at the Azari Teahouse

The entrance to the Azari Teahouse, Municipality District 4, Beginning of Valle-e-Asr Ave., Raahahan Sq., Tehran

Kathy entering the dining room

The meal beins immediately..with a "dessert". Lots of hot tea to refresh and wake us up. The little tea glasses are traditional, and as fast as you finish, your glass is taken and a fresh glass set before you.

Many of you will be pleased to know that you get cookies right away.

And fruit. Right now, dates are in season and they are the softest most delicious we've tasted. (We have lots of soft dates in California, so this is a big compliment!)

Our lovely glasses of tea.

Happy guests you can see our friends Aart Blokhuis and his wife Agi at the far left...we stayed with them on our visit to Einhoven last year. In the forground, Andreas Brouwer and his wife, also our mathematical friends. The pace of the meal was perfect. Very leisurely and satisfying. With musical accompaniment the whole while.

More happy guests, in front Willem Haemers from the Netherlands.

Large baskets of lightly flavored mint are set out.

Condiments were yogurt and another that reminded us of green salsa. Spicy, but probably had some mint nuts...we will look into the ingredients. The bowl of rich lamb broth was for our meal, a traditional favorite lamb dish.

Our server is mashing the ingredients together. The result is a warm paste of very soft stewed lamb with vegetables and white beans.

We are told that any vegetables can be used, in any proportions, so the recipe can be improvised. Potatoes, onions and beans are common. Each person gets their own individual crock of the mixture and it is eaten on sangak over and dipped into the hot tomato-lamb light gravy broth, with the condiments and mint. This was really one of the most delicious meals we have ever had.

Some people chose to have fish, and they said it was very good, and that the fish tasted different, and delicious. The meal is served with a light, cold yogurt drink and lots of



Before the meal, the hookahs were brought out and lit. Each person is given their own (plastic disposable) mouthpiece for the hookah, which you put on, and remove after you smoke, and then pass. Each 2 or 3 people had their own hookah. The room did not smell or feel smoky, and refreshing insense burners were walked around during the evening as well. The aim is a relaxed, pleasureable experience, enhancing conversation and mood.
What is in the Hookah?
We were offered a choice of apple or mint, and chose apple. "Shisha is a mixture of tobacco and treacle, honey or sugar, and distilled water with fruit flavors. Shisha tobacco is very light and flavorful with a wonderful fruity aroma. Shisha is not your typical tobacco. It's nothing like the tobacco in cigars, cigarettes or dip. No, smoking true narguile shisha is an entirely different sensation. Shisha Tobacco is smoked for flavor and not for any kind of effect. It proves a relaxing and peaceful pursuit. Shisha is very light and flavorful, with a wonderful fruity aroma. The most popular flavor is apple and others include strawberry, pineapple, apricot, grape, rose, mint and even cappuccino! In the Middle East, from Turkey to India, there are shisha caf├ęs where people gather to smoke and drink coffee or tea. Smoking shisha can last two hours or more and is a very peaceful, social occasion, generally filled with friendly conversation. A shisha smoking session can last from thirty minutes up to an hour"....above quote from Hookah Smoking History Web Site

Willem demonstrating how much fun we had photographing this amazing place!

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