I love Persian food. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m Persian…but…doesn’t change the fact that Persian food is delicious. The only thing that I find mildly annoying is that most Persian restaurants are limited in their menus and generally only offer different kinds of meat, which is great, nothing wrong with that…but there are SO many different delicious meals that could be served!
When my roommate told me about a new Persian restaurant (which…I’m surprised I didn’t notice since it’s right in front of my bus stop where I get off to go to school…and the gym……and the library….but that’s besides the point right now) I knew that I had to try it, especially since they offer a very special item on the menu that I love but haven’t had in a while: Tah-cheen (not sure what the translation is…sorry folks!). Although it was on the starter menu, the portion was HUGE and really inexpensive, and could actually be a main meal….and it was oh-so-good. I would describe it as a Persian-version-lasagna (like how that sounds?): basmati rice with saffron (because no Persian cooking is complete without a healthy dose of saffron), combined with yogurt and an egg (to keep in together), and in the middle there’s a layer of eggplants and chicken. All the ingredients are prepared separately, and then layered in a pot and cooked in the oven to create a light crust around it (the ultimate part of this, crispy basmati rice, the part that everyone fights over) This restaurant topped our huge slice with barberry (which are one of my favorite things from Persian cooking – they’re tart/sour little berries) and pistachio slivers. This was also the first time that my boyfriend has tasted Tah-cheen, which was really fun for me because…well, I’ve never actually cooked Persian food (I know I know, it’s embarrassing, but cooking a traditional meal seems so much more daunting than all the other recipes I’ve tried! Maybe I’d feel like a failed Persian woman if I didn’t succeed? Who knows. Anyway, not the time for psychoanalysis. Back to the food.)
For our mains, I got chicken, which is actually called ‘Joojeh-kabab’. The literal translation of that is ‘barbequed chick’ which is so wrong, so let’s just stick to chicken skewers, shall we? Served with a healthy portion of basmati rice, a cooked tomato and onion. That’s a very Persian thing – eating onions (raw mind you) with anything and everything. And if you’ve never had Persian food, the way to eat your tomato is to first add a ton of butter on your rice (which I didn’t do, shame on me) and then squish your tomato in the rice and eat it with a piece of meat. Yum.
The boyfriend got the typical Kabab, which was served with pita bread, lime and fresh mint leaves, which put together make a delicious wrap!
Overall, I was really happy with our meal at Chateau Amoo Jamal (which translates to ‘Uncle Jamal’s Castle’) and I’m really excited that it’s super close to home!
Chateau Oncle Jamal
1620 Sherbrook Street West