Kid-friendly Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

Recipe: Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

"Dooymaaj" is an Iranian finger food made of day-old flatbread that's torn into pieces and mixed with a variety of ingredients like fresh herbs and cheese. "Dooymaaj" is often prepared communally and served as a light meal or snack during the warmer months. What better way to minimize food waste than transforming leftover bread into something spectacular!?

Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad is a heartier, leafier take on this beloved snack. The bread, herbs, and cheese are enlivened by a zesty Buttermilk Mint Dressing, making it a delicious no-cook solution for a hot summer day. And, like the dish that inspired it, it's ideal for enjoying with friends and family!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • tear :

    to pull or rip apart a food, like basil leaves, into pieces instead of cutting with a knife; cutting breaks cell walls more, so herbs can discolor faster.

  • toast :

    to brown and crisp food in a heated skillet or oven, or in a toaster.

Equipment Checklist

  • Skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large salad or mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Zester or (or grater with small zesting plate/side)
  • Citrus squeezer (optional)
  • Spatula
scale
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Ingredients

Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

  • 12 small flatbreads, tortillas, or pita bread **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub 12 corn tortillas)**
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 1 small bunch basil OR 1 T dried basil leaves
  • 1 small bunch parsley OR 1 T dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free feta cheese)**
  • 3 T dried cranberries
  • 1 lemon

Food Allergen Substitutions

Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

  • Gluten: Substitute 12 corn tortillas for flatbread. 
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free feta cheese.

Instructions

Incredible Iranian "Dooymaaj" Bread Salad

1.
intro

"Salām" or "Hello" in Persian (or Farsi)! Dooymaaj (DOH-ee-mash) is an Iranian snack often served to children during various celebrations. This snack consists of flatbread, dried fruits, and nuts rolled into a cookie bar shape, chilled, and gobbled up. This interpretation of the classic will change the traditional cookie into a bread salad. It is similar to a panzanella salad but is from Iran instead of Italy. The best part about dishes like this is that you can mix and match your favorite ingredients and salad dressing with different breads, so you always have a unique "dooymaaj" salad to try! Enjoy!

2.
chop + toast

Start off by tearing or chopping 12 pieces of flatbread into rough triangles. There is no right or wrong size for this recipe. Place the torn or chopped bread into a dry skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Toast the bread for about 5 minutes or less, stirring occasionally until brown. You can make your bread as brown and toasty as you like. I even like to get a slight char on the edges of my bread. Once toasted, remove the bread from the skillet and place in a large bowl.

3.
tear + measure

Tear 1 small bunch of mint leaves, 1 small bunch of basil leaves, and 1 small bunch of parsley leaves as finely as you can. Then, place all the fresh herbs into the bowl with the bread. Then, measure and add 1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 3 tablespoons dried cranberries.

4.
zest + slice + juice

Wash and zest the yellow peel of 1 lemon into the salad bowl (avoiding the bitter pith or white part). Then, slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl.

5.
toss + serve

Toss the salad really well so that all the herbs are fully incorporated. You can add a big drizzle of Buttermilk Mint Dressing to bring the whole salad together or eat it right away! "Bé salāmati" (Bay Sah-lah-mah-tee) or "Cheers" (literally, to your health) in Persian (or Farsi), the predominant language of Iran!

Surprise Ingredient: Flatbread!

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Photo by Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Flatbread!

"I'm one of the earliest foods made by humans! I come from and have various names in many different countries and cuisines. You may have heard of or tasted a pita, naan, or tortilla. Well, those are all flatbreads!"

  • Charred bread crumbs from 12,400 BCE were found in Jordan in 2018. They were likely from flatbread made of wild barley, oats, or wheat since agriculture started 4,000 years later in the region. Archaeological evidence of flatbread has also been found in ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley.
  • Flatbreads generally consist of flour, salt, and water. They can be unleavened or leavened (with yeast or another raising agent) and originally may have been baked on a hot stone and later in clay ovens. Today, flatbreads may be cooked in a frying pan, on a griddle, or in an oven.
  • Flatbreads around the world include the "pita" from the Mediterranean and Middle East, "naan" from India, "tortilla" from Latin America, "bannock" from Scotland, "borlengo" from Italy, "lagana" from Greece, "frybread" from North American Indigenous peoples, "chapati" or "roti" from India and some Asian, Caribbean, and African countries, and Persian "barbari."

What is "Dooymaaj" Salad?

  • "Dooymaaj" (DOH-ee-mash) is an Iranian childhood snack of dried or toasted flatbread, fresh herbs, feta cheese, and walnuts. A little water or milk and butter is added so the ingredients can be rolled into a bar, oval, or round shape. 
  • "Dooymaaj" Salad is a salad made of the same ingredients with a dressing of buttermilk, vinegar, and mint. You can use any flatbread, like pita, barbari, lavash, or tortilla, and mix up the herbs, cheese, and nuts you use in your salad. Also, you can make your own buttermilk for the dressing by adding lemon juice or vinegar to milk.

