Food operates as an expression of cultural identity. They often vary from culture to culture and play a significant role in culture.
In Persian culture, food holds a prominent place regarding both the kinds of traditional dishes and the tradition of having food and celebrating together.
Traditional Iranian food is known among the richest and most aromatic cuisines in the world. Iranian cuisine is praised worldwide for its numerous delicacies, and its elaborate, intricate flavors with its unique ingredients and spices.
Persian cuisine, with a stunning variety of culinary delights, includes a wide range of dishes. If you would like to get familiar with the best Persian dishes you must try during you stay in Iran, read the following article, Iranviva group has provided for you, about ten best and most popular Iranian Local foods:
Ghormeh Sabzi (Leafy Green Herbs Stew)
Ghormeh Sabzi is a very popular dish in Iran. It is, actually, the most beloved Persian stew that is incredibly delicious. The main ingredients of Ghormeh Sabzi include a mixture of sauteed green vegatables such as parsley, chives, fenugreek, coriander, leeks or green onions being cooked with beans, onions, lamb or beef and dried limes. Ghormeh Sabzi must be cooked slowly to be well-prepared and thicker.
Abgoosht (Traditional Meat Stew)
It is also called Dizi and is one of the most traditional Iranian foods. This Persian soup or stew is traditionally made with lamb (especially with fat), chickpeas, white beans, potatoes and tomatoes. The meat juice should be served separately and while serving all the ingredients should be mashed together. Abgoosht is a rich and heavy dish. There are even some restaurants in Iran specialized in serving Abgoosht, that we recommend you not miss it on your trip to Iran.
Fesenjan (Pomegranate & Walnut Stew)
Khoresh Fesenjān is an Iranian stew originally from the north of Iran, Gilan province. This stew is flavored with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste and is traditionally made with poultry (duck or chicken) meat, but it can also be made with lamb. Khoresh Fesenjan must be cooked slowly and served over saffron rice.
Kebab (Grilled Meat)
Kebab is a dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted usually on a skewer. There are different types of kebab served in all traditional restaurants in Iran. Depending on the kind of meat, and seasoning and marinating ingredients, there are different types of Iranian Kebab, including:
- kebab Koobideh
- Joojeh kebab
- Kebab Barg
- Shishlik or Shish Kebab
- Kebab Torsh
- kebab Soltani
- Kabab Vaziri
- Kabab Bakhtiari
“Joojeh kebab” is marinated roasted chicken, “Koobideh” is roasted ground lamb or beef meat, “Shishlik” is roasted lamb ribs marinated with saffron, or “Barg” is roasted fillets of beef tenderloin. Iranian kebabs are different from Turkish Doner Kebab. Kebabs are roasted marinated meat of different kinds which are served with roasted tomatoes and rice or bread. In Iran, making and having kebab accompanies by outdoor picnics and family or friends gatherings.
Kashk-e Bademjan (Eggplant & Whey Dip)
Eggplant is one of the main ingredient Iranians use in different foods. It is also the main ingredient used in Kashk-e Bademjan along with Kashk which is a type of yogurt whey.
This eggplant dip which is usually served as an appetizer, is originally an Iranian, Azerbaijani and Turkish dish and looks like eggplant caviar. The main ingredients are eggplant, ground walnut, onion, garlic and Kashk. They should be mashed and blended to make a dish of different flavors.
Kashke Bademjan is often served with a Persian bread.
Ash-e Reshteh (Legume Soup)
There are a variety types of thick soups in Iranian cooking, the most popular of which is definitely “Ash-e Reshteh“. This special soup is commonly made in Iran and Azerbaijan. The main ingredients are: a special kind of noodles, beans, chickpeas and green herbs. Mint, Kashk or yogurt and fried onions are also used at the top while serving. It’s a rich vegetarian meal, which is usually made and served in family gatherings.
Zereshk Polo (Rice with Barberries)
Rice is the main part of Iranian daily food. In Iran, you can find different types of dishes made of rice in Iran. Since Iranians love sour tastes, sometimes, they serve rice with barberries called “Zereshk” to make a special Iranian cuisine. Zereshk Polo is actually served with lots of butter and saffron, which gives it a unique taste, and is mostly served with chicken, “Zereshk Polo ba Morgh”.
Tahchin (Rice Cake)
Tahchin is a full dish containing the Iranians’ favorite part of food: “Tahdig”, which is the last crispy layer of rice in the pot. Tahchin primarily consists of rice, yogurt, saffron, and eggs. These wonderful ingredients make a wonderful Tahdig which in different versions is filled with chicken, eggplant, yoghurt, or fish.
Mirza Ghassemi (Eggplant Omelette)
This is another dish for people who love Eggplants. Tandoori or grilled Eggplant is the base ingredient of Mirza Ghassemi. It is usually served as an appetizer, same as Kashk-e Bademjan. It’s a typical dish originally from the north of Iran. The other ingredients include eggs, garlic, tomatoes, and turmeric, being mashed and cooked all together. Mirza Ghassemi is served with Iranian bread. It has a unique taste which comes from the way eggplants are cooked, the smocked one is so delicious.
Baghali Polo (Fava Beans & Dill Rice)
Different kinds of ingredients, especially vegetables, are cooked with rice, since rice is the main part in Iranian cookery. One of the most popular dishes with rice is Baghali Polo. The main ingredients of Baghali Polo are rice, fresh chopped dill, saffron, butter, and fresh fava beans. It can be served with chicken. You can also have a part of the crunchy “Tahdig” with Baghali polo.
If you would like to travel to Iran, Iranviva will provide you with wonderful tours mixing visiting Iranian tourist attractions and enjoying colorful Iranian dishes.
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