A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent
Last week I received an invite from Sheraton to attend the preview of a 10 day long Persian food festival. A persian meal rustled up by Chef Abdel Wahed of Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas and Spa, Egypt was too tempting to let go, considering it was Friday evening and the weekend mood was settling in anyways, I was all set to have a lovely evening at The Persian Terrace, which BTW is a place I love, open terrace with a pool and looking over Iskcon Temple and the skyline of Malleshwaram, it’s a lovely place to unwind and may be go romantic on that date.
The event started with a cookout where Chef Abdel Wahed demoed Spinach Fatayer and pan sharwama, I was a bit late and missed the fatayer demo almost but whatever I caught of it, I found the Chef such a warm and down to earth person. Even with no so fluent English I saw him going to most tables (not just the bloggers) and having a chat about food.
On the onset of the post, I have to ask for forgiveness as I think the pictures don’t do any justice to the food that served that day. The lighting though uber romantic and relaxing was a nightmare to photograph the food in. May be its time I invest in one of those fancy flashes. The ones that will give me light but not kill the way food looks
The demo started with Spinach Fatayer, a middle eastern pastry stuffed with spinach and served with Tahini, you basically make a dough with flour, oil, salt. Roll it out in small rounds, stuff, seal and fry. Like I said I reached late but caught the last one being fried :)
Another thing that Chef demoed was making of Pan Sharwana, it was the first time I was seeing it but the flavours were beautiful and damn I could die for a bit of garlic cream it was served with. Garlic, egg white and olive oil. Technically a bit similar to mayo but the reality couldn’t be any different. This one was light like a cloud and had such a beautiful garlic flavour, it elevated the sharwama to a different level altogether. Biting into it, I could almost imagine myself on the streets of Egypt.
The cold mezzes that day were a delight, I loved the hummus that was served and Mohammara, a sun dried tomatoes dip which chef mentioned something about pomegranate juice. I absolutely adored it. There were also Tagine Bamia, Moroccan stew cooked with onions, garlic, dry lemon and okra , served which I didn’t care about much. There was constant supply of pita and crackers ofcourse.
The hot mezze apart from having the Spinach Fatayer, also had Sambousek cheese, Okra tagine and Sojok roll. All of them were spot on, delicious and the best ever I had eaten.
There were also Kebbeh, A marinated lamb meat kebab, Moussaka, an eggplant specialty and Tagine Couscous. And oh my god at the kebbeh, I ate them just like that, ate them with Tahini and then ate them with some garlic cream and hummus rolled in a pita. to die for every single time
And after chilling out and chatting for a while, we moved on to desserts. For desserts they had Khataief Asafiry – small pancakes that are stuffed with cream and topped off with pistas. Maamoul walnuts – semolina dumplings, oven roasted and dusted with sugar and cinnamon, Zienab finger – Deep fried semolina fritters in rose syrup. Mohalabia – Traditional Egyptian dessert made with milk, pistachio and dry coconut. The pancakes were made to perfection but my favorite that day was Mohalabia with the orange rind it added a different level of freshness and took the dessert to an altogether higher plane.
And we ended the meal with a spectacular Sulemani, actually make that two. Because we all had two cups each :)