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Persia on your plate

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MIDDLE-EAST MAGIC Chefs Bahareh and Azadeh recreating the Persian flavours
MIDDLE-EAST MAGIC Chefs Bahareh and Azadeh recreating the Persian flavours

The ongoing Persian food festival at Casino hotel is rich and royal

How exotic is this, a Persian food festival in the city. And if you are wondering where and who, why and how, what and when then read on. Chefs Azadeh and Bahareh are here, all the way from Iran, to present Kochiites with authentic Persian cuisine. You can taste, savour and relish the Persian sophistication at Casino's Tharavadu restaurant till March 25. So here's a Persian tale that's truly mouth-watering.

Saffron

A tête-à-tête with the two lady chefs, Azadeh and Bahareh, who are sisters, is most informative. Persian cuisine is very delicately flavoured and saffron is the prime ingredient. Most of the Indian spices are used in Persian cooking but in small measures. Mutton and veal are the most popular meat dishes. Saffron rice is staple and rich with herbs and nuts. Kebabs form the main meat dishes and firni and halwa, similar to the Indian versions, are the desserts. Rich with almonds, pista, rosewater and saffron the desserts are fit for a special occasion. So you can enjoy a sumptuous and elaborate Persian meal beginning with a soup, main course, dessert and salads. A popular meat dish is ghormeh sabzi made with herbs, `rajma', leek parsley and lamb. Chicken is cooked along with mushrooms, garlic and saffron is the delectable khoresht ghaarach. Geratene Maahi is fish made with yoghurt, eggs and herbs. For vegans too there's a platter with lentils and beans. Mirza ghazemi is made with aubergines, tomato puree, garlic and pepper. Dolmeh is potato, sweet corn, cucumber, mushrooms and mayonnaise. Zaffaroony Polow is the famed saffron rice, the piece de resistance of Persian cuisine. The chefs who learnt the art of Persian cooking from their mothers before joining a cookery institute say that most recipes are handed down generations. Having travelled in other cities across India popularising Persian cuisine the chefs have had a fantastic gastronomic journey themselves. But they find Indian food a bit too spicy!P.S.

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