I was a little bit nervous about lunch in Andon, first because it was gender-segregated and I would be separated from Ahmad, but second because I didn't want to get sick! Luckily, I had a lovely time and so did my stomach!
All of the women headed next door to the neighbour's house, while the men stayed in the original house we were visiting. A long plastic table cloth (soffreh) was layed out and set with the obligatory fresh herbs (sabzeh).
It was a bit chilly but it was nice to eat al fresco.
The ladies were served gormeh sabzeh (which can be made vegetarian/vegan, but usually contains meat). It's an Iranian stew served over rice. With so many guests to serve, the rice is cooked in a huge pot that's brought right to the dining area:
(Notice that shoes are removed before you sit on the carpet to eat.)
Our hostess found out that I was vegetarian and went to the trouble of making me a separate dish, kookoo sabzi, (centre, below) which is one of my favourites (actually is there any vegetarian Iranian food that's not my favourite??). It's a delicious spinach and herb-filled kind of frittata, but it's lighter than the traditional frittata or omelet.
My drink here is a freshly-mixed mint and yogurt drink called dough (pronounced doog). Previously, I had only seen bottled dough in Iranian grocery stores but I didn't care for it as it's very sour. This drink was fresh and light, a perfect accompaniment to a sunny outdoor lunch.