Despite what many of my ramblings on here might suggest, I don’t only eat burgers. I’m always trying different cuisines, especially those I am less inclined to cook at home. So when I heard about the kind of food coming out of Sabrina Ghayour’s Persian supper club, I had to give it a go.
Sabrina holds her ‘Persian Kitchen’ every couple of months in London and advises guests to “come hungry”. She spends the day cooking up a storm in the kitchen before you arrive at 7pm for a meal, which you enjoy around a table of other food loving supper club guests. Persian food is big on the variety and sharing, so the meal consists of a huge selection of tasty dishes.
At Sabrina’s latest supper club, I tried a mammoth 10 Persian dishes and it was some of the best food I have eaten in a long time.
First up we tried the maast-o-khiar, which is yoghurt and cucumber with mint and rose petals. How can yoghurt look and taste so good!
|Good looking yoghurt|
With this we had sour cherry and dill lamb meatballs, which had cooked for hours in a rich tomato sauce. I tucked straight into these and didn’t manage to take a picture, but 10 meatballs later, I can assure you they were delicious. At the same time Sabrina served up a plate of naan-o-paneer (large feta chunks marinated in lemon zest and herbs) and a bit of crunchy freshness was supplied with a large bowl of apple, fennel and pomegranate salad – I was surprised by how much I could love a salad, and ate a lot of this.
The fifth starter was kashk-e-bademjan, which is aubergines with caramelised onions and whey – a favourite from the evening. With some flat bread on the side, it was impossible to stop eating the starters, especially as the dishes were regularly topped up by Sabrina who vowed to roll us out of the door by the end of the night.
|Aubergine with caramelised onion|
After this we moved on to the main courses, which started with a spice perfumed should of lamb – coated with Sabrina’s own Persian spice blend. I would never order lamb in a restaurant, and rarely eat it, but I could not stop myself going back for more and more of this beautifully cooked meat – it was so soft and flavoured unusually.
The second meat dish was khoresh-e-fesenjan – slow cooked chicken which fell of the bone, sitting in a walnut and pomegranate sauce. It was sweet; the sauce thick and dark – Persian comfort food ideal for the sub-zero temperatures on the night.
|Chicken with a walnut and pomegranate sauce|
On the side we had morrassah polow – ‘bejewelled’ rice with pistachios, sour barberries and orange peel, which was so good I would have happily eaten a bowl of this on its own and been satisfied.
A second side was roasted butternut squash, doused in freshly made pesto and crumbled feta. My picture is blurry as my hand was shaking in excitement.
|Butternut squash with pesto and feta|
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the night was finished off with an almond, carrot, coconut and pistachio cake, served with rosewater cream. Sabrina explained that a sweet course at the end of meal is quite unusual in Persian cuisine, but the cake drew on some of the key ingredients in Persian cooking – especially pistachios.
|Almond, carrot, coconut and pistachio cake|
A cup of fresh mint tea ended the night and made me feel a little healthier after my huge portions.
If you know little about Persian food and are intrigued to find out more, Sabrina’s relaxed and friendly supper club is a brilliant way to spend an evening. Go on your own or go with friends, but one thing is for sure – go hungry – you are going to be very well fed!
For the latest supper club dates from Sabrina Ghayour follow her on twitter @SabrinaGhayour