On my way from Damascus to Tehran I didn’t have a chance to get hungry. The train crew in the Syrian train was feeding me more than well with the fish cans, bread and eggs, sweets and coffee. But the Iranian train crew introduced me to the Alpha and Omega of the Iranian cuisine … the Chalou Kebab.
After about 48 hours on train, one meets a lot of different people even if he or she is not too social. I was social only because I shared the berth with a Lebanese Shia family traveling on a pilgrimage to Iran. They had some Lebanese goodies with them, but then the time of lunch came and with it came my first Chalou Kebab. Marinated pieces of chicken meat buried deep under the rice mountain, with a juicy onion and a grilled tomato. Extra butter for the rice? Yes, why not. And it was a true love at the first sight, and a staple for the month to come.
I have to say that for someone who does not like meat apart from chicken and turkey, this was a great treat. I always think of the healthy Iranian chicken having real, natural meat as opposed to the chicken we get in Europe. Or at least, I hope so. Kebab is a real comfort food, the only discomfort brings the look at the scale after a month of this staple – four kilos more of weight!