While traveling around Iran, you will be amazed by the variety of fantastic and super delicious foods in this country, which is driven by the rich history and culture of this territory, as well as different ethnicities and religions. Traditional mouth-watering stew dishes, juicy kebabs, and succulent soups have made Iran an excellent food lovers’ destination. Besides the national and famous Persian food, you can enjoy local foods from different regions in the country as well. Here is the list of 9 exceptional Persian foods that you should never miss during your trip to Iran. Bon appetite or as Iranians say, Noosh-e-Jan!
Khoresh-e fesenjān, commonly known as Fesenjoon, is one of the most traditional and delicious Persian food, which you can find in most Iranian celebrations like Nowruz (Persian New Year) and even wedding ceremonies. Interestingly, Fesenjan’s recipe is various in different regions and families. Some prefer to cook it with meatballs, some prefer to use chicken, and some prefer to add fish (in the north of Iran). Besides, some like sweet Fesenjan and some like sour Fesenjan. Despite these differences, two elements, containing crushed walnuts and an exceptional pomegranate syrup taste, are permanent.
- Sabzi Polo
When it comes to Sabzi Polo, the first thing that comes to any Iranians’ mind is Nowruz (Persian New Year) as it’s served usually at this time with fish. The fish recipe is different in the north and south. In the north, the fish is marinated in a mixture of saffron and lemon juice. In the south, however, the fish is stuffed and baked.
- Ghormeh Sabzi
Khoresh-e Ghorme Sabzi, also spelled as Qormeh Sabzi, is an appetizing Persian food known as one of the Iranian National Dishes with a long history dating back to 2000-5000 years ago. This meal comprises various kinds of herbs (parsley, coriander, and spinach) and meat (lamb or veal) with a somehow sour taste. You can barely find anyone who claims that he/she has tried this meal and didn’t like it! Like many other Iranian dishes, Ghormeh Sabzi can be a little different in various regions of Iran. In the Azerbaijani version, black-eyed beans are used instead of kidney beans, and in the south, the chili and garlic are used. Fenugreek plays a crucial role in the aroma and flavor of this Khoresh!
- Zereshk Polo
Zereshk Polo is one of the prettiest and, at the same time, most mouth-watering foods you can find in the Iranian cuisine range. In this dish, the sour and sweet flavor of Zereshk (barberries) is combined with saffron and white rice, offering a fantastic flavor and aroma for any taste. Zereshk Polo is usually served with chicken that should not be missed by any visitor. This dish is served on formal occasions such as wedding ceremonies and informal cases such as regular family gatherings.
Bademjan (Eggplant) is widely used in Persian foods. One of the dishes made of it is Khoresh-e Bademjan, a unique mixture of eggplant, onion, tomato stew, and spice with a fantastic taste. Like other Iranian stews, Khoresh-e Bademjan is thick served with rice.
The other famous Iranian dish containing Bademjan is called Kashk-e Bademjan. This delectable food is a mixture of smoked eggplant and Kashk (a particular yogurt whey). This dish is not served with rice, and you can try it with a very popular Iranian bread called Lavash.
Mirzaghasemi is another popular Persian dish (usually served as an appetizer) with eggplant as the main ingredient. Other ingredients include garlic, tomato paste, eggs, oil, turmeric, salt, and pepper. This appetizer is originally from the north of Iran
Another well-known Iranian dish with eggplant is Halim Bademjan, made with shredded meat (beef or lamb), lentil, and whey, usually served with Lavash bread.
- Chelo Kebab Koobideh
Koobideh is probably the most famous Persian foods made of lamb or beef ground meat flavored with pepper, minced onion, and salt. There are other Iranian kebabs such as Kabab-e Barg, which is prepared by thinly sliced meat (lamb or beef) seasoned with lemon juice and onion. Kabab Barg is also greased with saffron and butter.
Abgoosht, translated as Ab=water and Goosht=meat, is a very traditional, tasty, and healthy Persian food widely popular in the year’s cold days. Abgoosht is often served with yogurt and different herbs, making it a very nutritious meal for you. The dish has different types such as Dizi, Abgoosht Bozbash, and Abgoosht Baghi, usually made of lamb, onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. It would be a pity if you visit Iran and miss Abgoosht!
- Ash Reshteh
Ash Reshteh is a traditional Iranian thick soup, which is usually served in autumn and winter. This soup is a mixture of beans, noodles, herbs, and leafy greens like spinach and beet leaves. Ash Reshteh used to be served for relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. when someone wanted to have a long journey in the past, which is still done for the same reason in some families. However, it’s part of Nowruz dishes and even ordinary occasions in traditional parties as well.
- Khoresh Gheime
Khoresh Gheime is a stew of beef meat and split pea cooked in a tomato base with a very appetizing taste. The stew is usually served with fried potatoes and sometimes eggplant on the top. The mixture of Khoresh-e Gheime and eggplant has an exceptional taste. This dish is traditionally served in holy and religious times of the year in Iran.