Eating sustainably connotes regional foods that are available locally and in season. Fair conditions for workers and careful use of natural resources are part of what makes foodways sustainable. To draw attention to what is sustainable in the Middle East, we’ve embarked on this series of posts for readers to learn a little more about different countries’ food habits and tastes. We’ve looked at How to Eat Like a Sustainable Saudi Arabian and How to Eat Like a Sustainable Jordanian. Now let’s head over to Iran.
Iranian cuisine leans heavily on rice and many varieties of bread. Yet among other Middle Easterners, Iranians also know how to make delicacies with whole grains – wheat and barley, especially. Our Moroccan Wheat Soup is one such recipe, similar to the pudding we describe below.
Nuts and especially walnuts, feature in many Iranian dishes, from savory ones like Fesenjan chicken to this hearty, sweet pudding. Pomegranate seeds add color and flavor. If pomegranates aren’t in season when you make this, substitute cranberries.
Iranian Wheat Berry Pudding
Recipe adapted from Taste of Beirut
1 cup rinsed wheat berries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups blanched almonds, broken walnuts, shelled pistachios and pine nuts
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or cranberries
1 tablespoon ground anise
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange flower or rose water
Place the wheat berries and anise seeds in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, covered, then lower the flame and simmer for one hour. Check every so often to make sure the wheat isn’t drying out.
Soften the nuts in 3 cups boiling water. Allow to cool. Drain well and set aside.
Add the cinnamon and flower water to the wheat a few minutes before the wheat has finished cooking. It should be quite soft and partially exploded. Stir sugar into the cooked wheat.
Serve. Top each serving with plenty of nuts. Add pomegranate seeds or cranberries.
More Sustainable Middle-Eastern delicacies on Green Prophet:
- Sustainable Saudia Arabian Chicken and Rice Kabsah
- Sustainable Jordanian Mansaf (Lamb in Yogurt over Rice)