GARLIC

GARLIC, used as an ingredient in a variety of Persian dishes mainly as a condiment. The leaves are used with other fresh aromatic vegetables in sabzī-polow and kūkū-sabzī. Varieties of āš (q.v.), specially āš-e rešta, are often served decorated on the top with sautéed slices of garlic bulbs and onion mixed with mint. In formal settings such as a wedding party, garlic and onion slices may be arranged in an intricate floral pattern or an expression appropriate for the occasion. Garlic is very popular in the north, particularly in Gīlān, where it is commonly used in a wide variety of local dishes. In the areas along the Persian Gulf, garlic is the basic ingredient in a certain fish stew that is locally called qalya-ye māhī. The most common use of garlic, however, is in pickles (toršī), particularly in toršī-e sīr, toršī-e haft bījār, and toršī-e bādemjān (pickled eggplants); in the latter case the eggplants are stuffed with garlic, dry mint, turmeric, and negilla seeds. Garlic powder is used in traditional medicine as ointment to treat putrefying skin diseases.

(Etrat Elahi)

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