Although, Iran is the country of kebabs and meat stews, it is no big deal for vegetarians to travel to Iran. The Iranian traditional cuisine is also full of delicious vegetable dishes.
Iranviva Group has provided a guideline for those vegetarians who travel to Iran.
Popular Persian Vegetarian Foods
Below you can see the most popular Persian vegetarian foods:
1. Kashk-e Bademjan (Eggplant & Whey Dip)
Eggplant is one of the main ingredients, 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. The main ingredients are eggplant, ground walnut, onion, garlic and Kashk. They should be mashed and blended to make a dish of different flavors. This eggplant dip which is usually served as an appetizer, is originally an Iranian, Azerbaijani and Turkish dish and looks like eggplant caviar.
2. Mirza Ghassemi (Eggplant Omelette)
This is another delicious dish for people who love Eggplants. Tandoori or grilled Eggplant is the base ingredient of Mirza Ghassemi. As with Kashk-e Bademjan, Mirza Ghassemi is usually served as an appetizer. 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.
Keep reading to know everything you need in order to have a trip with peace of mind to the country of Iran and travel with ease.
3. Ash-e Reshteh (Legume Soup)
There are a variety types of thick soups in Iranian cuisine, the most popular of which is definitely “Ash-e Reshteh“. This special soup is commonly made in Iran and Azerbaijan. The main ingredients include a special kind of noodles, beans, chickpeas and green herbs. Mint, fried onions and Kashk or yogurt are also used at the top while serving. It’s a rich vegetarian meal, usually made and served in family gatherings.
4. Kookoo Sabzi (Herb Frittata)
Kookoo Sabzi is a kind of Persian fresh herb dish. The main ingredients include fresh herbs, like cilantro, drill and parsley. Then eggs and spices are added, along with barberries and walnuts, and the mixture is fried slowly.
5. Baghali Ghatogh (Lima Beans with Eggs and Dill)
Baghali Ghatogh is a specialty from Gilan Province, in north of Iran. The main ingredients include fava beans, along with herbs and spices cooked in a pan, and at the end, eggs are added on top. It’s usually served with rice.
6. Adasi (Persian Lentil Stew)
Adasi is a type of soup, mainly made with lentils and onions cooked in a flavorful broth or just simply water. Potato cubes and spices along with some lemon juice give it an incredible taste. It’s a nice choice for breakfast in Iran.
7. Chelo and Polo (Rice)
Rice is the main part of Iranian daily food. In Iran, you can find different types of dishes made of rice in Iran. Chelo is rice prepared in several stages, boiled, steamed and served separately. Polo is steamed rice mixed with other ingredients like vegetables and meats. Some Iranian dishes with rice include “Zereshk polo” which is rice served with barberries, “Baghali polo” rice cooked with fava beans, “Adas polo” served with green lentils, raisins and dates, and “Sabzi polo” cooked with different fresh herbs.
These are only some of the most popular examples of Iranian vegetarian foods, but the list is actually endless. In all the restaurants there are also a variety of salads served as side dishes. You should just let them know that you are a vegetarian or a vegan, when you are at a restaurant.
Fast Food and Pasta
You can find different types of pizzas, pastas and burgers in Iranian restaurants on your trip to Iran, all of which can easily be found for vegetarians, too.
One of the most popular Iranian fast foods in Iran is falafel sandwich, which is made of chickpeas with different kinds of vegetables or pickles. Most of the Falafel restaurants are self-service.
Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Iran
Nowadays, it’s not difficult to find vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Iran, especially in big cities. Here are some examples of these restaurants in Tehran:
- Zamin Vegan Restaurant, Simaye Street, Farahzadi Boulevard
- Ananda Vegetarian Restaurant, No 18, South Ekhtiarieh, Pasdaran St
- Pure, A.S.P Towers
There are also some in other main cities of Iran:
- Zima Healthy Food, Bozorgmehr, Isfahan
- Art House, next to the ChehelMehrab mosque, Yazd
You can also simply use the mobile application named “Happy Cow” to find some vegetarian and vegan restaurants on your trip to Iran.
Moreover, you can find a large variety of dishes without meat in Gilaki restaurants, serving foods from the north of Iran, as Gilan Province has been recognized by UNESCO for its gastronomy!
Iranian Street Foods
As mentioned earlier, Iran is a paradise for vegetarians, and even vegans. Street foods in Iran, in particular spring almonds, blackberries, fava beans, fresh walnuts soaked in salt water, are full of fruits and vegetables.
There are also plenty of shops selling various types of fresh fruit juice, including carrot juice, pomegranate juice, apple juice, orange juice, etc., made and mixed right before your eyes.
Besides, Iranians love eating nuts and dried fruits, as you can see on the stalls in bazaars. Iran is actually the biggest producer of pistachio in the world. Thus, it’s a paradise for pistachio and nut lovers!
Although, Iranian cuisine is mostly famous for its kebabs, it’s actually richer than that. The large variety of local vegetarian dishes makes it easy for all types of tourists to travel to Iran.
If you are interested in more information about the top Persian foods, read the article “Best Persian Food”, Iranviva Group has provided.