Postcards from Persia: Pop-up by Anaida

The New Year fervour reigning, SodaBottleOpenerWala is celebrating Nawruz with a special menu by pop-star Anaida.


Words & photographs: Ambica Gulati

Most of us know her as a singer. But pop-star Anaida exhibited another talent on Nawruz—cooking. A spiritual person who likes eating healthy food and feeding healthy food, she has crafted a menu for restaurateur A.D. Singh’s SodaBottleOpenerWala. The umpteen dishes have been cooked by Chef Hemant, who takes care of the Thane branch of the well-known restaurant.

chef hemant
Chef Hemant has prepared a Tahchin made of minced chicken

The menu, a healthy mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, is a balanced diet. The USP: Anaida’s magic soup which is full of greens and has some interesting condiments.


Anaida’s magic soup is cure for coughs, colds, fevers, full of herbs

Unlike Indian cuisine, Persian dishes are light and full of herbs. Onions and garlics are often used and across most dishes. Breads are not cooked at home and there’s rice is staple diet, found in all meals. Dips made of fresh yogurt add to the flavours. Rose in some form or the other also is seen a lot in this menu, as it relaxes and soothes, says Anaida. She loves mixing fruits in her daily diet and is of the firm belief that food does not make you fat. In fact, she has been holding workshops on living a healthy and happy life, called Food for Change, for the NGO, H.O.P.E. And she has also released meditation tracks and the one on anger management has been doing particularly well across the globe. She does find the infrastructure in Delhi good but says the city lacks good energy, preferring Mumbai and Pune.


Commenting on the menu, Chef Hemant says that all the ingredients have come from Iran and the dishes have been cooked under Anaida’s inspecting eyes. The result is flavourful and light, easy to digest, which is what the pop-star promised it to be. So Happy Nawruz and the pop-up is on till April 30.Emailer Anaida's pop up.jpg


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