Persian food is known for its rich and intrinsic flavours, beautiful presentation and heartwarming quantity.
I had a delicious meal at Nawab Saheb at the ongoing Persian Food festival there. Step into this beautifully made restaurant and feel like a royal with their fine cutlery, impeccable service and of course lovely food.
I’ve never tried authentic Persian food before and I was quite excited to try out the never before heard of dishes on their special menu. With soft, Arabic music playing in the background it was a wonderful experience.
To start with we tried the Abadan Falafel. A crisp patty made of boiled and crushed chickpeas tossed in garlic and mixed with coriander deep fried to a rich brown was quite different than the normal falafel were used to. I personally found it a bit too dry but the chutneys it was served with were out of this world.
They had the best tamarind chutney I ever had. Right Amount of sweet and sour to it.
The Dahi and sesame chutney, the mint and corriander chutney and the mustard chutney were quite lovely too.
Next came the Meeva Seekh Kebab. Now usually from a seekh kebab you would expect something soft and crisp like a Normal patty but the Iranians do it differently. Fresh fruits like pear and apple marinated in mildly spicy tandoori masala with saffron grilled to perfection. The sweetness of the fruits, the char grilled flavour and the freshness of the masala create a beautiful medley of flavours in your mouth. You must develop a taste for this, you might not like it in the first go.
Then we called for the Paneer Kebabi. Soft and fresh pieces of cottage cheese tossed In a pungent mustard sauce with basil and paprika again was quite unique on its own. Mild and delicious, a perfect palette cleanser.
For mains we called for the Afghani naan with Kuresh Paneer and Adasi.
Now the Afghani naan is something you will probably never forget. The sheer size of this crisp bread can make you swoon. A huge naan made with maida, kasuri methi and butter that can easily be had by 3-4 people was quite a delight to have. Crisp and fine, it complemented the sabjis well.
Coming to the Kuresh Paneer it was very different than the paneer were used to having in India. Small pieces of cottage cheese cooked with a thick gravy made of red kidney beans, spinach, corriander and dill was quite new to my tastebuds. Not the usual spicy, tomato based gravy were used to having. Again you need to develop a taste for this.
The Adarsi was a daal made of mixed lentils, potatoes and Sumec powder. Thick and rich, the wide use of beans and nuts in Iranian cooking is quite evident. This daal was quite delicious.
As they say the best part of a meal are the desserts, the Persian desserts don’t disappoint.
My favourite one out of the wide spread was something called Masghati. Gooey rice pudding flavored with strong rose petals and lots of saffron makes for a cooling and soothing dessert. It literally glides over your tastebuds with its rich flavours.
I also tried their Barfis, Beetroot Halva and Baghlava cake.
I had a wonderful experience overall. The ambience, service and the food can make anyone leave with a smile. Persian food is a much to be explored cuisine in India. Its rich and varied flavours must be encouraged and propagated.
Taste : 3.7/5
Ambience : 4/5
Service : 3.8/5
Overall rating : 4/5
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