Previously when friends, colleagues and acquaintances explained their assumptions about Persian food they always thought this regional cuisine was similar to Indian, Turkish, Arabic and other neighbouring countries. Everyone is always surprised and intrigued when they sample authentic Persian food due to its unique taste and flavours.
I have always wanted to introduce the truly sumptuous and healthy dishes of authentic Persian cuisine to the UK. With this in mind I decided to change my career entirely two years ago from being a Persian Language Teacher and Author to dedicate myself professionally to the pursuit of introducing authentic Persian food to London.
Shortly after publishing my educational book in 2012 I studied as a professional chef in London. I was delighted to be awarded ‘Student of the Year’ which gave me further motivation and fuelled my passion to push forward with my ambition to introduce the finest authentic Persian food to UK.
It was really interesting to understand the fundamental difference between Persian and European cuisine. For example, fruits and nuts are inseparable elements of Persian cuisine for making main both savoury and sweet dishes. At my seasonal Persian cuisine events last year in the autumn I was really pleased by the popularity of one of our very traditional Persian stews, Fesenjoon, which is produced mainly with walnut and pomegranate sauce.
Using large amounts of raw herbs for making food and drinks is another unique highlight of Persian cuisine. The only course that is included in every seasonal Persian menu is the refreshing starter, ‘Sabzi-khordan’, that I describe as the ‘cornerstone’ of Persian cuisine. This dish is a selection of many different aromatic herb leaves beautifully mixed with radishes, spring onions, feta cheese and walnuts and served with traditional Lavash bread. Whilst hosting my first Persian Supper Club back in 2014 I realised that although everyone was admiring the freshness and beauty of this dish they were not quite sure how to eat it as they had never seen this amount of herbs on the table, but in subsequent online reviews it’s proven to be one of my guests favourite dishes!
In the last two years hosting Persian Supper Clubs at my home, ‘Pop-Up’ events, private catering and also running market stalls in London I am delighted to have introduced authentic Persian Cuisine to the UK and am looking forward to the next chapters in this culinary adventure.