Sweet & Sour Tomato Sauce

Persian cuisine: a few notes
Persians are one ethnic group that makes up the cultural fiber of modern Iran, and they had a major influence on the country’s cuisine. The main components of Persian cooking are meat, rice, vegetables, and nuts. Francis says there’s a strong sweet-sour element to Persian cooking, with the sweet notes coming from dried fruits like prunes, apricots, and raisins and the sour notes from dried lime. Pomegranate, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, and fresh parsley and cilantro are also key ingredients.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups tomato puree
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. turmeric
2 dried limes soaked in warm water while you prep
6 cups boiling water
¼ cup Pomegranate molasses, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium; add oil and heat until shimmering. Add sliced onion and cook until very browned and dark, about 20 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, puree, and turmeric; cook 5 minutes. Add dried limes and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cook at a brisk simmer until sauce starts to reduce, about 20 minutes. Add beef/lamb or vegetable meatballs and cook as directed.

Julie is passionate about delicious, healthy food. In her career as an acclaimed Cincinnati restaurateur/chef of Aioli and Nectar, she promoted seasonal and local sourcing before it became popular. She was honored to be invited to cook at The James Beard House with other esteemed Cincinnati chefs in 2014. She began Nectar Personal Chef to provide delicious, healthy food for customers in their homes. NectarPersonalChef.com