October 21, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
I “devoured” this beautifully prepared Persian dish and my eyes today STILL went back for more!
Before embarking on the wonderful homemade style Lezziz Kurdish & #Persian Delights meal Chef Georgio and I enjoyed (along with The Sultan of Dubai and our friends The Prince of Persia and Princess Oompah), I think a brief history might be in order…YOU?
If you are like me, I consider myself “geographically gifted,” despite having traveled the world.
For my readers today who might not know where Iran (Persia) is located, I thought it would be a good start as provided by Google Maps.
Many people use the words Iran and Persia as meaning the same country; hence Iranian cuisine as Persian cuisine.
Persian cuisine main meals usually consist of meat, chicken, lamb or fish combined with rice with some vegetables, nuts, and advieh (seasonings); parsley, cinnamon and saffron are popular throughout special dishes.
Did you know there are 3 primary ways of cooking rice in Persian cuisine?
Polo – rice is soaked in salted water than boiled
Kateh – rice is cooked in water until absorbed
Damy – similar method as Kateh with beans and grains added to the rice at the start
While we were waiting for our Lezziz Kurdish & Persian Delights meals, I decided to “have a nosy” (look around lol) and looked in awe of the extraordinary authentic Persian carpets that proudly were hung around this modest restaurant.
Persian carpets are an essential part of Persian art and culture.
Did you know Persia is “the maker of the largest handmade carpet in history?”
I particularly enjoyed this handcrafted Persian bowl and water jug.
I especially loved this featured rug!
It was not long until I headed to the desserts to “take in the view.”
I had been pre-warned by The Prince of Persia and Princess Oompah about the “portions” of food and the soup that is provided at the beginning of the meal “as a courtesy” and “to welcome” all customers.
Middle Eastern pastry made from shredded phyllo dough soaked in syrup
Baklava (Baghlava) Cigars
I did ask what what Faloodeh, Makhloot, Barge gol and Zoolobia were too!
Faloodeh – a cold dessert made of a semi-frozen sugar and rosewater syrup combined with vermicelli noodles and cornstarch
Makhloot – Faloodeh served with ice cream
Barge gol – rose petal and saffron ice cream
Zoolobia – deep fried pastry with saffron sugar syrup
Please tell me I am not the only one who is curious about desserts, foods and ingredients I have never heard of before?
Well, we better go onto the delicious homemade broth style soup made with lentils and barberries aka zereshk.
It was the perfect balance of taste and a soup I have never previously experienced.
Interestingly enough, based on their sourness, Persians use barberries are a key ingredient in wedding dishes to remind the bride and groom that life (loosely translated) cannot always be viewed through rose-colored glasses.
There was a wide variety of choices for the main meals; one could mix and match between a main meal served with shish kabob skewers of meat etc.
Khoresht-E-Gheimeh (diced lamb and yellow Split peas in a Saffron tomato sauce topped with slivered fried potatoes) came highly recommended by the Prince of Persia who exclaimed it is the dish his dad chooses when they come to eat here as a family.
Chef Georgio particularly enjoyed this dish as the meat “simply melted in my mouth” he shared enthusiastically!
I like a wide variety of dishes and enjoy trying “one of everything on the menu” lol
I sometimes wonder myself (just in case you are wondering) where I fit it in and not gain weight?
I ordered the Lezziz Special which consisted of a combination of Barg, Joojeh, and Koobideh.
Barg – thinly sliced lamb marinated traditionally in lemon and onion juice then braised with butter and saffron over charcoal
Joojeh – grilled chicken traditionally marinated in lemon, minced onion, and saffron
Koobideh – traditionally can be made with minced lamb or beef or a combination of the two; it is the “most popular and most famous of Persian dishes.”
The meats were perfectly braised and char-grilled and once again (as a description) melted in one’s mouth.
I’m thinking I am going to have to research more about Persian Advieh and how to obtain that braised and char-grilled homemade style dish perfection!
Princess Oompah loves Ghormeh Sabsi.(Fresh Herb and Lamb Stew)
Princess Oompah “knows me” when it comes to food; I have a curiosity of a five year old.
Before I could even um, well, think of asking her could I try some, she already have some coming my way! lol
Isn’t THAT was fun food friends are for?
My first impressions (I was not at home so I didn’t S-Q-U-E-A-L!) was
Y-U-M-M-M-M-M-M! and “M-mmmmmmmmmm!” lol
If I had to translate that for you….the lamb was so succulently delicious, it not only melted in my mouth, but it was so “light and tasty” (not usually words I would choose to describe lamb; let alone a stew)
Perhaps next time, I might consider having a chat with the chef and perhaps he might share a recipe or two!
A small salad with tzatziki sauce was also provided.
Additional options: to name a few
Ghormeh Sabzi – mushrooms cooked with red kidney beans & dried lime with RICE!
Beetroot Salad – spinach leaves topped with beetroot, cucumber & bocconcini
Orange Salad – rocket leaves with orange walnut and Parmesan cheese
Of course, I just “had” to ask, “What is Dookh aka Doogh?”
Can YOU imagine being out to eat with me? lol
It is a popular drink from ancient Persia times; is a curdled milk with water seasoned with mint.
I really enjoyed this “very refreshing” yogurt drink that contained rose petals, mint and must have been a secret Persian family recipe!
The drink reminded me of a yogurt lassi I experienced in Penang (the food capital of Malaysia).
I always think it is unique when a food, an aromatic spice or smell can transform us all to a different time and to a wonderful memory!
Chef Georgio and I along with The Sultan of Dubai, The Prince of Persia and Princess Oompah “thoroughly” enjoyed our Persian food experience night!
But WHERE did the time go?
If YOU know WHERE time goes, can you share it with Chef Georgio, The Sultan of Dubai, Princess Oompah and me?
Our friends are used to me by now when we go out as I am never intrusive with my “fun-filled photo taking” obsession um, I mean passion!
I “almost always” get the shot first time around as I swear my Canon 600D is possessed, true!
I’ve nicknamed her Christine after the Stephen King movie as ALL she asks me to do is “point and shoot” ; she does the rest too!
Then our friends and I “natter-chatter” the night away!
As the laughter, the memories made more than brighten our week, month, year and day!
All in all, a great night was had by all and if you have not experienced “authentic” Persian cuisine, I “highly recommend” you do!
The ingredients are “easily accessible” and I would encourage people to try cooking Persian cuisine at home too!
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Have you experienced Kurdish and Persian foods?
What is your favorite Kurdish and Persian dish?
All comments welcomed today!
Hands up, who wishes they were with Chef Georgio with our friends The Prince of Persia and Princess Oompah also enjoying these Lezziz Kurdish & #Persian Delights dishes?