Hero Profile » About Mahin Alavi
Mahin was raised in a family of 4 children and became interested in reading books about cooking at the age of 15. She wanted to go to cooking classes but could not because those classes were only offered in the capital Tehran, and she lived 600 miles northwest of the capital. She begged her mom to let her cook lunch for the family. Mom looked over her shoulder and dad was her greatest supporter and encouraged her to come up with her own recipes.
Mahin believes in 3 requirements for becoming a good cook: you must really love cooking; you must understand that it takes time to make a good dish and you can’t shorten the time and as such patience is a must; practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the more confidence you gain in your cooking abilities.
A favorite dish in the part of the country where Mahin rew up is making large meatballs (8" in diameter). To make such a large meatball one needs to grind the meat and mix it with onion, mint, parsley, cooked rice and split peas. Once a big ball of 8" diameter is made from this mixture, the trick is to keep the ball together while it is being cooked in water with oil and spices. Mahin wanted to impress her husband during the first week of their marriage and I tried this dish. Unfortunately, she had not mixed the ingredients well enough and the ball fell apart while being cooked. So she first served soup to her husband and he liked it and asked about the meatball. She told him the story and he laughed a lot. At that point she realized she had married a man who would be as supportive of her cooking as her dad.