Maryam's Cafe - Persian cuisine in London

Maryam Sinaiee: The owner of the café, food writer and blogger of "The Persian Fusion", the author of the book "Nightingales & Roses". Maryam, a master of Persian cuisine who is introducing the world to taste and discover Persian cuisine.

Her background is in politics, worked many years for the Japanese Embassy in Tehran as well in the US Embassy in London. From political analyst and journalism, she re-positioned her self as a successful food blogger that made her open Maryam's Café in west London, Chiswick. Food has been always her passion.

The café offers Persian home cooking, the portions are perfect for healthy eaters. Soups and salads are the highlights for lunch and for dessert, home made cakes and cookies. Breakfast is a different menu. Please try her tea blends, they are unique! You may check the daily menu on her website:

Here is my lunch:

Cabbage soup

This is a winter dish, soup in Persian is Āsh, the soup is thick, almost like a stew, tasty and if you like it hot spicy, this is the soup I recommend. I had to have a flatbread to alleviate the spiciness.

Nân-e sangak

The flatbread "Nân" is baked on a stone called "Sangak", topped with white sesame seeds.

Maryam's pickle recipe.

Persian pickles "Torshi"="sour" in Persian, indispensable for Persian meals except for breakfast, due to its high content of vinegar, it helps to digest heavy meals. The older the pickle it gets, the more health benefits it acquires.

Būrānī-ye Esfenāj (Spinach, walnut salad in yoghurt)

The recipe of this salad is in her cookbook. I would like to add another topic, while I write about this salad. If you observe the salad closely, you can see some seeds of pomegranate.

Maryam explained me that in Iran, they pay close attention to the "hot and cold" of the ingredients, not particularity to the temperature, but the properties that each ingredient has that affects inside your body.

The concept is based on Unani medicine [an ancient Greek medicinal tradition], according to which, individuals differ in nature too with some having a hot nature and others, cold. These attributes are associated with the color and temperature of the skin, temperament, etc. - by Tori Egherman

It’s quite elaborate and complicated so I’ll be giving you a very simplified version. Generally, high-energy, high-fat foods and most spices are considered hot. Many vegetables and grains, such as rice, are considered cold. The aim of the Persian cook is to balance hot and cold ingredients in a dish as components of a meal, or to correct the imbalance that is causing trouble to an individual, with food.

by Maryam

So in other words, the walnuts in the salad are in the "hot" category, the pomegranate in the "cold", this salad is well balanced.

by Food with Susi's interpretation.

Saffron, cardamom baclava cake

This cake is called baclava cake, because of the rose and cardamom flavors and also because it is soaked with syrup like baklava, that you are familiar with (the little square/triangle shaped pastry with pistachio on top).

I don't know how Maryam bakes her cakes, but all the cakes I had are perfectly fluffy, light and not so sweet. Just perfect to go with her teas.

Chamomille and bitter orange skin tea

Maryam's blends tea "Chamomille with bitter orange skin"

Maryam does not purchase the leaves, she makes and creates all her blends. I haven't asked her how many blends she has on her menu, there are many! This one is not yet on the menu, so I had the privilege to taste with Maryam! Thank you!

Maryam with her new breakfast omelette!

I arrived at a perfect timing. She was in the kitchen and experimenting her new omelette for the week-end breakfast. This omelette has Polish influence, the "sausages". After WWII, many Polish people escaped as refugees to Iran and Polish sausages were introduced to Persian cuisine.

Maryam's latest book "Nightingales & Roses"

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#foodwithsusi #persiancuisine

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