Traditionally served in Iran’s tea houses, Dizi was said to sustain workers through a long day (it’s very filling and has a high calorie count). Dizi is the name of the small container in which it’s cooked and served. The ingredients include; lamb, potato, chickpeas, tomato, garlic and turmeric – all steamed in an oven on low for at least 7 hours (the longer the better). The trick to eating dizi is to eat the meat out of the container first and then mush the rest of the ingredients into a paste so it’s almost pate-like then spoon a small amount onto a bit of bread.
- 2 oz boned lamb shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces (leaving on a small amount of fat)
- ¼ cup dried white beans
- ¼ cup dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp turmeric
- cold water
- 6 small potatoes (little chat potatoes are good)
- 1 brown onion
- 1 tomato
- salt and pepper
- fresh pita bread
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In each of the dizi containers arrange the lamb, the beans and the turmeric and a little cold water in equal portions (leaving half the pot empty for more ingredients) – put in a low oven overnight.
The next morning, place one whole chat potato (skin on) into each container along with a quarter of an onion and one tomato wedge and add salt and pepper – then top up with water.
Put back into oven on low for another 1–1½ hours.
Serve in dizi pots with the mint, basil and radish in a separate bowl on the side.
• For this dish you need 6 small cooking pots (called a dizi)