Persian Cuisine

Top 10 dishes you must try in Iran

An Introduction to Persian Cuisine

Persian cuisine is among the most popular and delicious ones all around the world. Iranian foods have their own fans in all countries; however, being delicious is not the only characteristic of Iranian foods. They are highly diverse as well; sometimes even a specific Iranian food is cooked in different ways in various region of the country. If you are asked by your guests from another country about Iranian cuisine, what would be those Iranian foods that you will introduce? Stay with us to get familiar with top 10 Iranian dishes. Maybe some foods from the list attract your interest.

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Khoresh-e-Sabzi (Persian herb stew)

Khoresht-e-Sabzi (Ghormeh Sabzi) is among the most popular Iranian foods and is a delicious Persian dish. Surely, you will also agree that Khoresh-e-Sabzi is at the top of the list of the best Iranian dishes. This traditional Iranian food has kept its initial form and structure, with minor changes.

Probably this food has gained its reputation due to its sour taste which is well approved by Iranian people. This food is prepared with some vegetables as leek, parsley, coriander, and fenugreek. The fresher the vegetables, the tastier would become the food.

Simmering Khoresh-e-Sabzi which takes more time would result in a food with better taste and small amount of liquid remained in it. However, nowadays short cooking time is told to be better as the ingredients preserve their nutritional value.

Kabab Koobideh (minced meat kebab)

Among Iranian dishes, this is the one with its name always being outstanding. Searching Iranian food pictures in the internet, surely you will see many appealing pictures of Kabab Koobideh. As far as price is concerned and compared to other types of kebabs, this one is the most reasonable, and it is a delicious Persian cuisine.

This Iranian food is cooked with veal or lamb or a combination of both. This food is usually served with grilled tomatoes, onion, sumac, basil, and doogh. Kabab Koobideh can be served with flatbread or rice. The Bread served with Kabab Koobideh is usually fresh Sangak. Fat and taste of kabab is absorbed by the bread, making the food to be more enjoyable.

Tahchin-e-Morgh (Persian Saffron Rice Cake with Chicken)

This is another popular food and a traditional Persian cuisine in Iran. This appealing food is mostly served in ceremonies and banquets. Tahchin-e-Morgh is compatible with the taste of Iranian people. The food takes its specific and tasty flavor and smell from saffron which makes it popular among Iranian people.

This very delicious Iranian food can be cooked in big or small baking dishes. Those cooked in small baking dishes are usually severed as finger foods and in self service gatherings. To decorate Tahchin-e-Morgh, barberry and pistachio slices are used, adding a considerable taste to the food.

Zereshk Polo ba Morgh (Persian barberry rice with chicken)

It is another delicious and tasty Persian cuisine. Due to its very good taste, unique properties, proper price, and variable methods of cooking, chicken has gained its especial place in Iranian dietary culture. Zereshk Polo ba Morgh is a delicious Iranian food made of a mixture of Iranian rice and chicken.

If served on special occasions, it is better to be decorated with barberry and saffron so that it would be more presentable. Served with chicken, Zereshk Polo has unique taste and is one of the favorite Iranian dishes.

Khoresh-e-Fesenjan or Fesenjoon (chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce)

One of traditional Iranian foods is Fesenjan. This original food is considered as a must-be-served on especial occasions. This food has long history based on some inscriptions found in the ruins of Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid). Some of these inscriptions are related to the raw material used in the empire kitchen showing that pomegranate, chicken and walnut have been ingredients to some foods. These three ingredients are also used in Fesenjan.

Making Fesenjan is not easy and needs the cook to be highly experienced. However, the most important point in cooking Fesenjan is that; it has to be simmered for several hours to be perfectly made and ready to eat.

Both chicken and lamb can be used in Fesenjan, and its taste could be sweet, sour, or sour-sweet. Anyway the food is highly popular in any of the above tastes, being of especial status among Iranian foods.

Dizi (Meat Broth)

In Iranian dietary culture, Dizi is of very good status. This popular food is in fact made of lamb cooked along with potato and beans. Sometimes tomato is also added to the food. Many people prefer to mash the ingredients primarily with meat mortar and then eat it; however, some other people eat it in ordinary form. Along with the food, Sangak flatbread, onion, fresh vegetables, and dough are served so that it would become more enjoyable.

Baghali Polo (Persian dill rice and broad bean)

With unique taste, this Iranian food has become popular among many Iranian people as well as foreigners. The recipe includes white rice and broad bean in addition to lamb or beef shank which makes it tastier and enjoyable.

It is one of the most expensive Iranian foods in menus of restaurants. The food is also served in important feasts. How well Baghali Polo and lamb or beef shank is made; is directly related to experience and mastery of the the cook, who cooking it!

Jujeh Kabab (chicken kebab)

One cannot think of Jujeh Kabab not to be listed among the most favorable Iranian foods. In general, Iranian people have a great tendency towards kebab in every kind of it, whether made of meat or chicken. Jujeh kabab is among highly popular traditional Iranian foods and is a delicious Persian cuisine.

The food is usually consumed during trips, campings, or picnics. Using the food at recreation times is so prevalent that for most of the people, Sizdah Be-Dar (13th day of the new Iranian year) cannot be imagined without Jujeh Kabab.

People have their own method of marinating Jujeh (chicken); however, the ordinary method is marinating chicken in saffron, onion, and lemon juice for a couple of hours before cooking so that it takes the flavor and becomes more tender and delicious.

Khoresh-e-Gheymeh (Beef and yellow split pea stew)

It could be considered as one of the most popular Iranian dishes. Yellow split peas and meat are the main ingredients of the food. This very delicious and unique food is either served with fried eggplant or potato. The one in which eggplant is used is called Gheymeh Bademjan. Fried potato could be served inside the stew or over it as decoration.

Like Khoresh-e-Sabzi, Gheymeh also has to be simmered to become more delicious. Any kind of stew would be considered as perfectly cooked if you pour it over your cooked rice and no liquid is transferred to the bottom of the rice dish.

Khoresh-e-Bademjan (Eggplant stew)

This is also one of the favorite Iranian foods that is very similar to khoresh-e-gheymeh, the other Persian cuisine which we covered in previous sections. The food can be cooked with chicken or meat; however, the one cooked with meat is more common. Tomato is also one of the ingredients of the food. Like other stews, Khoresh-e-Bademjan has to be simmered so that it loses much of its liquid. There are some tricks to be observed in cooking this stew so that better result would be acheived.

Some people add verjuice to the stew for sour taste. Instead of verjuice, half of a cup of pomegranate juice can be also added which gives it especial and different taste. To remove bitterness of eggplants, they could be put in mixture of water and salt. Older people know that they have to taste eggplants one by one because the bitterness of one of them would be resulted in the stew to have bitter taste, in the end.

Final words!

Now, you will have better answers for a foreigner asking you about Iranian cuisine. It goes without saying that delicious and tasty Iranian foods are not limited to the above list. For example, one of the other popular Persian dishes among Iranian people is Ashe-e-Reshteh (potage).

Different types of Ash (potage) are cooked in Iran; however, the most popular of them is Ashe-e-Reshteh in which noodles, vegetables, and beans are used. This food is also cooked to be served as a religious offering in various religious occasions. To do so, it will be decorated with whey, fried onion, garlic, etc.

Some other popular foods other than Ashe-e-Reshteh are Albaloo Polo, Morasa Polo, Sabzi Polo ba Mahi, Dolmeh, and many others.

In general, Iranian people are very well talented in cooking delicious foods and their foods attract many foreigners. Hope that reading the text, you will make a delicious Iranian food for yourself and enjoy the unique taste and flavor of Persian cuisine.

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