Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you have all been having a good week. Today, I wanted to take a moment to discuss one of my favorite, but often overlooked, holidays. Many of you know about my Iranian background and how proud I am of my culture. That’s why I wanted to take some time to shed a little light on the Persian New Year.
To be honest with you, I’m certainly not the most well-versed in this subject. I decided to contact one of my good friends and fantastic experts in the field of Persian holidays and culture. Shirin Shahin is a Boston based blogger and founder of The Saffron Life. She has taken great time to explain how Iranians grow the ‘grass’ component of our traditional New Year’s spread. Enjoy!
How To Grow Your Very Own Norouz ‘Sabzeh’
I have received this question more than once. Anytime I am either explaining the ‘Haft-seen’ (our table set up for Iranian New Year) and I get to the part about the “grass looking object” I get blank stares and confused expressions. But that is all part of the fun. Confuse them… and then surprise them!
The “grass” looking object on our table during the time of Persian new year are sprouts that are grown out of Lentils and it is called “Sabzeh”. (They can also be ground out of wheat but we have always used Lentils)
Here are step by step instructions. Its simple and I have faith that you can do this!
1. Place the lentils into a bowl and soak them in water for about 2-3 days. Watch them carefully because if the water is absorbed, add more water.
2. On day 3, place all the lentils on a moist cloth pretty evenly spread out (and you can put the cloth on a plate) and also cover with a moist cloth or can be paper towels as well.
3. For the next 2-3 days, you will start to see them grow. Keep the paper towels/cloth damp throughout the process. Also, spray them with some water off and on to keep the seeds moist too.
4. On about day 5, move the lentils to a new plate. On this plate, you don’t need to have the cloth on the bottom but just on the top. Place this plate by a window and they will begin to sprout.
5. Once the sprouts are about 1/2 inch long, you don’t need to cover them anymore.
6. Continue to spray with water through the day and watch them grow! It should take about 2 weeks for them to fully bloom so plan accordingly so they are ready for Norouz day.
That is it! Hope you enjoy making your own sabzeh for Norouz this year!
Shirin Shahin is the founder of The Saffron Life, an online community to experience, embrace and engage the Iranian-American culture. She posts everything from personal stories and recipes to interviews with various Iranian entrepreneurs. She started the website in May of 2012. Visit TheSaffronLife by clicking here, or check out their Facebook page!
Photo Courtesy: Dokhtaran Pesaran