You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food – Kurt Vonnegut
And you have to understand the amazing, lip-smacking and fragrant Persian food! Persian food is described as one of the world’s greatest gastronomies and the ongoing Persian Food Festival at Namak, Sahara Star brings home these intricate flavours.
Here are five reasons you should head to Namak, Sahara Star and treat yourself to these tantalising flavours:
- The menu is designed and curated by Master Chef Mujeeb ur Rehman and Chef Mona who hails from Iran. Every dish is prepared by them and under their expert guidance.
- The warm, cosy, and contemporary decor of the restaurant and the hospitality are impeccable.
- Some of the most iconic dishes of Persian cuisine are included in the festival menu.
- Gotab and Halwa-e-Sheer are to die for!
- Like all good things, this one is for a limited time only! The Persian Food Festival is from – 24th February to 12th March.
Here are some of the delights for our feast the other day:
Saffron Sherbet ≡ We were welcomed with this saffron, sugar syrup and mint infused sherbet. It is quite sweet but the flavours are well balanced by the addition of mint. And the fragrance was amazing! Chef Mona informed us that Saffron is a very integral part of Persian cuisine and is added to a lot of dishes for the fragrance and the flavours.
Soup-e-Jao ≡ A thick, creamy and flavourful broth made with tomatoes and carrots with barley (jow) added. This soup ideally has chicken or lamb pieces in the traditional version, but the vegetarian version had potato wedges and mushrooms. Juliennes of carrots and parsley were also added. Parsley is very native to Persian cuisine and added a refreshing aroma to this delightful soup. The soup is quite filling and has a little tart because of the tomatoes.
Panir Kebbah, Mavoha Tanur & Gharth Tanuri ≡ Panir Kebab is soft paneer (cottage cheese) marinated in yoghurt and just melted in the mouth. Chef Rehman believes that adding a lot of spices kills the authentic tastes of the food. The kebabs were flavourful in their own sense and needed no accompaniments.
Mavoha Tanur had fruits like pineapple, apple and pears, grilled and marinated in sumac powder. Sumac powder added a tart, lemony taste to the sweet fruits. The result was a saporous dish with intense yet well-balanced flavours. Apparently, like Saffron, Sumac powder is also used in a multitude of Persian dishes.
Gharth Tanuri (Gharch – Mushroom) is soft, succulent mushrooms simmered in olive oil and mildly spiced. Though not very high on distinct flavours, this dish was just as delicious.
The kebabs were served with two dips –Beetroot Dip and Mustard Yoghurt Dip. Beetroot Dip is made with beetroots and chilli and has a sour-sweet taste. We assumed it to be tamarind, but it was the chillies and spices that added these flavours. So good!
Mustard Yoghurt dip is something else!
Spicy and creamy, I could totally eat this daily. Who am I kidding? I won’t be eating it, I would be licking it off the plates, which is what I was doing here, much to the embarrassment of others!
Paneer Fasenjan ≡ Paneer (Cottage Cheese) pieces in a mildly spicy gravy with walnuts. Pomegranates were added to enhance the flavour. The gravy is not like the regular gravy we are used to having. It tastes really good!
Khuresh Bamiyan ≡ This one is our favourite from the main course. A unique combination of crisp okra (lady finger), onions, and garlic in a tangy tomato based gravy. What added to the uniqueness was the crisp chickpeas thinly sliced and added on top! Scrumptious! Loved it with the naans as well as alone!
Dal Adasi ≡ The traditional black lentil dal, non-spicy and perfect!
Naan E Barbari & Naan E Kirmani ≡ Persian flatbreads are thick traditionally. Naan E Barbari has a history behind its name that comes from – barbarian, foreign, uncivilised. Both the naans were crisp and filling. Turmeric and other spices are added and the naan is topped with black and white sesame seeds.
Ghotab ≡ The desserts were just as ravishing as the main course. Ghotab is one of the traditional sweets of Persia/Iran. Flour halwa with lots of pistachios and almonds stuffed in a gujiya style pastry and deep fried. It is finished with powdered sugar, cinnamon and rose. The halwa was also served separately. So toothsome! The addition of rose petals lifted this sweet delight to another level!
We also tried Hibiscus Passion and Mint Fizz from the regular menu. The mocktails were simple, no show-sha, but refreshing! Hibiscus Passion is watermelon based with lemon wedges adding a tang to it while Mint Fizz has a refreshing combination of lemon, khus and mint!
Overall Experience: The meal was satiating and gratifying, to say the least.
Amazing hospitality, good ambience and a lot of information about Persian food delivered to us by the Chefs completed it!
Head to Namak soon and experience it for yourself!
Nooshe Jan! (Bon Appetit)
The Battle: With so many flavours and items to try from, it is difficult to choose with the fear of losing out! And once chosen, it is difficult to put the spoon down!