Postcards from Persia

If you want a taste of Persia in Bengaluru, then try the Persian Pop-up Menu at SodaBottleOpenerWala on Lavelle Road. Indipop singer, culinary artist and naturopath Anaida Parvaneh is town with a special Parsi menu at this restaurant known for its typical Parsi cuisine, some Irani specialties and Bombay street food. The menu has been curated to showcase traditional Persian dishes made using ingredients from Iran that will be available at SodaBottleOpenerWala Bengaluru till August 16, 2017.

You can taste traditional Persian delicacies, each using ingredients that have medicinal and healing properties. The menu is available on a’ la carte and as a vegetarian and non-vegetarian Sini – The Persian Journey inspired by the concept of Indian Thalis curated by Anaida for the entire Persian experience on a platter. Begin your meal with Doogh, a Mint and rose petals flavoured Iranian yoghurt drink and for tea lovers there is Irani Chai which is black tea brewed with lots of love in a porcelain pot and served with dates and sugar cubes on the side. Anaida is around and besides sharing her insight on what goes into the making of each of these dishes, would also be happy to share her indepth knowledge of mind and body wellness and spiritual growth.

There are also delicious variations of Raita like the Mast-O-Khiyar, an Iranian style Raita of yogurt, chopped cucumber, dried mint and rose petals flavored with sea salt, whereas the Laboo Burani is a Raita of sweetened beetroot in hung yogurt flavored with rose petals. Accompanying the Raita is Anaida’s Healthy Persian Salad or Salad-e-Salamat. Anaida’s Magic Soup or Anaida’s Soop e Jadooi, a coriander chicken soup with pearl barley, mixed sprouts, turnip, mushroom, carrots and roasted vermicelli, a pick-me-up for anyone feeling under the weather. Anaida’s version of a Persian vegetarian delight, the Khoresht e Bamiye or ladies fingers cooked in tomato and onions topped with fried eggplant and fine dried fried potatoes is delightful. Anaida’s super tasty eggplant roll or Kashk-o-Bademjan; Dill and Fava Bean Rice or the Baghali Polo are also delicious.

Succulent Kababs like Jujeh Kebob make good starters. You can also enjoy hearty mains such as Esfahan Beryani, one of the oldest Persian dishes of fire roasted lamb mince, mildly spiced and served in a naan; Irani Haleem, from a traditional Iranian recipe made using slow cooked lamb and wheat paste; Fesenjan, a specialty from Iran is made by slow cooking chicken in pomegranate molasses along with walnuts; Khorak e ghosht or lamb shank slow-cooked in onions, chick peas and mild spices flavoured with Persian black lime among other delicacies. Those with a sweet tooth will love the Shirazi Faloodeh or glass noodles in lemon flavoured sweet slush, served cold with ice cream. Shole Zard or ‘yellow flame’, a Persian pudding dating back several thousand years is made of aromatic rice flavoured with saffron and almonds. It was traditionally served at special occasions such as weddings, gatherings or New Year as it is laden with saffron. Persian Halwa made with wheat flour cooked in ghee and rose water flavoured with cinnamon and nuts is the perfect end to this Persian meal.