This dish is a true Caspian region dish, in particular in some parts of Mazandaran. It is very similar to the Persian Omelet, except it is made from green sour plums. In fact, Persians have very sweet tooth and a very sour one. Sour snacks are equally popular to sweet ones. Dried morello cherries and no sugar added fruit leathers with no apples to sweeten them were very popluar in my school years. In New Zealand, green sour plums are a mission to find, and finally I was lucky enough to find some nice ripe ones with plenty of acid in them!
This dish is prepared in spring, just before the summer sun turns plums yellow and fills them with plenty of sugar. What I do recall from childhood is the abundance of green sour plums on every branch of a plum tree, so laden with fruit that to a child's innocent mind it seemed that the fruits were bothering the tired branches covered in soft cloud-like pale green moss. So magical were those trees that no doubtedly was an easy inspiration to a home cook for this seasonal dish. This is what sweet and sour pork is in the Oriental cuisine.
Here is the recipe:
400g Sour Plum (washed, can cook as whole or seeds removed)
1 large Onion chopped
1/4 Cup Water
3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs dried mint
4 Tbs Sugar (depends in ripeness and sugar content)
4 to 5 eggs
Salt and Pepper to season
- Saute onions with oil and turmeric over medium heat until onions are soft.
- Add the plums and saute for a further few minutes. Add water, sugar and mint.
- Cover and simmer on low heat until the plums are soft (about 15-20 minutes).
- Taste and add extra sugar to your liking. (If extra sugar is added, simmer for another 5 minutes.)
- Break the eggs in the simmering stew. Place the lid on until the eggs are cooked.
- Serve with steaming rice.