ESHKENEH / The warm, delicious and humble start

I love, adore, crave for beginnings like someone would crave for chocolate. But beginnings are what I’m almost compulsively obsessed with. May it be the first pages of a newly started book, the first weeks of a savvy workout program, or a course of a somewhat interesting topic,  I live for those first moments when I have a whole adventure staring ahead and I’m just about to step into the haze of a freshly squeezed beginning.

A great example: My cupboard box is filled with beautiful notebooks, which if you would go through them, are all started with pompous purposes, but not one is scribbled right to the very last page. Quite shamefully some have markings only on the first few pages. Therefore I have self-diagnosed myself to have a severe case of BOD (Beginnings’ Obsession Disorder) and so far there’s no cure to be prescribed.

Keeping my odd fault in mind, you might understand why I’m so hesitant in writing these first few words, on this new blog, on it’s very first post. But as to quote Eleanor Roosevelt herself: You must do the things you think you cannot do.

So here we go.



I was born in a cold and dark nook of a land called Finland. Sauna, sisu and perkele, and so on. But I’m also Persian. Well, technically I’m half of both worlds, stuck in the middle. Not a Finn nor a Persian. I’m pure fusion, or confusion as I would put it.

Not to say I hate being this way. It is truly a privilege to have your feet between two doors that are both so uniquely different. The problem is that as I have two legs, and both of them between these doors, I have had a hard time finding a place to stand on. As I grow older, I find myself peeking through these doors with more curiosity. Curiosity about my heritage, my blood – wanting to know where I come from. Still never can I step through either one of those doors.

Only this year something changed. Something began to quietly brew inside me. I was getting annoyed being in this state of confusion, nowhere to belong to, nothing solid to stand on.

Then I decided. No more peeking. No more crouching in between anything. I now understand that the only way to know who I am, is to stand tall just where I am. So I went and pushed the doors wide open, making myself comfortable in my space that lies in the middle and embraced myself with the swirling mixture of both worlds.

This blog is my own nook. My expression of where I belong and who I am. One plateful at a time.

Why gather my blog around recipes? Cooking is art, culture, history. For what a better way to indulge yourself in your heritage than to actually taste it. (Umm..that sounds seriously weird. But it’s true!) So I’m learning to make rich-flavored vegan Persian recipes with a rough Nordic twist. Yeah, it’s pretty special, if I may say so myself.

And for my very first post I shall share with you my very first Persian recipe I have tried to make myself.

Eshkeneh, the onion soup.

This recipe is Persian, but as I am making it from my own memory of how my father has taught me, it may as well be totally unauthentic. But it’s like me. Not necessarily 100% Persian. Certainly not Finnish. Definitely 200% me.

Time: Preparation 15 min, Cooking 30 min


  • One big onion (around 3 g)
  • 2-3 tbs shanbalileh
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mint
  • 1,5 l water
  • 2-3 medium sized potatoes
  • 300 g silken tofu
  1. Cut the onion into tiny pieces.
  2. Heat them in a large pot with a drizzle of oil.
  3. When the onions are nice and brown, add the shanbalileh, turmeric and mint.
  4. After mixing the herbs and spices, add the water and let it boil.
  5. Now you can peal the potatoes and add them to boiling broth.
  6. It will take around 15-20 min to boil the potatoes, but when they are nice and soft, add in the silken tofu by crumbling it with your hands.
  7. Ready, let’s eat!

/ For extra flavor and spice, you can also add some vegetable broth with the potatoes and\or finalize your dish with a drizzle of nutritional yeast and hot pepper flakes.

Shanbalileh is most commonly known as fenugreek, which is a herb rich in iron. If you can’t find it in your local Asian market, you can easily make the soup with normal vegetable broth. Eshkeneh is so easy, healthy and cheap!

So this was my delicious, warm and humble beginning. Hope I will scribble this journey down to the very end.

And you’re most welcome to join in.

/ Fida