You all know the joy of receiving, when a friend brings home-grown harvest for you. I have such a friend! She brought me 4 green figs, 4 ripe tomatoes, 4 yellow crookneck zucchinis, plus 3 patties pan squash (who did she give my 4th patty pan squash to?). The extra-large green figs were consumed immediately. And, I knew I was going to make a khorak (what ?) with the vegetables.
By now, you know that in Farsi, we call stews, khoresh. Persian cuisine also has a dish category called khorak.
Since I don’t know of an English equivalent word for it, I will simply translate to ‘main-dish’.
Khoresh – is what you pour over rice/polo to eat and is rarely, if ever, eaten without polo.
Most khoresh have been known by their specific names and ingredients for centuries.
Khorak – may be eaten with polo too. It is meant to be a main-dish but not the kind
poured “over” polo, very appropriate to serve without, and very commonly with nan / bread.
Khorak / main-dish is made of varieties of meats, vegetables or a combination.
Some khoraks I have posted are, spinach narcissus, kotlets, meatloaf, lamb.
Braised Squashes with Chicken Khorak • خوراکه کدو با مرغ
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
For Veggies 
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 yellow crookneck zucchinis
• 4 patties pan squash (I had only 3)
• 4 pieces chicken meat (I used bone-in, skinless thigh meat)
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 ripe tomatoes
 For braised veggies, you may use eggplants, zucchinis/squash, okra, green beans, etc. and add other accent veggies such as peas, carrots, mushrooms, legumes, etc. With any meat of choice or without (vegetarian/vegan). It is definitely tastier to brown the vegetables before adding the sauce / flavoring.
For the sauce / flavoring, for any veggie combination
• 8 large garlic cloves in their skins
• 2 ~ 3 Tbsp caramelized onion
• ½ cup verjuice
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp red hot pepper paste
• smidgen ground saffron, dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water -or- ½ tsp turmeric
• 1 cup thick chicken broth -or- vegetarian broth
• salt & ground black pepper
◊ Cut squashes in half, from stalk end to the other.
◊ In a deep, not-stick pot (to avoid splatter), on medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp oil and brown cut squashes on both sides. Put them on a plate.
◊ Add the other 1 Tbsp oil to the pot and when heated, add chicken pieces and brown both sides. Add 1 cup water, bay-leaf, some salt & pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
◊ Meanwhile, in a bowl, add verjuce, dilute tomato paste and hot pepper paste. Add dissolved saffron (or turmeric) and mix well.
◊ Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 175°C/350°F.
◊ To assemble: In a large, oven-safe casserole dish with at least 10 cm/4″ depth, place/spread the chicken pieces with their liquid, if any. Put the browned squashes all around. Cut tomatoes in half and place them all around skin side down. Spread garlic cloves, spread caramelized onion, pour verjuice mix and broth all over.
Add a little salt & pepper to taste. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Note: To avoid choking, please remove skins of garlic cloves before serving or tell diners to do so.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?