Traditional Food Of Iran

Traditional Food Of Iran – Believe it or not, many people visit Iran just to taste the unique but lesser known Iranian food. Even if you are not a food lover, you will probably enjoy eating Iran’s main dishes and foods, drinks and observing culinary customs such as table manners and food festivals. So buckle up for a little tour of Persian cuisine.

Iran is the land of the greatest ancient empires in the world. Many may have heard of Persian rugs, crocuses, pistachios, antiques, etc., but few know the secret of established food.

Traditional Food Of Iran

Iran’s cultural and climatic diversity is reflected in the cuisine. In Iran, food resources and ingredients vary greatly depending on where the food came from. But despite the differences, there are still some common features and ingredients among all Persian foods. These include: rice, meat (mainly lamb or beef), local herbs and vegetables, pomegranates, raisins, prunes, dried lemon, saffron, cinnamon and turmeric used widely in Iranian cuisine. With all those ingredients in hand, here’s a list you can rely on to try the most diverse Iranian cuisines.

Best Traditional Persian Food And Drink Iranian Food Culture Habits

A thick, thick porridge containing wheat and meat (turkey, lamb, or beef). This is a popular Iranian breakfast served hot with sugar/salt, ground cinnamon, sesame seeds and melted butter.

A delicious traditional Persian meal served for dinner or lunch consisting of layers of curry, rice and tender chicken/lamb/beef.

Literally meaning “fried herbs”, it is an herb stew cooked with beans, dried lemon and served with boiled rice (“Polo”). Ghormeh Sabzi is very popular and is probably in the top 5 on the list of all Iranian favorites.

Literally meaning “herb rice” and “fish”, this dish is traditionally served on the Persian New Year (Norooz) with garnishes such as pickled vegetables.

History Of Persian Food (iranian Cuisine)

Iranian stew with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potato, tomato, turmeric and dried lemon. It is usually served with flatbread (“Lavash”, “Sangak” or “Taftoon”), fresh vegetables, Doogh and pickled vegetables.

Persian meat kebab made with beef or lamb, salt, black pepper and grated onion. The mixture is formed on special skewers and grilled over coals. It is served with Polo, along with grilled tomatoes, onions and pickled vegetables.

Black tea or “Chai’i” as Iranians call it, is the most popular drink in Iran. Iranians drink chai’i several times a day and also for breakfast. It is usually served with sugar cubes, raisins or a traditional cake.

A mixture of sour yogurt, water and dried herbs (usually mint and rose petals). It is probably one of the most famous traditional drinks in Iran with most dishes.

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Sharbats are traditional Iranian sweet drinks during summer. There are many types of Sharbats, but some of the most well known are Khak-e-Shir, Sekanjabin, Tokhm-e-Reyhan and Bahar Narenj. Depending on your tastes, you might fall in love with one or all of the Sharbats, but try some of them because not only do they quench your thirst, but they also have a lot of health benefits.

It is a cold Persian dessert made with rice starch noodles in a semi-frozen syrup containing rose water and sugar. It is often served with lemon juice and eaten with Bastani Sonnati.

A very sweet layered cake stuffed with nuts and covered with syrup or honey. It is usually served with chai’i.

Do you want to travel to Iran cheap and easy? You can choose from affordable pre-made tour packages or customize your own tour with our local travel experts, book the complete package and save hundreds. Check out Private Tours. “You can go to school in America,” my mom would often say to my brothers and me when we were kids in our hometown of San Diego in the 1980s, “but when you come back home, you’re in Iran.” So we spoke Persian and went to a Persian school on Saturdays to learn to read and write Persian; we listened to Setar Persian classical music; and celebrated Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

Persian Traditional Food Shiraz Iran Stock Photo 1283058823

But the kitchen was definitely the most powerful form of cultural immersion we’ve seen. My mother, who left Iran in 1976, brought us the smells, flavors and traditions of Persian food. Each week she spent many hours traveling not only to San Diego but also to Orange County and Los Angeles, more than 100 miles away, in search of flavors that reminded her of Iran. She taught us that no matter what’s happening on the news, home is home and nothing is in good taste.

