Iran Up Close: My Iran Travel Diary, Part 1

by Louisa on September 18, 2014

Image A tea vendor in the Tabriz bazaar

 

My Persian Street Food pop-up started this week! It was a blast to feed people some of the wonderful dishes I tasted in Iran. All the info about the pop-up is here. Now that the pop-up is up and running, look for my Iran travelogue over the next few months, running concurrently with the dinners at Porsena. Read about the food, and come taste it at Porsena. The photo above is of a tea vendor in the Tabriz bazaar. Oh we sure do love our tea in Iran!

So, I want to tell you the story of my arrival in Iran. I was inspired to write about it by my friend Shaida Ehlert, who posted this detailed and funny account of receiving her Iranian passport at the daftar office in DC. For the many people who have read my post about acquiring my Iranian passport, and asked me questions about the process, please visit Shaida’s website. Her post is a wonderful resource for all of us trying to get to the motherland. Congrats Shaida on getting your passport! And now, my story… [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Lakh Lakh: Iranian Street Food Pop-Up at Porsena

by Louisa on September 7, 2014

DSCN0334I’m thrilled to announce that I’m starting a weekly Monday night pop-up dinner featuring Iranian street food and home cooking. The dinners are based on the food I tasted during my month of traveling in Iran. The guy above is selling crisp and juicy green almonds in the shell at Tabriz Bazaar, you eat them with a pinch of salt – khoshmazas! Delicious!

Here are all the details:

Lakh Lakh: Persian Street Food Pop-up

Mondays 5:30-10 pm, through fall 2014, beginning September 15

Porsena Extra Bar, 21 E 7th St (btw 2ndand 3rd Aves), NY 10003

For reservations, call Porsena at (212) 228-4923

My pop-up dinner series, Lakh Lakh, is named after a famous rice dish from the Persian Gulf region, made with tamarind, fish, and hot chiles. It’s delicious, and unlike any of the Iranian food I’ve tasted in the US. The idea behind the pop-up is to give people a taste of Iranian regional cooking, like lakh lakh and other dishes, most of which can’t be found here.

The menu will feature small plates between $5-$7, and will update continuously throughout the fall. Below is the menu for September 15, the first Monday of the pop-up. I look forward to seeing you there!

Menu (all items $5-$7)

  • Sambuseh, crispy phyllo triangles stuffed with vegetables and lentils, with spicy relish, nigella seeds
  • Aloo mosama, chicken cooked with apricots and salty plums
  • Gondy, aka “Persian matzo balls,” made from ground chicken and chickpea flour, in chicken broth with dried limes
  • Kufteh Tabrizi, Tabriz-style lamb meatballs stuffed with caramelized onions, prunes, walnuts
  • Lakh Lakh Polo, tamarind rice with fish, chiles, coriander
  • Kebab-e Torsh, lamb kebabs in sour pomegranate walnut marinade
  • Mast-o khiar cucumber yogurt, and sabzi khordan herb and cheese plate
Image 1 Fresh rose petals for sale at the Qazvin bazaar

 

{ 6 comments }

Put Persian food on the cover of Edible Brooklyn!

August 26, 2014

A few weeks back, Edible Brooklyn editor (the inimitable) Rachel Wharton, and photographer Lauren Volo came to visit me in Williamsburg. I prepared a feast for them – nine different dishes! – of food that I tasted in Iran. Although we eventually sat down and ate, it wasn’t until Lauren had gorgeously photographed all of [...]

3 comments Read the full article →

Travels with Jason

July 28, 2014
Thumbnail image for Travels with Jason

I’ve been wanting to write about my recent trip to Iran, but it was such a wonderful, mind-blowing experience, with so many facets, that it has been challenging to know where to start. Unfortunately last week I got the kick in the pants that I needed to start writing: my good friend Jason Rezaian, an [...]

1 comment Read the full article →

Iran’s Soccer Diplomacy: An Appealing World Cup Team May Be the Persian People’s Best Messenger

June 25, 2014
Thumbnail image for Iran’s Soccer Diplomacy: An Appealing World Cup Team May Be the Persian People’s Best Messenger

 
I wouldn’t call myself an ardent soccer fan, but for the past week I’ve been planning my schedule around Iran’s World Cup matches. When the team known as Team Melli (the National Team, in Farsi) won their World Cup-qualifying match against South Korea last year, I was working furiously to fill orders at Café Nadery, [...]

8 comments Read the full article →

Persian Matzo Ball Soup, Holy Week, and an Earth Day Giveaway

April 21, 2014
Thumbnail image for Persian Matzo Ball Soup, Holy Week, and an Earth Day Giveaway

 
It’s been quite a week, between Passover, Easter, Earth Day, 4/20 Day, and I’m going to throw in Norooz because it was just about ending when Holy Week was beginning. Between all of these holidays I’ve been doing a lot of cooking!

7 comments Read the full article →

Norooz Dinner at Zahav in Food and Wine

April 1, 2014
Thumbnail image for Norooz Dinner at Zahav in Food and Wine

At the start of this year’s Norooz holiday, I went back to my home town to cook a dinner with the wonderful folks at Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. Lots of special people were there, including high school friends and family members. There were Iranians and Iranian Americans, “halfsies” like me, and people who knew nothing [...]

0 comments Read the full article →

Persian Raisin and Saffron Cookies for Norooz

March 13, 2014
Thumbnail image for Persian Raisin and Saffron Cookies for Norooz

The Persian New Year, Norooz, is coming up on March 20, and it’s time to get baking sweet treats in order to conjure sweetness in the new year. You can hear me talking in depth about Norooz and food traditions on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman on last weekend’s show. This year I made [...]

22 comments Read the full article →

Food52 Piglet, Norooz in Philly

March 2, 2014
Thumbnail image for Food52 Piglet, Norooz in Philly

Hey Folks, I’m very excited that The New Persian Kitchen has made it to the final round of Food52’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks. (Update: The New Persian Kitchen took the top prize! Read about the decision, and check out all of the other wonderful contender cookbooks, on Food52.)

3 comments Read the full article →

Café Nadery in The New Yorker

January 27, 2014
Thumbnail image for Café Nadery in The New Yorker

Last week I was on the phone with my cousin chatting about her recent trip to Iran. She spent the whole time in Tehran, visiting family. One day, she told me, she took the metro–yes, there is a metro in Tehran, I didn’t know either!–from the Northern end of the city to the center. She [...]

6 comments Read the full article →