Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garlic as Torshi Seer


A co-worker introduced me to a favorite from his Iranian homeland - Seven-Year Garlic. It's not readily available nearby, though a nurse who identifies herself as Persian told me of a restaurant in Dallas that might be able to locate some.

An internet search didn't jump up with lots information, but there is one site that lauds the beauty that is garlic, an article by Samin Nosrat "Garlic, A Love Story." By the time you finish the article, you'll have a new view of garlic, and the recipe for Torshi Seer - Persian Pickled Garlic. Another good recipe comes from Turmeric and Saffron.

Now that, torshi seer, I did find on the web.  As with all recipes, there are variations.  The one given to me matched Nosrat's recipe - a globe of garlic rather than cloves, and most certainly not peeled. I ate it as a condiment, squeezed from the clove directly on a grilled steak. Such flavor!! As a Food Buzz Seer Torshi recipe described it:  "Garlic becomes soft and sweet and they melt in your mouth like jam."

Being neither Persian nor Iranian, I'm not certain which comes first, torshi or seer, but I do know that following these instructions then eating the result will change one's concept of garlic, whether you eat them soon or in seven years.

For recipe for pickled garlic, stop by: http://wellpreserved.ca/pickled-garlic-lessons-from-2011-preserving-for-1000-update-3/. Some of the other links changed. Although the basics are the same, there are variables:

10 heads of clean garlic bulbs
Salt
Honey
Jars (pints or half pints)

Crush the heads with the base of the palm and break apart into cloves.
Remove the loose skin, leaving the final layer on the cloves intact - do not peel.
Fill jars with the cloves.
One recipe said for a pint jar:
Add 1 tablespoon salt and one teaspoon of honey to each jar.
Fill jar with vinegar - add a tablespoon of cider, malt, balsamic or cider - then fill to the top with white vinegar.
Cover with plastic wrap, then place lid on the jar.
Name and date before storing in a cool location.
Another recipe said to:
Leave the garlic whole, undivided and place in jar.
Use half teaspoon of salt for each garlic bulb in the jar and add to boiling vinegar (half balsamic/half red wine.)
Pour the hot liquid in the jar, covering the garlic.
Add one tablespoon of honey to each jar.
Close jar tight while mixture is hot and shake well.
Name and date before storing in a cool location.
Store for no less than two months from a couple of sites - and wonder if you could have made it for seven years!  When I ate the Seven Year Garlic from Iran, the cloves were squeezed out as a paste that flavored grilled meat. Simply mouth-watering!!

I also loved one comment from the Food Buzz site:  "Plus, the added bonus is they keep the vampires away."

(updated 5/11/2014 - I still love Torshi Seer)

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