#PersianPopup at SodaBottleOpenerWala

SodaBottleOpenerWala never ceases to surprise with their newfangled concepts, untethered recipes, savory flavors that leave you with a warmth right through your soul. With only a few days past Navroz – the Parsi New Year, SodaBottleOpenerWala has another treat packed for their 3-year celebrations after the succesful Lagan Nu Bhonu.

They have launched a Persian Pop Up menu at Khan Market and Noida meticulously created and curated by the amazing Anaida Parvaneh topped with oodles of optimism and heaps of love. We sampled the Persian menu with a lot of incredible inputs, nuances and stories and sagas revolving around Iranian food.

We started with some of Soda’s classic cocktails – The Bumsuckerwala and Raspberry Beer.

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We started with a refreshing and absolutely colorful salad course. Mast-O-Khiyar – Iranian style raita – yogurt with diced cucumbers, dried mint leaves, rose petals and sea salt. Laboo Burani – hung curd gently tossed with sweetened and slightly steamed beetroot and topped with rose petals. Anaida’s Salad-e-Salamat – the super healthy and refreshing mix of cucumber, iceberg lettuce, celery, carrots, pomegranate and flavored with apple cider and vinegar, garlic and rose petals. All three salads are apt for the setting season and so tantalizing. You will find a garnish of dried rose petals in each of the salads to add a pinch of love and wistfulness to your experience.

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Osh-e-Reshte – the traditional wheat noodle and stew soup. A famous Iranian soup with vegetable stew, wheat noodles, red beans and kashk (dried yogurt). This soup has a magical anecdote where young girls stir the soup and wish on it. Usually made on special occasions and even if it isn’t, it is ensured that the soup is shared with friends and family.

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Anaida’s Soop-e-Jadooi – Anaida’sown creation, this soup has an inherent super power to heal with sugar, spice and everything nice. Chicken or shiitake mushrooms, pearl barley, sprouts, onions, turnip, carrots and roasted vermicilli topped with coriander. This makes for a meal in itself and packs a whole lot of a healthy punch.

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Irani Haleem – traditionally available only during Ramzaan, haleem is a lacey smooth paste of meat and wheat and boy it is difficult to eat past a couple of bites owing to the heavy fat content. But this Haleem had me bowled over. Traditionally eaten for breakfast in Iran with soft hot naan, cinnamon essence and caramelised onions. The meat and wheat in the Iranian version are cooked separately before being mixed together to make it into a paste.  The lacey, aromatic flavors were absolutely desicion and this was hands down my favorite dish so far.

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Anaida’s Kashk-O-Bademjan – a tasty eggplant fine paste topped with caramelized onions wrapped into a roll and served with kashk. Served with bread alongside or wrapped up, the roll was heavenly.

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Koresht-e-Bamiya – ladies fingers cooked with tomatoes and onions topped with a fried eggplant and sali. Dig in through the layers of crispy eggplant and crunchy salli with cooked bhindi, a truly glorious concoction with a very homely tomato shorba gravy.

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Fesenjan – Slow cooked chicken with pomegranate mollases and walnuts. The sweet and sticky flavor with tender chicken were the highlight of this dish.

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Khorak-e-Gosht – lamb shank stew cooked with onions and chickpeas, mild spices, black lime and topped with a basil leaf. The light flavors were tantalizing and went beautifully with the Baghali Polo – dill flavoured rice topped with saffron butter.

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Chef Hemant’s Tahchin – Chef Hemant’s gorgeous version, juicy chicken marinated with yoghurt and cooked on charcoal lending it a mild but smoky flavor. Lubiya Polo – Tomato and cinnamon flavored minced lamb with French beans topped with aloo, crunchy salli and onions.

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We finished with some dazzling desserts. Persian Halwa – a traditional Persian wheat halwa topped with cashews and very mildly sweet, it reminded me of home cooked halwa but only healthier. Shoe Zard – a yellow flame saffron pudding made with aromatic rice. A delicacy reserved for special occasions – weddings of New Year, the pudding takes nearly 225,000 handpicked saffron flowers to pick. (Woah right!)

Shiraazi Faloodeh – Again, much unlike the regular falooda, this one has glass noodles in a slush of cooling and sugary flavors.

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Pop over to either Khan Market or DLF Mall of India for some delightful flavors anecdotes and fond nostalgic flavors. Choose from their á la carte or thali from 18th March to 30th April.

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