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Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year’s Day, also known as the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups. Despite its Iranian and Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by diverse communities.
In these same weeks leading up to the actual day, families also set aside a space for a “Sofre haft-seen”, or a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the New Year. While some families add their own variations to the haft-seen (more on those in a bit), there are seven things that are always included:
1. Sabze (سبزه) – wheat, barley, mung bean, or lentil sprouts grown in a dish;
2. Samanu (سمنو) – sweet pudding made from wheat germ;
3. Senjed (سنجد) – Persian fruit;
4. Serke (سرکه) – vinegar;
5. Sib (سیب) – apple;
6. Sir (سیر) – garlic;
7. Somāq (سماق) – sumac.
Other symbolic items that are typically used to accompany Haft-sin include a mirror, candles, eggs, a bowl of water, goldfish, coins, hyacinth, and traditional confectioneries. A “book of wisdom” is also commonly included, which might be the Quran, the Bible, the Avesta, the Šāhnāme of Ferdowsi, or the divān of Hafez.
On this beautiful ceremony, our cook Miad will be preparing two types of food for both meat lovers and vegans/vegetarians. The first dish is called Joojeh Kabab. It is one of the most popular summer dishes from Iran. It is a chicken meat kebab that has a special taste because the meat is soaked in saffron and lime juice marinade the day before cooking. Kebab is served in lavash bread with salad and yogurt. The second dish is called Ash Reshteh, a delicious Iranian thick soup. Ash is made of noodles, onion, chickpeas, pinto beans, lentils and a lot of spices and fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, scallion). Ash is usually served with piles of fried onion and a drizzle of mint. You can find this meal in all Iranian restaurants, it’s a very healthy and a rich vegetarian meal in itself.
We also need to remember that the previous year was very hard for the people of Iran, as they all struggled for freedom inside our country. You have probably heard about the movement “Woman, Life, Freedom”, which is now getting stronger and stronger and is inspiring other freedom movements all around the world. Hence, we invite all people, organisations and institutions who are supporting human rights, democracy and freedom to join us in this ceremony. We hope that this seasonal spring will also turn to the political spring of our country.
About the cook: I’m Miad from Iran, currently living and working in Belgrade. I’m a PhD graduate of International politics, but I’ve always been in love with cooking! My father is a cook in his own charity in Iran and I used to be his assistant in the kitchen so I was raised surrounded by Persian spices and flavors!
Join me on this little journey through flavors of Persia!
The cost of one meal is 500 RSD.
The entrance is free!