10 Iconic Iranian Dishes

by Editorial Staff

For 3 years, the tourist flow to Iran has grown by 70%. People come here for the sea, fabulous palaces, and magnificent Persian cuisine. We will tell you what food to try in Iran for a tourist, what dishes to pay attention to, and how they look. Enchanting aromas of oriental spices, skillfully cooked meat, juicy vegetables that cannot be found in European cities … We have compiled a list of the best Iranian dishes with names, descriptions, and photos so that you don’t miss anything.

10 Iconic Iranian Dishes
10 Iconic Iranian Dishes

Dizi

10 Iconic Iranian Dishes
10 Iconic Iranian Dishes

Try a traditional Iranian thick soup also called abgoosht. This is a fat, thick lamb chowder with beans, potatoes, onions, and meaty tomatoes. Oriental spices give the dish a delicate aroma and spicy taste. In Iranian restaurants, it is served in a ceramic pot with a separate bowl and pestle. Take out the thick and mash into a paste. Break off a piece of fresh ruddy tortilla, dip in the paste with your hands and eat. The broth is eaten separately. Hearty Iranian dizi soup is also prepared in hotel restaurants – the pots with it look like a roast. Be sure to try this treat.

Kabab Koobideh

Kabab Koobideh
Kabab Koobideh

Juicy Iranian kebab is prepared from lamb or veal meat with chopped onions and parsley. Minced meat is passed through a meat grinder twice so that it becomes as tender as possible. You will never find a bone or a piece of fat in a traditional kebab from Iran. It is fried on flat skewers over hot coals until a delicious golden-brown crust. Kebab is the most popular street food in Iran. It is served with fried tomatoes, juicy onions, fresh herbs, and polo – aromatic pilaf made from rice, butter, and saffron. Try Iranian kebab at eateries or markets in Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, and other cities in the country.

Kaleh Pache

Kaleh Pache
Kaleh Pache

The dish looks repulsive, and its composition sounds unpleasant, but, oddly enough, it is a success. The kaleh pache recipe is also popular outside Iran. In the East and Caucasus, this dish is known as khash. Locals eat it for breakfast. But European stomachs are best preserved. Kaleh pache is a dish of ancient Persian cuisine. It is boiled from lamb’s heads, legs, and internal organs with lemon juice. No spices or herbs – only natural meat.

Fesenjan

Fesenjan
Fesenjan

Of the classic meat dishes in Iran, fesenjan is worth trying. These are incredibly tender, ruddy, appetizing chicken pieces in a thick nut-pomegranate sauce. The meat is juicy, with a refreshing sourness and subtle sweetness. Nuts and chicken emphasize each other’s taste, and the light spice makes them especially piquant. The dish is usually served with Iranian saffron rice or pilaf. Browse Persian restaurants in Tehran or lookout for the hotel’s meat stews.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi
Ghormeh Sabzi

A homemade Iranian dish prepared according to an ancient Persian recipe. You can hardly find this spicy stew outside of Iran – it is prepared differently in other countries. Gourmets will be delighted: juicy greens, spicy fenugreek leaves, tender spinach leaves, sugar beets with stewed beans, and meat – an incredible combination. Lemon juice and juicy pomegranate seeds help to reveal its unusual taste. For breakfast, Iranian housewives prepare a similar dish: ghormeh kuku – an omelet with the same ingredients, but without meat. All options are worth trying.

Tahdig

Tahdig
Tahdig

If you ever fail to keep track of the rice, and the cereal sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns, do not be upset – proudly declare that you did not gape, but simply cooked an Iranian dish tahdig. After all, this is exactly what the simplest version of the Persian side dish looks like. Iranian rice with a delicious golden crust is served with main courses and prepared for any meal. In Europe, it is better known as “Persian crispy rice”. The recipe is simple: rice, saffron, a couple of eggs. All this is boiled in a saucepan until the water boils away. But they are in no hurry to remove the mixture from the stove; they give it to brown, burn. Tahdig recipes are varied: with potatoes, sour cherries (pictured), yogurt dressing, vegetable slices – try them all.

Ash Reshteh

Ash Reshteh
Ash Reshteh

The most popular street food in Iran. He is the protagonist of eateries and markets: everyone sips him – from children to old people, from locals to tourists. It is so popular that the recipe even migrated into Armenian and Azerbaijani cuisine, and then even further. Iranian soup Ash cannot be confused with anything – thick, green and so fragrant that you can feel it for a quarter. The chowder is made from beans or lentils, fresh spinach, juicy greens, beetroot leaves, and thin noodles. Mint, coriander, cilantro, and other herbs give it a unique aroma. Sour Iranian yogurt is poured over the soup before serving. Worth trying!

Barbari

Barbari
Barbari

Be sure to try the Iranian pastries: fresh, crispy and soft, roasted, still hot at the same time. Check out local bakeries and never ignore the buffet bread at your hotel’s restaurant. Local pastries are not like those sold in Russian supermarkets. Try the Iranian barbari cake: it is slightly porous, airy, sometimes reaching a in length. It is easily recognizable by its golden crust and sesame seeds. Dip bread in local vegetable pates or sauces, or with soups or hot dishes.

Sholezard

Sholezard
Sholezard

Traditional Persian sweets are similar to oriental classics: baklava, lokma sticky donuts, halva. However, unique desserts are also prepared in Iran according to ancient recipes. Among them sholezard pudding. It is easily recognizable by its pleasant milky-yellow color and spicy aroma. The dessert is made from Iranian rice with saffron, sugar syrup rose water, and cardamom. It is served cold and garnished with crushed nuts. In Iran, dessert is often prepared in hotel restaurants – don’t miss the chance to taste this unusual sweetness.

Sharbat

Sharbat
Sharbat

A traditional Iranian drink with a refreshing taste. Be sure to try it in Iran when it’s unbearably hot outside. It seems to cool the body from the inside. Outwardly, the drink looks like lemonade or a shake. A thinner sharbat is made from flower water and fruit and berry puree. A little sugar syrup, honey and saffron – the cocktail is ready. A thick sharbat has less sugar, more fruit. The ingredients are mixed, put in the freezer for a couple of hours, and then whipped. Sharbat is also cooked in other countries, but Iranian is considered the best.

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