Happy Norouz! Persian New Year celebrations at Dindin Kitchen

We went to celebrate Norouz [Persian New Year] with the lovely Vida and her team at her Persian oasis of calm (from the city hussle and bussle) that is Dindin Kitchen, near Chancery Lane. We were particularly interested to see their celebrations, as we have family friends who are Persian also.

After a warm welcome, Vida briefly explained about the Persian traditions surrounding Norouz. She explained that Norouz marks the first day of Spring and the beginning of a Persian calendar year. At the heart of all celebratory gatherings is the sofreh-ye haft sinn or haft-seen table ( meaning the Table of the Seven S’s) that is symbolic of all the things they hope for and comprises of the symbols of togetherness, health and wellbeing that are illustrated on the table by the seven items beginning with the letter ‘S’: Sumac, Senjed, Serkeh, Seeb, Sir, Samanu, and Sabzeh.

Additional items can be also added to the table dependent on the traditions of the family.

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We were then first served kuku , Persian herb souffles. Beautiful, fluffy mouthfuls which went perfectly with the well thought out condiments.

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Besides some other small delicacies to whet out appetites, we next were served Persian spiced baked salmon, that was still wonderfully moist and flaky, with a traditional special herb rice that was bursting with vibrant green and yellows from the herbs, saffron and turmeric. A perfect combination – the herb notes complementing the freshness of the salmon:

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And then on to a fragrant, lime infused beef stew that was served with warm Persian sesame seed bread / the special herb rice:

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My favourite part with Persian main courses is the tah-dig or golden crust – in this case from the buttered bread used to coat the base of the traditional rice cookers. A crispy delicacy that family members fight over!

Bring on the sweets!

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We were served naan berengi (traditional Persian rice cookies). They are made of rice flour and some had rose water, chocolate and pistachios added to them, plus we were also served moreish rosewater baklava crammed full of nuts and had a fabulous honey stickiness. A wonderful and perfect end to a celebratory meal.

Happy Norouz Dindin Kitchen and Vida!

Highly recommended, and see you again soon.

Twitter: @dindin_kitchen @vidatayebi @SauceComms #foodie #bloggers #Norouz #PersianNewYear #HaftSeen



About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from: http://www.royalorienttrain.com/goa/goa-history.html
This entry was posted in Dindin Kitchen, Norouz Persian New Year celebrations, Persian, Sauce Communications and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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