From impromptu hair trims to gardening and of course, the most popular - cooking, most of us are using the quarantine to further our life skills or hone our hobbies. Actor Elnaaz Norouzi seems to be on the same journey, although her satirical cooking Insta videos may tell a different story.
She says, "I really do miss going out for dinner because I love eating out and trying out new cuisines. And, most of all, I miss my gym sessions. On the other hand, since I’ve never been home so much in my life and because my mom loves gardening, I have started gardening too. Initially, it started by helping her out a bit with gardening and later, it was fun even on my own. Flowers and greenery are just so therapeutic!"
So, now that Elnaaz seems to have mastered the art of growing her own fresh produce (well, almost!), we spoke to the actor about her favourite recipes to whip up during this time.
"I love making white sauce pasta with broccoli and mushrooms and then, my favourite Persian dish among others is one with aubergine - Khoresh-e Gheymeh Bademjan. Last but not in the very least, I loooove salads - all variety but mostly with lots of nuts," she says. Here are her recipes for all her favourites:
White Sauce Pasta
1/2 lb Pasta
1 lb Mushrooms
1/2 lb Broccoli
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 cup Whipping Cream
1 tbsp Garlic Parley Salt
Light Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves (optional)
Dice mushrooms into quarters and sautee until golden brown, on an oiled skillet. Add in broccoli and garlic salt. Stir in cream and bring it to a boil. Press in garlic and add Parmesan cheese. Stir in cooked pasta. It may seem like there is a lot of sauce, but the pasta will absorb a lot of it, making it perfectly creamy!
Khoresh-e Gheymeh Bademjan
500 g lamb stew cut or any type of meat, or no meat at all
100 g raw yellow split peas
3 tbsp tomato paste
4-5 dried limes or 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rose water (optional)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon or 1-inch cinnamon bark
1 tbsp turmeric powder
Eggplants or Zucchini for the side of the Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjoon
Onions and garlic
Fry the onion and garlic until they are slightly golden. Add the sliced meat, with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add the yellow split peas previously soken in water. Mix tomato paste with the ingredients, and fry the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Add 3 glasses of water, and let it boil. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the meat and yellow split peas are cooked. Add the dried limes previously soken in water. Make holes in it before adding them. Let it cook on medium heat for approximately 1 hour. Based on your taste, add brewed saffron, cinnamon, and rose water to the stew. Serve the stew with Persian rice, fried potatoes, and eggplant on the side.
Green Salad With Nuts
2 cup romaine lettuce, shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 cup spinach in bite-sized pieces
1 small pear (or apple) diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 Tbsp dried blueberries (or cranberries or raisins)
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (or favorite nuts)
1 Tbsp mixed seeds
For walnut oil vinaigrette
2 Tbsp walnut oil (or grapeseed or olive oil)
2 tsp lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients and toss. Combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk or shake vigorously. Drizzle salad with dressing. Enjoy!