Mirage Persian Cuisine – Take 2!

by spiceaholic on January 11, 2011

I am ridiculously behind on my blog posts, but the goal is to catch up as much as possible this week!

When my parents came to visit us over Christmas weekend, we were very lucky to be able to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their engagement! Their 35th wedding anniversary was later that week and since Mr. Spice and I weren’t going to be there to celebrate with them, they wanted to mark their engagement anniversary with us! We decided to go out to eat to celebrate and invited some relatives of ours that live in the Atlanta area to make it a family celebration.

The tricky part was finding a place to eat that was open on Christmas day, which was their engagement anniversary. Luckily, I was able to get reservations for lunch at Mirage Persian Cuisine, which I previously posted about here. I thought it would be a nice change from the usual Indian or Chinese outings, and luckily everyone agreed!

We started off with some appetizers:

dolmeh

Dolmeh – grape leaves stuffed with rice, raisins, and a sweet and sour sauce.

IMG_1794

Tahdig – probably best described as “Persian crack.” It’s translated as “bottom of the pot,” and is the crunchy rice crust that forms at the bottom of a pot of rice. I’d heard a lot about it, and the hype was worth it. Ours came with a serving of lentil stew spooned over it. My dad and I were gobbling this thing up! The rice was crispy from the ghee used in the pot, the lentils were mild but flavorful, topped with caramelized onions.

naan

Naan –I could live off theirs. It’s different from Indian naan but just as addictive. It was especially good with some of the feta cheese that came with the salad tucked inside.

For our entrees we all ordered kababs — beef or chicken. I had beef the 2 other times I’d been to Mirage, so I decided to try their chicken kababs this time.

Chicken soltani kabab

Chicken Soltani kababs — one skewer of chicken barg (charbroiled chicken kababs), one skewer of chicken koubideh (ground chicken kabab), along with a ton of basmati rice. This was very good but there were plenty of leftovers to take home!

No celebration is complete without dessert!

Persian ice cream

Persian ice cream – very similar to the Indian kulfi, rich and sweet with pistachios and rosewater.

Faloudeh

Faloudeh – this is like a sweet noodle dessert. The noodles are rosewater-flavored rice noodles that are served chilled with a syrup. There is a similar South Asian dessert called falooda, which is made with vermicelli, rose syrup, and milk. The texture was interesting, sticky, chewy, and sweet.

If you’ve noticed the similarity between Persian and South Asian food, then you get a gold star! There is a strong Persian influence in northern South Asian cuisine through the Mughal emperors. I’m such a nerd about this kind of thing, I know.

I think it’s safe to say that lunch was an enjoyable success!  I loved that I was able to share one of my “food finds” with my parents and that we got to celebrate their engagement anniversary without having to do any of the work. 🙂

Happy happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! Here’s to many more years!

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