News - February 28, 2013

Talkie Walkie VIII- Persian stew

'How much do you know about Iran?' Had I been asked two weeks ago, I might have only listed two guys: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the boss of Foladi Groenten & Fruit. I know nothing about the former but his name; I talk to the latter almost every week but yet don't know his name.Thanks to Ehsan and his Persian cooking, I get to know more about his country.

A Persian feast by Ehsan
Ehsan was a Master student of VHL. I met him first at my friend's farewell party last December, when they newly graduated. He looked neat, mild and polite, different from the stereotype of Iranian in my impression. Driven by inquisitiveness, I plucked up my chutzpah to ask him for a dinner. 'For the sake of a culture experience', I claimed. He briskly accepted it.
The dinner was on a Saturday evening. The talk began while he was busy in the kitchen.
Job seeking
After the Bachelor study in 2006 and an on-and-off work period, Eshan headed for India to continue his study. But he didn't like the education there. He dropped out and put the bet onto the Netherlands.
He's eager for a job in Holland. He seems the hope his family pin on. But the current sanctions again his country made it very, very hard. 'No one wants to take a risk,' he said, 'they can not deal with Iran anyway.'
Nevertheless he got offers by some Dutch educational institutes, who were interested in the market of Persian-speaking countries. 'If you find the market, find the clients, they will hire you', he said. 'But if you could find the clients, you can be the boss yourself.' I said. He nodded in agreement.
A sudden silence fell over the kitchen.
Persian cuisine
Thankfully the food was ready at the right time, we shifted the topic from hob to home. He made four dishes in kaleidoscopic colors. 'What a feast!' I exclaimed.
Two dishes caught my extra attention, the eggplant stew and green stew. 'They are typical Iranian,' said Ehsan. Stew takes time; he began to prepare at 3 p.m.. But stew brings the best out of the ingredients; his two guests devoured the dishes in a wink. 'If you couldn't get a job in Holland, be a chef! You'll succeed,' I gave praise with my mouth full.
 I heartily hope his Dutch dream could come true. Maybe it's a matter of time, just like the stew. If only the sanctions could be soon lifted, more people therefore can savor the pleasant taste of Iran.