Supper Clubs in Leeds get a Persian twist from Afsaneh Kaviani

I had the immense pleasure of going to one of (Masterchef 2012 finalist) Afsaneh Kaviani’s Persian Supper Clubs the other week. She told me in advance to only eat lightly that day and wow she was right! So much delicious Iranian food and lots of good company too! I first met Afsaneh Kaviani at a food event a few months ago and immediately warmed to her lovely nature and passion for good food. When she told me about her Persian Supper Clubs, I couldn’t wait to go to one. I kept an eye on Afsaneh’s twitter feed and when I saw the Persian Supper Club dates announced, I sent an email immediately asking to be included.

The evening arrived and we were greeted with some lovely nibbles before sitting around a big dining room table in her house (in North Leeds).

Other guests included Jo and Stu from The Greedy Pig and North Leeds Life. It was great to chat to everyone and lovely to hear all their stories (including details of The Greedy Pig’s own successful pop ups)… Nick Fear in particular was a mine of information about other foodie gatherings.

So….onto the beautiful Persian food! Here were the starters. I’m really hoping I haven’t spelt any of them incorrectly! All the dishes are traditional Iranian food. My favourite was the Nokhodzireh…oh wow, it was amazing. Afsaneh has a lovely way with delicate flavours throughout her dishes, some of them looking deceiving simple. It’s only when you taste them that you realise just how much work has gone into them.

Supper Club Starters

Mirza Ghasemi – Smoked aubergine, garlic and tomato dip from the north of Iran

Kashk-o-Bademjan – Fried aubergine topped with whey, mint oil and saffron

Nokhodzireh Ahvazi – Spicy chick pea, spinach and cumin stew in Lavash bread baskets

Mast-o-Esfenaj – Spinach and yoghurt dip topped with fried onions

Salade Sabzi ba Kadoo Tambai – Herb salad with caramelised butternut squash and crumbled feta, drizzled with pistachio pesto

 

We had a lovely palette cleanser of lemon ice….

….and next came what I would call the ‘mains’. This really consisted of some rice dishes with lots of different stews. I’d say that the Ghaliyeh Mahi won the night in terms of most people’s favourite dish. I loved that too….but the Khoresh Morgho Aloo and the Mahicheh Bareh came pretty close!

Supper Club Rice dishes

Chelo – steamed rice with bread crust

Baghali Polo – steamed rice layered with broad beans and dill

Morasa Polo – steamed saffron rice layered with sour barberries, topped with pistachios and almonds

Supper Club Stews

Khoresh Morgho Aloo – Chicken on the bone with prunes and straw potatoes

Ghaliyeh Mahi – Spicy fish stew with tamarind and herbs

Mahicheh Bareh – Braised lamb shanks in saffron jus

Khoresh Gheimeh Bamieh – Tomato, Split lentil and okra stew

 

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat anything else at all, some beautiful desserts and tea arrived…

Supper Club Desserts

Bastani Zafferani ba Anjir – Saffron ice cream with rose cream and baked fig

Chai – Persian tea and mint tea, served with Persian sweets

 

The amount of effort from Afsaneh was amazing. The food was very very tasty, comforting and left all of us with big smiles. I particularly enjoyed my first taste of Persian cooking and I cannot wait to go to the next one! I think the Leeds Supper Club scene is definitely better off for having this in it’s company.

Be sure to keep an eye on Afsaneh’s blog and her Twitter feed for the next set of dates.

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