It is without doubt the best news of the year: burgers & pulled pork are finally a bit old fashioned. The new trend is spiced, healthy & rich dishes from The Middle East. 
Following the buzz of Sabrina Ghayour's new book Persiana on Amazon, in the last few month many restaurants opened and started serving dishes from The Middle East, Persia and other Levant countries: my favourite The Palomar (see my review here), Dindin Kitchen and others that are opening soon.
I really like this kind of cuisine, it is a lot of fresh vegetables and meat, all cooked with a lot of different spices and herbs. It is very easy to reproduce at home (see below some of the recipe from Persiana I made). 

A few weeks ago, I went to one of the supperclub nights Sabrina Ghayour organises in her flat, when I booked, she sent some menu samples to get an idea of what we are going to have for dinner. 
When I saw the menu I thought we will have to select one starter, one main and dessert, I wasn't expecting what happened on that night...all dishes came to the table and we were offered to select what ever we wanted. All dishes were nicely presented, it was an absolute pleasure for the eyes and for our stomachs too. 
Maast-o-Khiar : yoghurt and cucumber with dried mint, Iranian golden raisins and rose petals
Mirza Ghasemi : lightly smoked aubergine with tomatoes , garlic & eggs.
Naan-o-paneer : marinated feta cheese in lemon zest, shallots and herbs served with Lavaash bread and Lamb, herb and sour cherry meatballs : spiced lamb meatballs in a homemade San Marzano tomato sauce with flat bread, Mirza Ghasemi and Maast-o-Khiar .
Blush orange, raddicchio and pomegranate saladwith fresh dill, sumac and pomegranate vinaigrette
Persian rice
Spice perfumed shoulder of lamb: infused rose petals and Sabrina Ghayour's secret Persian spice blend

Roasted butternut squash: with pistachio pesto, crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds
Mahi Shekampor: whole roasted rainbow trout stuffed with a spicy citrus-spiked herb and pine nut stuffing
Persian feast 

I had never been to a supperclub before, it was a nice experience, the night was wonderful, Sabrina Ghayour is a fabulous host, a little bit disappointed she didn't spend the night at the table with all of the guests, but well I suppose if she did we wouldn't have eaten anything! 
At the end of the meal, I like the fact she asked who wanted their dessert to take away, this option might sound a little bit like she wanted to kick everyone out, but you will understand if you ate this feast, this option was a lovely offer... half of us took away the dessert as we couldn't eat more. To help diggesting she offered a mint tea. 
Spiced carrot, pistachio and almonds cake
I really recommend Persiana supperclub, a massive feast and funny and friendly dinner with perfect strangers, if you want to get more information sign up to her newsletter on her website, she recently published more supperclub dates. 


Following our dinner,the next couple of days I tried to cook some of her recipes from Persiana book. So far I have done four of them, however it was hard to select only four as they all look good. 
The first recipe I cooked was the baked eggs with feta, harissa, tomato sauce & coriander. She recommends this recipe for breakfast, but I couldn't wait so I cooked it for dinner. It was a great alternative to the classic eggs soldiers with mushrooms.
Probably the hardest recipe I've tried to recreate so far from the book was Turkish feta pastry cigars, I wasn't very happy with the result. Maybe I put too much feta inside the pastry... Next time will be better I think. 
One of my favourite dish at the Persiana supperclub was Mirza Ghasemi, I was very happy when I discovered the recipe was inside the book. It was very easy to do. I cooked the aubergine on the gas as recommended, it added a little smokiness to the aubergine. I never thought before of cooking something straight on the gas like that. May be the beginning of new experiments on gas...
The most successful dish of my dinner was her recipe of Persian saffron chicken, fennel & barberry sauce. This recipe is all about slow cooking, it is a mix of a lot of spices and aromas. Cooking this recipe was a pleasure, the kitchen smelt delicious. The dish was great on its own, but I am sure it would have been very nice served with a classic couscous on the side. It is a recipe I look forward to making again. 
The second best dish of my dinner was chargrilled aubergine with saffron yoghurt, parsley and pickled chillies. Easy and tasty recipe. I love saffron and it gave a bit of freshness on top of the aubergine.  


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