Iftar with our Persian Friends in Toronto

It’s always a joy to hear from friends.  Especially ones you’ve met overseas who recently move to a city you are currently visiting!

While in Toronto, we heard that very good friends of ours from Dubai had moved to Canada and so we called them.  The Nassari Family who’ve been friends with us since 1994 back when my husband and I lived in Dubai, lived only a 1/2 hour drive from where we were visiting so we drove out to see them.

The Nassari’s are originally from Iran and have lived in the UAE for a long time.  After immigrating to Canada a year ago it was wonderful to see them and see how their children have all grown up.  With only hours notice, we didn’t expect them to arrange to cook an entire meal for us upon arrival, but that’s just Iranian hospitality.  Also, it was the 2nd day of Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, and they had been fasting all day since sunrise.

During the fast, no food or drink is consumed, and thoughts must be kept pure. Followers of Islam believe that fasting helps the Muslim learn patience, modesty, and spirituality. Meals are served before sunrise and after sunset, and eaten with family or with the local community. We were so lucky to spend this time with them and looked forward to the wonderful dinner that was prepared.

Setting up the table
Homemade Hummus
Persian Tomato Sauce
Grilled Chicken with Lemon (Joojeh)
Saffron Basmati Rice
Abgoosht (Beef & Bean Stew)
Date 🙂
Vegetarian Lasagna
Our dinner!
Tahdeeg… Crispy Rice

I must say the part my children enjoyed the most was eating “Tahdeeg”, which is formed on the bottom (taht) of the pot (deeg) after the rice is cooked.  Making Iranian rice is no easy task.  It involves a series of cleaning, washing, soaking, boil and steaming techniques.  All of which makes the “burnt rice” you see so much more worth eating.  It’s crisp, buttery and crunch texture is really to die for!

The kids eat everything, emptied their plates and quickly rushed off to play with their friends in the darkness.

“Mom, I’m gonna try everything ok?”

It was wonderful to spend time the Nassari’s, especially during the month of Ramadan. We were sad to leave and hope to return to see them again soon.

But boy, will we miss their Persian food…

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