Tag Archives: Persian shallot

Mast-o Mooseer

In 2015, I blogged on “A Year in the life of the Persian Shallot” (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=893) and dried a few onions for future use.  Persian shallot can be one of several onion species with large bulbs, both wild collected and cultivated, apparently, mainly around the Iranian city of Hamadan, which is in the midwest part of Iran at about 1,850m asl. A couple of the species such as Allium stipitatum which I also grow now are easily obtainable as ornamental onion bulbs in garden centres in autumn (but I wouldn’t eat them as they may have been sprayed or otherwise treated badly!).

Well, I kind of forgot about them until a few days ago someone called Peyman left the following message on my blog:  “I don’t know this still be useful for you or not but here you go ;) This video shows how to make Yogurt and Persian shallot dip (Mast-o Mooseer) with dried persian shallots but you can make it with fresh persian shallots with the same instructions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgn0-V57Eh0

I made this dish and tried it tonight. Instead of boiling I soaked for several hours. The onions were very mild tasting with only a hint of strength. Perhaps this is a combination of storing the dried “mooseer” for 3 years and then soaking for too long, but the taste of the final dip was very good and the “onion juice” was delicious, sweet rather than oniony. So, my question is whether the commercial Persian shallots are strong tasting (I read somewhere else that they were soaked overnight first to reduce the strength). It was served together with a traditional sicilian 100% wholegrain sourdough pizza! I must try again!

Persian shallot confusion!

I’ve also harvested onions of Allium stipitatum “Album”, one of the so-called Ornamental onions…but for those in the know also a fantastic Edimental onion. I bought this one as Allium rosenbachianum “Album” from Taylor’s bulbs in 2009. My friend, THE onion man,Mark McDonough​ tentatively ID’d it rather as Allium stipitatum “Album” – a bit disappointed as I’d just discovered a paper documenting the traditional use of the young leaves of rosenbachianum in traditional soup dishes in Tajikistan (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6578). However, stipitatum is one of at least 3 species of onion of which the bulbs are harvested, sliced and dried and sold as Persian shallots around the world. I’d earlier blogged about a second tall edimental onion I was growing; ID’d by Dutch onion grower Wietse Mellema​ as probably Allium altissimum (but bought as Allium hirtifolium “Album”) (see my blog A Year in the life of the Persian Shallot – http://tinyurl.com/jexyak7 and
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=893). However, Wietse commented this summer that he didn’t think it was altissimum….so still unsure what this is…
Anyway, I harvested the largest onions, replanted the smaller ones and they are now drying along with apples above my wood stove…must remember to mark them as onions when dried this year as the last time I did this somebody ate one thinking they were apples ;)

I also discovered that the roots that the bulbs had already put down in preparation of spring were tasty and crunchy…. to be used in tonight’s salad!