How to celebrate the end of a food detox

Shirazi pan-cooked lamb with Baqala polow

After a week of detox diet which consisted mostly of cabbage soup, I was more than ready to indulge in some hearty Persian rice dishes and lamb. It did not help that during that week of restricted eating, the cookbooks I ordered started arriving. It was extremely hard to browse through those picture-perfect cookbooks; the “Hungry” hubby, who was doing the diet with me, finally had to tell me to stop “torturing” myself.

Anyway, I did manage to go to the grocery on the last day of my diet to get the ingredients for a weekend of cooking.

The recipe for the lamb is adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij’s updated version of her cookbook “Food of Life”. These were supposed to be kebabs threaded through fig branches. I thought the fig branches were for flavor but my sister-in-law told me that the sap of fig branches acted as tenderizers.

I also made Baqala polow – a dill and lima bean rice – that goes so well with lamb. My polow-making skills are still a work in progress. I’ve always gone to my sister-in-law’s and my friend’s for Persian rice dishes but recently I thought it might be a good idea to learn how to make them myself seeing as how HH loves them.


My sister-in-law is preparing a Norooz (Persian New Year) luncheon and I offered to help her so I can learn some tricks with Persian cooking including how she keeps a kitchen so clean every time (her stove and oven are spotless) even when she has to cook food fit to feed an army.

So for now, I leave you with a Shirazi-style pan-cooked lamb {kebab}

2 pounds leg of lamb (de-boned, and cut into 2-inch cubes)
1/2 cup oil or butter
2 large onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings
2 large tomatoes , peeled and sliced into rings
2-3 teaspoons salt (for flakier salt like maldon use 3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
Zest of 2 limes

Grease a wide, shallow pot with 1/4 cup of oil
Arrange the onion slices in a layer to fit the bottom of the pot.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, a few drops of saffron water, and zest of 1 lime.
Arrange the lamb pieces on top of the onion rings and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, the rest of the saffron water, and zest of 1 lime.
Arrange the tomato slices on top, sprinkle with the rest of the salt and pepper, and drizzle with the rest of the oil.
Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the lamb is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding more salt or pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Cooking Notes:
This dish produced a pool of oil, probably because the lamb itself had a lot of fat which I refused to remove. Might try to reduce the oil that is to be drizzled on top of the tomatoes next time.

This post is dedicated to Pooh Bear, my furry four-legged pooch who passed away this past Tuesday. He loved lamb! Every time we cooked lamb he would hover around the grill sniffing the air – he knew he was going to clean out some lamb chop bones afterwards. Pooh, we are going to miss you!

Pooh Bear (1998-2012) taken last December

6 thoughts on “How to celebrate the end of a food detox

  1. Mr. Pooh Bear was also a great kitchen vacuum cleaner! Anything that fell on the floor would be cleaned up immediately by him! We miss you Mr PB!

  2. So sorry to hear about your Pooh Bear, Veron…Hugs to you and Hubby:)

    Kudos on staying fast with your detox. I give you a lot of credit. I know how tempting it can be especially with cookbooks teasing you:)

    As much as I am a huge fan of lamb, the Baqala polow sounds most intriguing. Everything looks stunningly delicious!

    Thank you so much for sharing. Now, I think you deserve some dessert!!!

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