Whetting your appetite for a Persian dining experience at Asia House

Jewelled rice prepared by Jila Dana-Haeri

Whetting your appetite for a Persian dining experience at Asia House

07 November 2014

By David Cowell

Just turning a few pages of Jila Dana-Haeri’s latest book should get your tastebuds racing.

Extolling the delights of aash and khoresh, polo and aabghust, khorak and shirini, the Iranian author takes inspiration from the the centuries-old culinary traditions of the Persian empire to offer recipes and dining ideas for the everyday modern cook.

Jila Dana-Haeri will be at Asia House on Friday 14 November to talk about the essentials of a Persian kitchen, including tips on where to find unusual ingredients and how to serve up an inspired Persian dinner party.  Guests will also be offered Persian tea and desserts.

The event will be followed by a signing of  From a Persian Kitchen: Fresh Discoveries in Iranian Cooking, Jila’s new book which is designed to establish one of the world’s lesser-known cooking styles more firmly on the culinary map.

“Persian cooking is really different from other Middle East cuisine,” Jila, a medical doctor who is just as concerned about nutrition and a balanced diet as she is about taste, told Asia House in an interview. “We use a lot of subtle flavours in layer after layer.”

And those flavours – built on a wide range of fresh herbs and fragrant spices, nuts, concentrated pomegranate, saffron etc – are encouraged to develop slowly.

“We don’t stir fry like the Chinese, or put things quickly in a microwave. Rice for example has to be steamed for 40 minutes to let the flavours develop. You must be prepared not to rush.”

So why not take time out yourself to learn more? For details on how to book for this event, click here. And take a look at Asia House’s board of Iranian culinary delights on Pinterest.
ollow Asia House’s board Iranian culinary delights on Pinterest.

David Cowell is a freelance journalist working for Asia House.

This event has been timed to coincide with the last day of Apologie For Understanding, an exhibition which showcases the evocative multimedia paintings of Iranian artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani and which guests are invited to enjoy while visiting Asia House. For more details on that click here.