One of the best things about Los Angeles is its broad swath of cultures, and lucky us, all the wonderful foods they bring to the table 😉
Having been married to an Iranian man for over 20 years - albeit one brought up in London - my love of food and cooking inevitably & organically grew to include many of the amazing ingredients and food of Persian cuisine.
I love melding cultures in my cooking and for years have been baking chicken with sumac, adding zereshk to my Thanksgiving stuffing, limou omani & saffron to just about anything! Happily, living here, we have access to most ingredients given the large Persian community. As well as authentic goodies brought over in a suitcase..
One of the most distinctive flavors I have found is in the dried ‘mousir’ that is readily available in a dried sliced form. Mousir, or wild mountain garlic, as I was taught, is a bulb that is a bit garlicky a bit oniony and definitely not a shallot as some would have you think. When rehydrated it was a crunchy fresh texture and a uniquely delicious flavor.
Becasue I have such a fascination with growing what I cook (where possible) I did some research on what plant musir actually is. Turns out it comes from the family (or genus if you want to be correct) of the allium bulb that we often grow as an ornamental plant. The word allium actually means garlic in Latin, and most all of the plants can be eaten. Who knew?!
So, given my fascination with growing what I cook, I ordered some allium bulbs from High Country Garden (online) and what do you know, the sliver of one of the bulbs I tasted are the exact flavor of mousir! Here they are:
Please, please use a whole yogurt that is nice and thick. I used a sheep milk yogurt from the farmers market here. You can also strain your yogurt through some cheesecloth for a day if you want to thicken it up, more like a labneh. By taking the fat out of the yogurt, we increase the sugars, and perhaps lose a bit of that satiated feeling we get with a little bit of fat, which slows down the glycemic process and makes us feel full sooner and longer (so maybe we eat less). Much as I hate to say it, Whole Foods was right about their name - use whole foods!
INGREDIENTS & recipe
3 cups plain thick yogurt
6-8 slices of dried mousir, soaked in water about 4-5 hours to reconsitute, and chopped fine. See below for where to find the mousir
Sea salt to taste
Fresh mint to top
-After soaking the mousir until it is crunchy but soft, chop fine
-Add the mousir to the yogurt and mix well
-Salt to taste
-Garnish with fresh mint