Since earliest times, Persians have been well known for their hospitality, be it tribesman offering a place to rest and drink to the weary travelers, or urban city dwellers offering visitors a scrumptious meal. Tradition demands that only the finest food available be served to guests or travelers, and always in the most bountiful manner possible.
Accounts of early travelers to Iran indicate that, over the years, the dishes served have not changed dramatically. In the realm of Middle Eastern cuisine, there is an explanation why Iranian cooking is famous: not only do many recipes from that part of the world trace their origins to Persia, but the food is also just plain tasty.
With so many different ingredients, it works magic: pickled vegetables and dried fruits, spices ranging from soft, earthy saffron to tart, lemony sumac, water distilled from herbs, and rose-like flowers. And although bread is a staple of Persian cuisine, it is rice that has been elevated into an art form by Iranians.
Check out the finest Persian cuisine recipes!
1. Khoresh-e Loobia Sabz – Green Bean Stew
Green beans are tender edible pods, also known as French beans or snap beans, that are a very rich source of vitamins and minerals. We recommend choosing the beans for this recipe, which are free of brown spots, have a bright green hue, and snap when broken.
2. Sholeh Zard – Persian Rice Pudding
The name explains this Persian Saffron Rice Pudding’s texture and colour. A pudding-like texture is what Sholeh and Shilah indicate. Yellow means Zard and Sari. This famous Persian dessert is produced in Iran on all kinds of occasions, including the festivities that take place on the longest night of the year and the advent of winter, including Shabe Yalda (Yalda Night).
3. Naz Khatoon – Persian Eggplant & Herb Salad with Walnuts & Verjuice
In the Iranian vocabulary, the term ‘Naz’ means glory, grace, youth, or pride, and the word ‘Khatun’ is a female noble title and an alternative to male Khan Khan. In addition to flavorful spices, minced garlic, infused alongside verjuice dressing as well as topped alongside the world walnuts, Naz khatoon is an unproblematic fire-roasted eggplant salad with freshly chopped aromatic.
4. Morgh Polo (Chicken Rice)
This dish is a popular Iranian meal of chicken and rice with saffron, also called “zereshk ba morgh”. The word “morghe” means chicken and rice means “polo”. The term “zereshk” refers to barberries that are popular in Persian dishes of rice. Before being added to saffron rice, the berries have a sharp, sour taste and are sometimes fried with a bit of sugar.
5. Khoresh Bamieh Khuzestani – Southern Iranian Okra Stew with Tamarind
A classic Iranian meat dish stewed with tomatoes, okra, and spices is the Persian Okra Stew (Khoresh Bamieh). It’s tasty enough that even the most stubborn okra haters are converted!
6. Persian Chicken Meatball Poppers with Fresh Lime & Chili
Persian meatballs are not the usual run-of-the-mill meatballs, but they are still very tasty in their own right. They are about the size of a baseball and contain a lot of perfectly delightful ingredients that you can certainly not find in a traditional meatball.
7. Kookoo-ye Marchoobeh – Asparagus Frittata
Asparagus Frittata is a Persian dish made to mark the start of spring and is a popular Persian New Year recipe. Crafted with lots of fresh spices, eggs, or zereshk, and dried barberries.
8. Kotlet – Persian meat patties
Kotlet is a Persian dish filled with spices and eggs made with ground beef and lamb and fried in a pan. It originates from the term “cutlet,” meaning a thin slice of meat or a patty made of ground meat in the form of a croquette or cutlet. Kotlet is a tasty family meal that makes perfect leftovers as well and is good for lunch at school.
9. Zereshk Polo O Morgh
Zereshk Polo ba Morgh, which is steamed and fluffy Persian rice, is a Persian classic made with Zereshk (barberries), Morgh (chicken), and Polo. This is one of the mixed rice dishes that you can encounter as well as larger Persian dinner parties, marriages, and most seasonal festivities and holidays at small informal get-togethers.
10. Sabzi Polo va Mahi (Herbed rice with fish)
Sabzi Polo ba Mahi means herbed fish rice. Sabzi is vegetables, rice is polo and fish is Mahi. Sabzi polo is a common mixed Persian rice that is traditionally made with chopped fresh herbs steamed with basmati rice. Tareh (green nira, also called garlic chives), cilantro, parsley, and dill are the common herbs that are used in this rice.
Which is your favorite Persian dish? Leave a comment below!