[SF Bay Area] 2019 Persian New Year Recipes & Events around March 21


[Hoss] Zare led the way with his signature dishes, pomegranate and walnut stew deconstructed with French flair, and koofteh stuffed with rack of lamb. Americans loved the flavors, and Iranians felt an emotional connection — it was a taste from home, but fresh, modern and interpreted with high-end ingredients and plating panache.

The food world noticed, too. When New York’s James Beard House asked Zare to cook a Persian New Year feast in 2009, Zare said, “It was a highlight of my career.


Kufteh is the Persian term for mashing cubes of meat into a ground mixture, which can then be shaped into giant meatballs. This recipe hails from Tabriz in northern Iran, where chef Hoss Zare of San Francisco grew up eating the herb-flecked meatballs swimming in a chicken broth flavored with dried lime and turmeric.

Kufteh Tabrizi is traditionally served at the start of spring, or No Rouz. Its bright jewel-like barberries are supposed to represent wealth and prosperity for the coming year. Zare suggests making the meat mixture a day in advance to help meld the flavors together. One meatball is ideal for sharing between two people.

selected events:
Persian New Year Festival & Fire Jumping : 6-10 p.m. March 19, Persian Center, 2029 Durant Ave., Berkeley. Jump over a bonfire to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the brightness of spring. Persian music, food and craft vendors, cultural organizations and children’s activities. Free. http://bit.ly/2STnrzw

Friday Nights at OMCA — Nowruz Celebration: 5-9 p.m. March 22, 1000 Oak St., Oakland. Enjoy Persian music and dance in honor of the holiday. $6.95-$15.95. https://bit.ly/2XnjLV6

Nowruz 1398 Gala: 7:30-11 p.m. March 22, San Francisco City Hall, use main entrance on Polk Street. Three-course dinner, music, dance and entertainment, hosted by San Francisco mayor London Breed and supervisor Ahsha Safai, in partnership with Persian Women in Tech. $150-$500. https://bit.ly/2SrBy9U


Chez Panisse also has a Parsi New Year event tomorrow (3/21/19) with guest chef Niloufer King. I’ve been trying to go for years, but they’re always sold out or we have something else to attend during that time. When I was in Mumbai, I ate at much Parsi food as I could and I even took a Parsi cooking class. How can you go wrong with food that’s both Persian and Indian?


1 Like

What were your favorite parsi restaurants in mumbai and what dishes did you have there?

It’s been a few years, so I only remember 2 of the restaurants: SodaBottleOpenerWalla and Britannia & Co. I remember eating the chicken berry pulav at Britannia and patra ni machhi and various kebabs at SodaBottleOpenerWalla.

NY Tumes on May 8, 2019:

Mumbai’s Britannia & Co., a destination for Parsi cuisine, was founded in 1923 and is still crowded today with old tables covered with checkered tablecloths and a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the peeling-paint walls.

excerpt from the middle of the article:

Then comes chicken, perhaps deep-fried with a lacy crust or in a red sauce heaped with sali (matchstick potatoes that snap), or lamb in a creamy white sauce of coconut and cashews; and pulao with dal and kebabs, uncannily close to dhansak — but not quite

Wow. thanx for the article, will need to check out some of the other places mentioned there and try to wrangle an invite into the club.

SodaBottleOpenerWalla is still going strong. Its on my regular list of places to visit in Mumbai, on my trips there

1 Like