Iranian food has its roots from ancient Persia. To the uninitiated Persian Food is often mislead to be similar to parsi food as the general consensus within a lot of people that have not experienced this cuisine in the city is that as the parsi community was from Persia hence their cuisine is Persian or Parsi. However Persian food is actually native Iranian cuisine whereas Parsi Cuisine is a mix of Persian and Indian cuisine in my honest opinion. Iranian cuisine has been influenced a lot from its majoring arab counterpart countries like Kurdish, Turkish & Levantine. Persian cuisine was widely introduced to many countries through during the reign of the Mughal Empire during which it started gaining global popularity. In fact many aspects of Persian cuisine is now a solid part of north Indian food as well.
Chef Mujeebur Rehman Man Behind The Menu
This March Sahara star brings to you The Persian Food Festival in its signature Indian fine dining restaurant Namak in collaboration with Chef Mujeeb ur Rehman from the Kitchen E Awadh Fame.
Kitchen E Awadh was founded in 2000 by Chef Mujeeb-ur-Rehman a dynamic personality with over one & a half decades experience in innovative culinary skills. He is a master of Indian Royal cuisine. He has worked with various leading hotels in India and abroad where he has dished out exemplary delicacies made possible by his extensive research on North West Frontier cuisine, Awadhi, Rampuri, Hyderabadi, Kashmiri (Both Wazwan & Pandit Version) and Mughlai (Old Delhi Food).
The Entire restaurant has been decked up to blend in with the festival and that is something sahara star always pulls out well. The entire setup of the restaurant from the table to the clothes that staff wear have been done to match up with the fest. Full marks to sahara star for that.
He has crafted a menu so special where you can experience some of the finest dishes in persian cuisine such as the Joojeh Kebab, Mourgh Koobedah, Panir Kuftah, Khoresh Aloo Musamma and many other greats in all its Iranian authenticity. Typical Iranian food consists of a combination of rice with meat (such as lamb, chicken), vegetables (such as onions and various herbs), and nuts, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Other than that they also use a number of flavourings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley. Iranian food is all about having a mirage of flavours in each dish whilst keeping the dish simple and light. It’s a welcome change from the usual indian cuisine which is readily available in various restaurants across the city.
We at Mytastetest got a chance to try the delectable menu and here are some of the dishes we absolutely loved and would recommend you to try from the fest.
Soup E Jao
A soup that was simple in looks but high on flavour due to the various elements it had. The tomato based broth was rubbed off its sourness and mixed with barley, potatoes, carrots and parsley. A soup that set the tone for the start of the meal. The veggies and the barley gives you a different flavour in each spoon
Chicken tikka marinated with saffron, wine, vinegar, onion & curd and grilled in the tandoor to the right texture and served with a beetroot and yoghurt based dip. One of the most common and special dishes in Iranian cuisine. It is usually had with saffron rice and some vegetables back in iran. The kebabs were well done and the dips added an element of moisture to them.
Traditional Lamb Seekh Kebab, minced lamb marinated with ground black pepper, garlic & saffron. It’s the go to sheek kabab in Persian cuisine. One of the notable differences between this dish and the sheekh kababs from Awadhi cuisine is the texture. Whilst the Awadhi counterparts are much softer these are not as soft as them but have the same flavour as them.
Khoresh Aloo Musamma
Khoresh is an Iranian form of stew, which is usually accompanied by a plate of white or saffron rice. A khoresh typically consists of herbs, fruits, pulses and meat pieces that are flavoured with tomato paste, saffron, pomegranate juice etc. Iranian stews are something which are a must have because they are very power packed in terms of flavours. The first stew we tried was the Khoresh Aloo Musamma. Consisting of Chicken cooked with plum, lemon juice & garlic. It’s a stew which is slightly sweet in nature due to the plum in it but is something very unique in terms of a curry and that’s why I think it’s a must have. Spice levels can also be altered in this dish basis your recommendation to the staff.
Another very unique stew that is a must have in my opinion is the Khoresh Bademjan. It’s a stew that consists of eggplant, boneless Chicken, pulse in the form of split chick pea, tomato paste, saffron & onions. A very nice stew which goes well with rice or pulao. The stew primarily tastes of tomato where the Pulses, brinjal & Meat would tingle your tastebuds with their own flavour infused within the stew. Never knew stews would be so good until I tried these Persian stews
A vegetarian stew that I absolutely loved was the Khuresh Bamiyan. It had a very thick gravy as compared to the other stews that we had but was rich and had a good paste of Onion, Garlic and tomato that it drew its flavour from. It was mixed with generous amount of Okra & split chick pea. One of the dishes from the veg section that are an absolute must try. Goes really well with Naan
The Dal Adasi consists of Balck lentils slow cooked for a couple of hours and then mixed and then tampered with potatoes, somac and olive oil. It’s the Dal Makhani of Persian cuisine J. One of the highly ordered dish in the festival. It was the first time I had a rich and creamy dal that had potatoes in it. My love for potatoes made me finish the dal in a jiffy
In desserts there is the Baklava which consisted of a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
The Zaffran Phirni a rice pudding flavoured with saffron and rose water which we all absolutely loved to have
and a Very rich Halwa E Sheerin which was a revelation of a halwa. Consisting of Milk, Cottage Cheese & Nuts the halwa is so rich that few spoonfuls are enough to floor you up. But it passed MyTasteTest 🙂
Chef Rehmans hard work and toil shows up in the beautifully crafted menu and dishes in the Persian food festival. It passed MyTastetest with flying colours and I would recommend everyone to try it out. We loved the time spent at namak and would recommend fellow foodies to try it out as well. A meal for 2 can set you up by Rs 5k but that’s a norm for dining at 5 star hotels these days.