Thursday, June 13, 2024

Anar Bij; A Tasty Dish of Northern Iran

Anar bij or Anar Avij is a stew from northern Iran, particularly the Gilan province. The dish is made up of a delicious combination of fragrant herbs, meat, walnuts and pomegranate.

In general, for the preparation of the Anar Bij or the northern Fesenjan stew, walnuts, vegetables, sour grape juice, pomegranate paste, ground meat, onions, salt and pepper, along with turmeric are needed.

If you do not have access to herbs, you can make the food with the rest of the vegetables that are mentioned below which are easier to find. But surely this meal will have an original flavour with local vegetables.

Ingredients for Anar Bij

Ingredients for Anar Bij

  • Half a kilo of ground meat
  • Half a kilo of vegetables (Chives, Coriander, Parsley, Fenugreek, Spinach)
  • 5 tbsp of pomegranate paste
  • Salt & pepper as much as needed

Anar Bij - Persian Pomegranate Stew recipe

How to cook Anar Bij

Mix the ground meat with grated onions as well as salt and pepper and prepare them in the form of small meatballs.

Place the walnut on the heat until it gets hot (make sure the colour does not change). Then, pour 3 glasses of cold water on the walnuts and heat.

Chop the vegetables and sauté them in a little water. When the mixture of water and walnuts boiled, add the fried vegetables to the stew. Add the pomegranate paste at this stage.

The amount of pomegranate paste depends on your taste and, of course, the paste’s sourness. You can also use some bitter orange juice or plum paste along with pomegranate sauce.

Sauté the meatballs in the same oil and add it to the stew and place the stew on medium heat for an hour so that the stew becomes ready. At this stage, if the stew needs water, you can add some.

This delicious meal becomes green after getting ready and has a fairly sour taste. You could also add pomegranate seeds and reduce the amount of pomegranate paste. The stew can also be made with chopped meat or duck meat.

Anar Bij Stew

Additional tips for making Anar Bij

1-You can use blue eryngo (locally called Chuchagh that is a kind of vegetable growing in northern Iran) as filling for the meatballs which is a matter of taste.

2-Do no forget that the amount of mint and local northern vegetables should be less than other vegetables.

3- If local vegetables are not available, use pennyroyal or no local vegetables at all.

4- People from Gilan (Brittanica) use black and sour pomegranate paste to make Anar Bij, but if black pomegranate paste is not available, use sweet-and-sour pomegranate paste.

5- You can add some cold water or ice cubes to the stew from time to time to let walnut oil come out.

Anar Bij Recipe

More questions about Anar Bij Recipe

1- Is it possible to prepare this stew without local vegetables?

Yes, but in that case it will not have the special taste. You can use any vegetable that is in the recipe and finally omit the pennyroyal.

2- Can sliced meat be used instead of minced chicken or meat?

You can use it, but this stew is based on minced meat. One of the reasons why this dish is prepared quickly is the use of minced meat.

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