Photos by Mohammad Reza Dehdari, Mehr News Agency
Every year, two weeks before the arrival of the Iranian New Year Norouz, a group of devoted people gather at the Alroghieh Mosque in the southern city of Shiraz and cook a large amount of samanoo for distribution among the needy in the city. This year the volunteers cooked 220 kilograms of samanoo!
Samanoo is a sweet paste prepared for Persian New Year Norouz and is one of the components of the Haftsin. Samanoo is made from germinated wheat prepared for in a large kazan. Traditionally, women take a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing related songs. In Tajikistan and Afghanistan they sing: "Samanoo is boiling and we are clapping, others are asleep and we are playing daf"
Recipe: Wash wheat with cold water, then rinse. Add cold water until there is 2-3 cm of water over the wheat. Leave for about two days, changing the water after the first day. The wheat should begin to germinate. Rinse thoroughly. (see full recipe)