Five senses: Little Persia

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Text and Photos by MARITES N. SISON

See

Zoolbiah bamieh (Persian doughnuts with saffron, rose water and yogurt) and jalebis (deep fried dough) are also popular in South Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa.

The colourful array of sweets, including the Persian baklava, is a veritable feast for the senses.

A drier version of the baklava.

Hairy or shredded filo dough baklava (kataifi)  that’s also popular in the Middle East.

Iranian shoppers were stocking up on these popular sweet breads that have a date and walnut filling.

It only seems right that the wall-to-wall-sweets be complemented with wall-to-wall tea such as these,

and, these.

One’s shopping experience need not be limited to food. Hand crafted vases at Pars Gallery.

Taste

It’s hard to choose between the Persian albalu polow (sour cherry saffron rice)

And the rice with dill and fava beans (baghali polow); in the end, this novice followed the advice of the native ahead of the line. Baghali polow is best eaten with the melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bones braised lamb shank.

And for dessert, saffron ice cream topped with pistachios.

Touch

Fresh-off-the-oven barbari bread is too hot to handle

What could be more Persian than pomegranates?

Smell

One wishes one could smell the dried rose petals and four flowers that one’s told are great for rice pilaf.

A row of spices – alas, they are in plastic wrap. Too bad we don’t have a spice bazaar where barrels upon barrels of dazzling spices are there for the smelling.

Hear

The sound of flatbread being taken out of the stone oven is music to the ears of those who wait patiently.

The sound of nuts taken from these silver vessels: divine.

One can almost hear the clinking sound these glasses make and be transported to a Persian tea shop.

Colourful hookahs, which make a bubbling noise when inhaled.

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