Fifteen minutes in the grocers

I got delayed in the grocers this morning.

Kazim had just come back from four weeks in Iran and he had some videos on his iPhone to show me.

He had been staying in Tehran which he described as being one of the safest places in the world. Whilst he was there was a Shia festival as part of which everyone had cooked vast meals to give away to everyone else.

He had a video of men cooking in the basement of a mosque. There were a set of gas burners lined up against the walls and on each burner there was a vast steel pot. Some of them were filled with steamed rice being turned over with metal spoons to reveal the golden crust which had been made by placing layers of bread in oil on the bottom of the pan before the rice was layered on top to steam.

Other pans were filled with bright curry and there were others with split yellow peas. As the food was cooked it was spooned into plastic containers.

He had another film of upstairs in a community room where a queue of women were being handed the containers full of the food in the basement.

We talked about what a vast country Iran is. How on the coast they eat fish and samosas, foods that never make it inland to Tehran. And then the different ethnicities around the country including a people left over from when the mongols swept through the country.

He made it sound like a good country to visit and apparently they had five million tourists last year.

I bought dates and mushrooms and three yellowing pomegranates for their juice.

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