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    Mirza Ghasemi

    Iran - Mirza Ghasemi

    Overview:

    • Course/Drink: appetizer

    Mirza Ghasemi is a delicious vegetarian Shomali (from North) meal from Gilan Province. To make this simple smoky flavored dish the eggplants are grilled over hot coals or under the broiler element in the oven until the skin is charred. Then the skin is peeled and the flesh is cooked with fresh ripe tomatoes and eggs.

    Ingredients:

    • 7 medium Italian eggplants, unpeeled
    • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
    • 3 ounces butter, divided
    • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
    • 5 ripe Roma tomatoes
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
    • 4 eggs, to be cracked directly on the cooked eggplant/tomato sauce

    Serves for 4 persons.

    How too Cook:

    1- Prepare your outdoor grill to high heat. Skewer the eggplants and grill them over hot coals or gas grill for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until the skin is charred all over and the eggplants can easily be pierced with a fork. (please see the alternative broiler/stovetop method in the pictured instructions)

    2- Carefully pull the eggplants off the skewers and cool just until you can handle them without burning your fingers. Take the stems off and peel and discard the skins. You don’t have to be very meticulous about peeling the skin, some leftover specs of charred skin is fine and adds extra smoky flavor to Mirza Ghasemi. Sprinkle the peeled eggplants with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and roughly chop them. Set aside.

    There are two methods for charring the eggplants:  On the outdoor grill method the eggplants may be skewered and grilled or placed directly on the grate and grilled until the skin is charred. On the broiler method the eggplants are broiled very close to the heating element for a few minutes on each side then held over the fire from the gas burner on the stovetop for only a couple of minutes, just enough to char the skin. I learned this brilliant broiler/stovetop method from my friend Majid who I enjoyed a cooking session with when he and his lovely wife were visiting a while back. The stovetop method is perfect for winter months when it is too cold to fire up the outdoor grill. You just will have to take my word for it until you try it for yourself, but the couple of minutes on the gas burner does the trick to give the eggplants that smoky flavor.

    3- Use a sharp knife to slice the tomatoes very thin, then dice them very small (please see the alternative method for peeled tomatoes in the pictured instructions). Set aside.

    4- Heat 2 ounces of butter in a non-stick 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium high and saute for 3 minutes. Stir a few times.

    5- Add the chopped eggplants to the skillet, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir a few times.

    6- Stir the eggplants, make 4 shallow wells on the surface and crack the eggs one at a time in each well. Use a fork to mix the egg whites into the eggplant mixture, leaving the yolks intact. Sprinkle the yolks with extra freshly cracked black pepper. increase the heat to medium low, cover the skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the whites are cooked. The yolks should be soft poached and golden.

    In most recipes the eggs are mixed into Mirza Ghasemi but you can made a variation to this beloved recipe.  After the eggplants and tomatoes are cooked, you can crack the eggs directly on top.  Next, you can mix the whites into the sauce but leave the yolks whole and cover the skillet and quickly poach them for this unique presentation.

    7- Serve with fresh herbs or salad and toasted Sangak or pita bread.

    You can serve this wonderful Shomali (form the north of Iran), vegetarian meal with Sangak or Lavash, both of which are Persian flat breads.


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    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.

    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.