Country we are exploring:  Iran

Continent:  Asia

Capital:  Tehran

Population:  77.5 million

Official language(s):  Farsi

Suggestion for fun image:  Chef Koochooloo making a sand castle by the beach of the Caspian Sea.

Fun fact:  Iran looks like a cat on the world map

English recipe name:  Yogurt and Cucumber Dip-(Vegetarian)(Sugar-Free)

Name of dish in native country:  Mast-O Khiar

Type of dish:  Appetizer

Recommended season or holiday:  Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day

Serving Size:  4 people

Ingredient Spotlight:  Yogurt

Yogurt has calcium.  Calcium helps your body to make strong bones. Yogurt is also a unique food because it is a cultured milk product. That means it is made by adding certain “friendly” or “good” bacteria, called probiotics, to milk. These “good” bacteria are similar to the ones that already live in the human digestive tract. They help keep a balance of both “good” and “bad” bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system.

Tools:

  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Large spoon for stirring

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Big Chef Duties:

  1. Chop the walnuts.
  2. Finely chop the mint leaves after they are washed and dried by the Little Chef.

Little Chef Duties:

  1. Wash, peel and grate the cucumber.
  2. Take the mint leaves off the stem.
  3. Rinse the mint and pat dry.
  4. Combine the yogurt, grated cucumber, chopped walnuts, raisins, chopped mint, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with a big spoon.

Learn while you wait:  Our body needs food to provide it with energy, vitamins, and minerals.  However, in order for our body to use the food we eat, it must first break it down to smaller components that different organs and cells in our body can use. This is the job of our digestive system.

  • Dancing Raisins:

Fill 2 clear glasses with water – one glass with carbonated water and one glass with regular tap water. Give your child a handful of raisins. (In the classroom, you will want to put 2 glasses or cups on each table and give each child a handful of raisins. Have each child put one raisin in – they will inevitably want to eat the rest.) Take a few raisins and put some in each glass. What do  you see? Do the raisins in each glass do the same thing or different things? What do you think makes the raisins go up? Why do you think they go back down again?

  • Explanation: The tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide stick to the raisins at the bottom of the glass and carry them up to the surface. Once enough of the bubbles pop, the raisins sink down again, and then begin collecting more bubbles.

Presentation:  Place in a bowl and serve alone or with pita bread cut into small triangles.

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:  Nooshe jan

Did you know?  Tehran, the capital city of Iran, has a big problem with air pollution. Some days schools have to be closed and people are asked to stay inside their homes due to the poor air quality.

Conversation Igniters:  How can people help to improve the problem with air pollution?

Take Action: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Iran#Air_pollution