Let's Learn About Iran!

Photo by Bluemoon 1981/Shutterstock.com
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in the Middle East. It has also been known as Persia. The Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan border Iran on the north; Azerbaijan and Armenia on the northeast; Iraq and Turkey on its western border; the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf are to the south; and Afghanistan and Pakistan border Iran to the east.
  • Iran is the second largest country in the Middle East. Its total area is 636,372 square miles. That is about the size of Alaska and Washington State combined. The population is over 87.5 million. Tehran is the capital and largest city.
  • Iran's government is a unitary authoritarian theocratic presidential Islamic republic. It has a Supreme Leader, who has ultimate authority, a president, a vice president, and a chief justice, and the legislative body is the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Shia Islam is the official religion. The currency is the Iranian rial. 
  • Iranians primarily speak Persian, also known as Farsi, the official language used in education and government. The other recognized language of religion is Arabic. The three most widely spoken languages are Persian, Azerbaijani or Azeri, and Kurdish. 
  • Most of Iran is on the Iranian Plateau. The exceptions are the Caspian Sea coastline and the province of Khuzestan. Although it is called a plateau, its terrain is not flat. It contains several mountain ranges, and its highest peak is 24,580 feet. Mount Damavand, a dormant stratovolcano and Iran's tallest mountain is 18,402 feet high.
  • The northern part of the country, near the Caspian Sea, has lush lowlands and mountain forests. The eastern part is desert with a few salt lakes, including Iran's largest desert, Dasht-e Kavir, also known as the Great Salt Desert. 
  • Iran's climate varies from arid to semi-arid to subtropical to alpine. Summer temps can reach over 100 degrees F. In winter, temperatures are severely cold in the Zagros mountains in the western part of the country, and snowfall can be heavy. 
  • Wildlife native to Iran includes the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah (or Persian cheetah), the Persian leopard (the largest leopard subspecies), and the Asian black bear. 
  • Iran is known for its Persian or Iranian carpets, both pile-woven rugs and flat, tapestry-woven rugs called "gilim" (or "kilim"). Persian carpets go back to at least 400 BCE.
  • Persian culinary regions are deeply interconnected. Although Persian people speak many different languages and follow various religions, they share a common history that dates back to the time of Persian Empire rulers Cyrus and Darius. Persian culinary traditions have influenced cuisine worldwide, including the food of India, Morocco, and Northern Europe. 
  • Three types of food are almost always served in a traditional Persian meal: grilled meat, rice, and stew.
  • Rice is often seasoned with saffron or is "jeweled," which means many foods are added so that the rice looks like it is stuffed with diamonds and colorful jewels.
  • "Khoresh," or Persian stew, is often made with dried lemons, fenugreek, and herbs like parsley and mint. Soups and stews are typically served as the main course and are accompanied by cheese, bread, and a heaping plate of fresh herbs.
  • Shirazi salad, consisting of cucumber, tomato, onion, and mint, dressed with lemon or lime juice or verjuice (a sour juice), is often served with meat or rice dishes or stews.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Iran?

  • Family life is extremely important in Iran, and families spend much time together. Children feel supported by their families. Religion and traditions are highly valued.
  • Most Iranian kids live with their father, mother, and siblings. They are expected to respect their elders and to be good students. 
  • Generally, boys and girls go to separate schools, and there are strict dress code policies.
  • Kids may play football (soccer), volleyball, basketball, handball or participate in wrestling or athletics (track and field). They like to play "Tileh bazi" or marbles.
  • Families enjoy picnicking and playing at parks, especially in spring and summer. There are palaces, ancient ruins, and other historical places to visit in Iran. To see fish, sharks, snakes, and amphibians, families can go to the Isfahan Aquarium in Isfahan province.    
  • In Tehran province, kids may enjoy going to the Eram Amusement Park, a theme park with a zoological garden and a 20-acre lake, where you can water ski, canoe, or kayak. Tehran Jurassic and Spider Park is an amusement park with life-sized, moving models of dinosaurs and giant models of insects. Education and fun are combined at the Human Park, a museum that teaches families about the human body. Kids can even stand inside a huge model of a human mouth!
  • Kids in Iran may eat "koufteh ghelgheli" or "tiny meatballs," served with rice. They can be made of ground beef, lamb, or turkey and cooked with sliced onions, carrots, and potatoes. 
  • For sweet snacks, they may have "koloocheh" or Persian New Year Bread (a stamped cookie or bread), "nan-e berenji" (rice cookies with poppy seeds), or "gaz" (a nougat candy made from sugar, pistachio or almond kernels, rose water, and egg whites).

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a roll that loses weight?

Flatbread!

That's Berry Funny

"Have you ever heard a flatbread sing?"

"No, but I have heard a pita wrap!"

The Yolk's On You

Pita is one of my favorite breads. 

But it's second to naan!

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