Thursday, October 8, 2015

Iranian Barley Soup ( soup-e-gaw) : Settling In شوربة الشعير الإيرانية (سوب جو)

This fall marks our third year moving back to Kuwait after living in the States for almost ten years.





It wasn't an easy move; for we knew that the peaceful, quiet, easy, uninterrupted life that we led for ten years is no longer.







Sometimes when I have these moments of nostalgia I can still hear the colored cracked fall leaves moving by the wind  hitting our front door. And I can still feel the cool crisp autumn weather on my face , and I can in my mind drive the quiet traffic-less streets , five minutes from our house, to my favorite store in the world : TJ Max.












Kuwait is different. Kuwait is Hot. Kuwait is noisy. Kuwait is complicated. We virtually live in a giant city where everybody wants to be at the same place at the exact same time and they again  want to be home the exact same time too creating a never ending traffic.  But it is not much the traffic that bothers me as the unwritten unspoken social laws. In Kuwait  you have to decide which social class you belong to, and then dress, behave and live accordingly. No mercy is granted if you fail to abide by these rules.






I don't mean to be all negative, for there sure is a full side of the glass that I am trying to embrace : the seaside and the beach, the diverse market, my sister who is only 5 minutes away, and, of course, my mom's and grandma's cooking.





If there is one thing I am grateful for the most for living in Kuwait is having my family and relatives close by. Seeing my parents' faces light up whenever the kids and I enter their house is worth the world to me. Every Thursday night at the family gathering  when my grandma asks me to bring something for her I thank god a million times for having her alive and for being able to help her around. I still miss the U.S very very much but this time I will choose family.




[ Soup-e-gaw is a classic Iranian dish. And like any classical dish there are many different recipes for it. This recipe is my mom's but I made a few changes to it and made it my own :) ]






Barley Soup ( soup-e-gaw)

prepeartion time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 2 hrs
Serves : 4-5

2 TBS butter
2 TBS grated onion ( about half a medium onion)
1/2 cup grated carrots , divided
1 Tbs dried dill
1 Tbs tomato paste
5 cups chicken broth *
1/2 cup grated tomato
1/2 cup whole barley
1 tsp dry vegetable stock powder (optional)
more hot water in needed to dilute the soup if it gets too thick
Salt to taste
1 Tbs sipping cream (optional)



- In a medium sauce pan saute onion and 1/4 cup grated carrots in butter over medium- high heat. When the onion is translucent and carrot is soft, add dried dill, and tomato paste.

- Add chicken broth, grated tomato and remaining 1/4 cup grated carrots. Add 1/2 cup barley and vegetable powder , close the lid and bring the soup to boil.

- Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 hours checking occasionally and adding more liquid if it needs to.

- After two hours the soup is done. Carrot should be soft and barley should have doubled in size, absorbed the liquid and became chewy.

- Add wiping cream and serve with green lime on the side.


* Chicken broth is best prepared at home. Boil whole chicken with water. Add spices : whole cardamom (3-4),  one whole cinnamon and 1 tsp whole black pepper. Do not add salt.





شوربة شعير ( سوب جو ) الإيرانية



المقادير:

- ٢ م ك زبدة
- ٢ م ك بصل مبشور
- ١/٢ كوب جزر مبشور 
- ١ م ك شبنت ناشف
- ١ م ك معجون طماط
- ٥ أكواب ماء دجاج
- ١/٢كوب طماط مبشور
- ١/٢ كوب شعير كامل
- ١ م م بودر خلاصة شوربة الخضار ( اختياري)
- ملح
- ١ م متوسطة كريمة سائلة



الطريقة:


- بجدر متوسط حمسو البصل مع الزبدة و ربع كوب من الجزر مبشور . لمن يذبل الجزر و البصل يبدا يشوقر ضيفو الشبنت و معجون الطماط.

- بعدها ضيفو ماي الدياي ، الطماط  المبشور، ربع كوب الجزر المبشور الباقي و خلاصة الخضار.

- غطو راس الجدر و خلو الشوربة تغلي و بعدها قللو عالحرارة و خلوها تطبخ لمدة ساعتين.

- بعد الساعتين المفروض كل شي يكون مطبوخ: الجزر لازم يكون ناعم و مطبوخ و الشعير يكون نفش و زاد حجمه و مص الماي.

- ضيفو الملح على حسب الرغبة و اذا شفتو الشوربة وايد خاثرة زيدوها شوية ماي. ضيفو الكريمة آخر شي و قدموها مع ليمون أخضر.










8 comments:

  1. i have been living in the US for almost 8 years now..im from Nepal and everytime I visit - its very hard for to me decide where i want to really settle. the only good thing about moving back for me is family too but everything else, i dont think i would like to adjust, not just yet.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dixya...it wasn't easy to adjust to tell you the truth. Do you have kids? I think if we didn't have kids we would have stayed longer. We found that raising kids in the U.S without the help of family is very hard.

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  2. Dear Fatemah,
    I am 9 and I live in Maryland. In my 4th grade class we are studying countries. I am studying Kuwait! I love it and I think it is SO cool you were born there. I have never traveled to a different country before, but I think it would be kind of nerve wracking. I have to find a recipe for the country celebration my class is doing, and your blog helped me find a great one, Saffron Pudding! My mom and I loved reading the story about your neighbor giving you the Saffron Pudding.
    thank you!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eliza...,

      Your comment means the world to me. I am so glad for this invention called the internet for it allowed me to represent my country and to help a school kid so far away like you with her school project. I think it is So cool that you chose Kuwait to study about among all the other centuries in the world. Take care and say hi to your mom too. Please come and visit one day I think you'll love it in Kuwait.

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  3. Dear Fatemah,
    This is Eliza's mom typing. It is late here in Baltimore and Eliza is asleep, but I just checked your blog and am SO THRILLED to see that you wrote her back! Thank you! I can't wait for morning to show her your reply. Your blog is beautiful and we have so enjoyed looking at your recipes and stunning pictures. Like you, I am a mom of three and a stay at home mom. I can't even begin to imagine what strength and courage it must have taken to move to another country and begin the journey of motherhood. I had tears in my eyes reading the story of your neighbor's son bringing you the dish of saffron pudding and the love, tradition and kindness that bowl contained. When we make the dish to share with her class will we tell the story and the beautiful symbolism of the dish. With thanks and kindness, Frances

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