Originally I was planning to make Chelo Kebabs for the Iranian World Cup Dinner, but as I started doing some more research into Persian cuisine I found myself drawn towards the traditional breakfast of Nan e Barbari (barbari bread) which is served with feta cheese, whipped cream, honey, and a variety of fruit jams, and spreads.
My most memorable match involving Iran at the World Cup is definitely their 1998 encounter with the United States. When the draw was made for the finals in France it set up one of the most politically charged matches of all time, placing the USA and Iran together in Group F. The 1979 Iranian revolution had ousted the pro-American regime nineteen years earlier, leaving relations between the two countries hostile. Concerned about the potential fallout arising from the symbolism of even the smallest details surrounding the match, FIFA had to make special arrangements including changing the method of shaking hands, and appointing a Swiss referee, Urs Meier in an attempt to eliminate political overtones from the match.
In the end the match passed peacefully with Iran winning 2-1 at the end of a good natured encounter.
For my Iranian breakfast I’m doing a bit of baking again to make the Barbari breads, and serving them with a nice selection of jams, honey, cheese and tea, all of which I picked from the excellent selection at Roots & Fruits Deli on Great Western Road. I’d recommend going there to pick up the bits if you fancy making this meal, which was up there with the best ones of the whole project!
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
Barbari Bread (makes 2):
360g strong white flour
3/4 tsp salt
Sprinkle of nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
Sprinkle of sesame seeds
100g feta cheese
Selection of jams- I went for quince, fig relish, and strawberry
Honey- I got some really nice Thyme Honey by Bevelini which went perfectly
1. Mix Barbari bread ingredients into breadmaker- set to ‘Pizza dough’ programme.
2. After programme completes, cut dough in half and form into 2 flat breads- barbari have quite a distinct shape- sort of square and ‘scored’ into inch wide bands.
3. Prove in oven for around 40 minutes at 40C.
3. Take bases from oven and brush with a little flour and water mixed to make a glaze, then sprinkle on some nigella seeds, and sesame seeds.
4. Put back in oven at 200C for around 20 minutes.
Serve warm with accompaniments and a large pot of rose tea.