In Irvine, she found a bakery that makes fresh sangak, a large dimpled flatbread named after the pebbles that line the bottom of the oven where the pieces of dough are baked. She organized us on weekend mornings so that each of us could order a maximum of three – 12K was enough to drive an hour and a half to get bread.

She bought and tasted every type of yogurt available at the supermarket, looking for the thickest and most sour. She used to put us in our blue pickup truck and drive across town to the international grocery store, where she had seven varieties of feta cheese to choose from and bought fresh herbs by the pound, not in sauces.

Every day, my mother would roll out a ten-pound jute bag of rice—always basmati—and divide each person’s cup into a large bowl, rinsing and soaking for hours before briefly cooking. Then she would begin the spells necessary to make tahdig, the crispy rice crust by which every Persian chef’s worth was measured.

Iranian Food: 16 Must Try Traditional Dishes Of Iran

Sometimes she would spill a pot of lavash on tahdig bread. Other times, when there was no special trip to buy bread, she would reach for the readily available flour tortilla, which produced equally amazing results. Anyway, she would have split the rice and tahdig and served it, encouraging our kids to put off the excitement and refrain from eating that wonderful crispy crust. I never could.

Persian food is all about balance – flavors and aromas, textures and temperatures. In every meal, even in every dish, you will find sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, cooked and raw, hot and cold. In winter, we ate khoresh-e fesenjoon, a sweet and sour pomegranate and coconut stew that warmed us from within. In summer, we peel eggplants for khresh-e bademjoon, a light tomato-eggplant stew, especially soured with lemon juice and ghooreh or green grapes.

Persian cuisine is not complete without an abundance of herbs. Each table is set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes and shallots, which are eaten raw and in handfuls, often wrapped in a piece of flatbread with a piece of feta cheese, cucumber or walnuts. I never got used to this practice and prefer the amazing and multifaceted ways herbs find in cooked foods. Kuku sabzi, a type of frittata, is so full of chopped fried herbs that the ingredient list reads like a joke.

Throughout Iran, but especially in the northern regions where my family comes from, herbs are treated as a vegetable or a main ingredient, not a side dish. In the Bay Area, where I live now, I can see an Iranian grocery cart from afar – it’s the one filled with parsley, cilantro, fennel and mint.

Dizi Traditional Iranian Food At Bastani Traditional Restaurant In Esfahan Iran Stock Photo

Although I am Iranian and a chef, I am not an Iranian chef. I’m an Iranian foodie, so when The Times asked me to choose some Persian dishes for myself – basic recipes – I interviewed my mother, studied twenty Iranian and Iranian-American chefs, and compared lists of ingredients and techniques with almost everyone. A Persian cookbook published in English for the last 30 years.

Being Iranian-American — honoring, representing and embodying two cultures that are often confused — has been a tightrope walk for me. This project felt more meaningful and personal than any other recipe collection I’ve created.

More than anything else, I tried to share the taste of my own childhood, which is the taste of Iranian food in America. However, I often had to break my heart when I decided to avoid many of my favorite dishes, such as polo baghali (rice with fava beans), tahchin (spicy saffron rice and yogurt cake layered with chicken or lamb), and koresh -e beh (stewed with quince and lamb).

A word about terminology: For various personal, political, and historical reasons, many Iranians in the West refer to themselves as Persians. “Persian” is both an ethnicity and a language, also known as Farsi, while “Iranian” is a nationality. Not all Persians and Persian speakers are Iranians, and not all Iranians are Persians. If that distinction drives you crazy, rest assured you’re not alone – I’ve spent most of my life confused about this – and for our purposes here, you can think of it in more or less terms.

Persian Foods You Need To Try

The task of distilling an entire 2,000-year-old kitchen into a handful of recipes is pointless, so think of this list as an invitation to cook.

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