Dr & Dr Of rice with jewels and hospitality

Tuesday, September 20 2022


Dr & Dr Middle Eastern Culture and Food Lab
Reichenberger Straße 116
10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg
.How to get there


+49 176 40271110

As an epicurean, how can you not celebrate a food culture that knows how to honour a simple rice dish. Tahdig is the name of the meal every child in Iran knows and loves. While "End of the pot" is the correct translation into English, jewelled rice sounds is much more fitting. Caramelised barberries, the green shining, chopped pistachios on the golden shining caramelised crust of the rice remind without question of precious jewellery.  One might even say that, this not-so-simple rice is much more precious than any jewellery in the world, as rice feeds so many people worldwide.

At any rate, tahdig is duly celebrated at Dr & Dr in Kreuzberg. Just as exciting as the cuisine, which can be enjoyed at Dr & Dr not only in the context of dinner events, is the story of the twin sisters Forough and Sahar.

As the name of their salon suggests, they both hold doctorates. Born in Berlin, and raised in Tehran, Iran, both studied physics. Sahar graduated in meteorology, Forough in geophysics. The doctorate brought them to Germany 23 years ago to the Freie Universität Berlin. For years they worked in research and teaching. Most recently, Sahar has her own professorship in urban climatology and sustainability; Forough does research at the Geo-Research Centre in Potsdam and is most recently the managing director of a graduate programme.

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For years, however, they had this idea in the back of their minds to create a place where people can meet, relax and most importantly eat. The sisters have travelled a lot, especially throughout the Middle East. Despite the differences to Iran they have found some similiarites. throughout their travels. The golden cages above the large dining table are proof of this: each comes from a different country in the Middle East.

Many of the  objects in the restaurant - serving platters, candlesticks, vases - have been collected over the years. "We believe that the culture of the Middle East is hidden behind politics and religion, so we want to present the culture away from that," Sahar explains. To the sisters, Dr & Dr is much more than just a resatuarnt, it is cultural work. So, at the end of 2018, they decided to create a place where people can learn Iranian cooking, come together to eat and learn about the rich culture of the Middle East - it's now or never. 

Forough quits her job two days later. "A lot of people said we were crazy. You don't quit jobs like that." The twin sisters have deliberately left their academic paths to present what they love about Middle Eastern culture. They are often asked if they have ever regretted it - they haven't. "Life is short, you have to make the most of it. And we are delighted with this project."
And it is quickly well received: the sisters won the German Gastro Founders award and now keep a list of around 500 people who want to accompany them to Iran one day. "We'll do it someday!" affirms Forough with a laugh.

The atmosphere in Dr & Dr is wonderful. After all, Iran is legendary for its hospitality. Accordingly, we are looked after in a princely manner. To accompany the homemade gin and tonic with rose petals, we are served a string stew with labneh and a special Persian festive snack: salad hearts with vinaigrette for dipping. The enchantingly arranged dining table bends under different meze such as roasted tomatoes with labneh, basil hummus and beetroot dip with vegetables; one more beautifully arranged than the other.

You can learn how to make them from Forough and Sahar at Dr & Dr. In addition to the cooking classes, there are also private dinner events on various themes, such as "Tehran meets Tel Aviv" or "Nourouz", the Persian New Year.
We get a glimpse later when we are allowed to help topple the tahdig out of the rice pot, prepare it and serve it to the accompaniment of festive music. Before and after, we taste various delicate Middle Eastern dishes, the Lebanese wine flows, and everyone has a good time together. Food is the most beautiful form of communication. 

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Dr & Dr – Of rice with jewels and hospitality
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