Persian Upside-Down Cake with Dates and Cardamom
As a kid in Hebrew School, I learned that my classmates would have apples and honey and round challah at Rosh Hashanah to bring in the New Year, and that was pretty much it when it came to food traditions. But at home, it was a different story.
As an Iranian Jew, Rosh Hashanah was an elaborate affair. We’d gather the extended family together for the first two nights of the holiday, the first at my parents’ house, the second at my aunt’s. Dining tables, coffee tables, and folding tables would be lined up to make one long dinner table, covered with tablecloths to accommodate a good 20 or so family members. The table would be spread with platter after platter: mountains of saffron-laced basmati rice, crispy tahdig, and flavorful stews — maybe a deep green stew of celery and lots of herbs, or a tomato-based eggplant stew, tangy with unripe grapes.