish or eggplant)
Fresh radishes

If you come from a Persian background or have experienced a traditional Persian meal I'd love to know what was served up as mokhalafat!

On another note - I've been nominated for the Best Australian Blogs 2012 People's Choice Award - you can vote for me by hitting up this link:

This month I'm featuring lots of amazing Iranian recipes!
Check out my other Iranian recipe posts:

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