Already excelling in Parsi and Irani cuisines and Bombay Street Food, SodaBottleOpenerWala now brings the taste of Persia to its patrons with Postcards from Persia – a Persian pop-up with Anaida Parvaneh – who has donned many hats of being a pop-singer (she was a singing sensation in the 1990’s), an actor, director, writer, artist, boutique consultant and a consultant for entertainment, hospitality and various other industries (a truly multi talented person, we would say 😊).
Born in Persia, to a Persian mother, the Persian cuisine comes naturally to Anaida. Teamed with the chefs of SodaBottleOpenerWala, an incredible menu has been curated for Postcards from Persia that is Persian at heart, showcasing traditional Persian dishes made using ingredients, that have medicinal and healing properties, from Iran.
the chef team behind the pop-up; photo courtesy SodaBottleOpenerWala
The menu ranges from some of the traditional Persian dishes like Fesenjan, Bademjan, Baghali Polo & Doogh; to some of Anaida’s and Chef Hemant’s creations like Soop-e-Jadooi & Chef Hemant’s Tahchin, that has a unique twist to the traditional Iranian rice cake.
We did love Anaida’s creation – Soop-e-Jadooi (V/NV), which claims to have ingredients with medicinal properties. Anaida’s Salad-e-Salamat is a healthy Persian salad flavored with apple cider, vinegar & rose petals.
Jujeh Kabab (chicken) was a bit dry but packed good flavors of saffron. Irani Haleem was a first for us – we are used to the Hyderabadi style of Haleem which packs a flavorful punch of ghee in every bite, but this one’s different. The difference in taste is evident and we were told it’s because it contains no oil (well, relatively, if you compare it to the counterpart) and also that while the Hyderabadi haleem is made while cooking everything together, this one does things differently, cooking things separately and then mixing them together. You should definitely try this, if you are a Haleem fan, but are conscious of the calories.
Kashk-o- Bademjan was another surprise. No fans of eggplant, we loved the dish. Eggplant paste and bread made into a roll, served with Kashk (a paste made from dried yogurt) is something we never expected to be so delectable. Must try.
Baghali Polo is an interesting dish from the veg. section, which goes very well with Mast-o-Khiyar (Iranian raita with rose petals ad sea salt among other things), as suggested on the menu. It’s non-vegetarian counterpart Lubiya Polo, comes with minced lamb and is evidently delectable. Tahchin is another rice dish on the menu created by Chef Hemant and is inspired by his travels in West Asia . The best part about this dish is the TahDig (literally meaning bottom of the pot) – the crispy layer of the rice. Tip, add some butter!
Chef Hemant’s Tahchin; photo courtesy SodaBottleOpenerWala
Khorak-e-Gosht gives a lamb shank with meat following off the bone, curry made with Persian black lime & chickpeas primarily. The best part is there is no oil floating as with most lamb dishes around. Fesenjan is a chicken stew prepared using pomegranate molasses and walnuts and has a bit of sweetness and sourness. Served with saffron rice for the balance, this is very different from the usual curries that we get and you should try this with an open mind. The only vegetarian ‘curry’ is Khoresh-e-Bamiya which has okra and fried eggplant cooked with tomatoes and onions.
Dessert section gives you an option of Shirazi Faloodeh; Persian Halwa, which is essentially wheat flour (atta) halwa cooked in ghee & rose water with a subtle flavor of cinnamon, topped with nuts; & Shole Zard, which is made using aromatic rice & flavored with saffron and almonds.
Go a-la-carte or choose a Sini (thali) to binge on. Either way it is a gastronomical treat. The Sini(s) are priced at550++ (veg.) & 650++ (non-veg.) and give you a taste of items from each section, perfect if you are not in a mood to choose or are short on time! The Postcards from Persia pop-up is on till April 30, 2017 at Khan Market & NOIDA.