13 Must-Try Iranian Foods

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Iranian foods

Are you considering traveling to Iran but are unsure about what are the must-try Iranian food you shouldn’t miss? Well, get ready to tantalize your taste buds because Iran is a food lover’s paradise! Iranian foods are not only delicious but also a reflection of Iran’s rich cultural heritage. With an extraordinary mix of herbs and spices, Persian cuisine is a masterful blend of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more. 

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through the must-try dishes you cannot miss when visiting Iran. From creamy stews to fluffy saffron rice, we’ll introduce you to the delicious flavors that make Persian cuisine one of the world’s most alluring and exciting culinary traditions. So, get ready to delve into Persian food and discover the best dishes that will make your journey to Iran unforgettable.

Rice and Tahdig – An Integral Part of Persian Cuisine

Persian food is incomplete without the steaming, fluffy basmati rice that accompanies every meal. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll encounter tahdig – the most coveted part of any Persian rice dish. It’s the crispy, golden layer of rice or potato that’s cooked to perfection, sometimes leading to arguments among diners over who gets to enjoy it. This must-try Iranian food will be an experience you’d miss after getting back home

Chelo Kebab – A Delicious Way to Discover Persian Food

If you want to take your first steps into Iranian cuisine, there’s no better dish than Chelo Kebab. It’s a basic dish that consists of plain-cooked rice and juicy grilled meats, such as koobedeh, lamb fillet or marinated chicken. A grilled tomato, a dash of sumac, and a knob of butter often accompany it. The flavors of this dish are simple yet tantalizing, making it the perfect introduction to Iranian dishes.

To Iran Tour -Chicken Chelo - Must-try Iranian Food
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Sabzi Polo- An Appetizing Herbed Rice Dish

Sabzi polo is a herbed rice dish that prominently features various green herbs like coriander, dill, and parsley mixed generously with rice. It’s often served with a variety of fish, depending on the region you’re in. Traditionally, in northern Iran, sabzi polo is served with a fried fish called mahi, while in southern Iran, stuffed and baked fish is preferred.

Baghali Polo Ba Mahiche – A Fragrant and Delicious Rice Dish

Baghali polo is a mouth-watering rice dish made with broad beans, dill and saffron and is often served with a succulent lamb shank. It’s a popular choice for weddings and other celebratory occasions, making it an essential dish to try when exploring Persian cuisine.

Ghormeh Sabzi – The National Iranian Dish

Ghormeh sabzi, a slow-cooked stew made with herbs, red kidney beans, and lamb chunks, is often referred to as the national dish of Iran. The base of the stew is made of parsley, coriander, chives, and fenugreek. It has a tangy and citrusy flavor balanced by a subtle sourness from dried Persian limes. When you enjoy this dish, it’s often paired with steamed rice.

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh – A Classic Persian Dish for Get-Togethers

Zereshk polo, also known as barberry rice with chicken, is a favorite dish for many dinner parties and get-togethers in Persian culture. Eastern Iran grows tangy barberries, which are sometimes mixed with sugar when cooked, adding a distinctive sweet and sour flavor to the rice. The chicken, cooked in a saffron and tomato-based sauce, is served separately alongside the barberry rice.

Khoresh-e Fesenjan- A Rich and Creamy Persian Stew

Fesenjan, a Persian stew typically made with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses, is an iconic dish on the Persian menu. It has a thick and creamy sauce that delivers a unique nutty, sour, and sweet taste. It can be made with different meats, including duck, chicken or meatballs, and is usually served alongside saffron rice.

Gheimeh – Comfort Food with a Persian Twist

Gheimeh is a delicious stew that combines small cubes of lamb or beef, split chickpeas, tomato sauce, and spices like turmeric and cinnamon. While it’s typically served as a stew, different regions of Iran have their own twists on this classic dish. Two of the most popular variations are gheimeh sibzamini, served with crunchy potato chips on top, or gheimeh bademjan, with fried aubergines replacing the chips.

Ashe Reshteh – A Hearty Persian Soup

Ashe reshteh is a thick soup made with noodles, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, kashk (yoghurt whey), fried onions, and mint oil. It is typically eaten on Sizdah Bedar – the 13th day after Norouz, the Iranian New Year. It’s a symbolic day when families and friends traditionally spread out and picnic together while enjoying bowls of ashe reshteh.

Essential Starters and Side Dishes

No Persian meal is complete without an array of cold and hot starters and side dishes. Salad shirazi, a cucumber, tomato and onion salad, is a light and refreshing side dish paired with stews and rice dishes. Mirza ghasemi – a vegetarian appetizer made of eggplant, garlic, and tomatoes – hails from northern Iran and is often eaten as the main course. Kashke bademjan, a thick dip of aubergine mixed with tangy whey or yogurt, is a favorite starter to enjoy with some Persian bread. Mast, a seasoned yogurt dish, is another popular side dish or appetizer. Two main variations of mast are mast-o-khiar (yogurt and cucumber) and mast-o-musir (yogurt and Persian shallots).

Experience the Iranian Culinary Style

If you are a food enthusiast and planning to travel to Iran to experience the authentic Iranian cuisine, it is highly recommended to go on a customized and tailored tour. With a customized tour, you can explore the best Iranian foods according to your preferences and interests. From the traditional Persian cuisine to modern Iranian fusion dishes, there are so many options to choose from.

ToIranTour is a travel agency that provides professional customized tours and designed to suit your interests and preferences. Our team of experts will work with you to create a personalized itinerary that includes the best of Iranian cuisine along with cultural and historical sites.

In conclusion, if you want to explore the best of Iranian cuisine, a customized Iran tour with ToIranTour is the perfect choice. With our professional tour services and customized plans, you can enjoy the authentic Iranian dishes according to your preferences and interests, while discovering the rich culture and history of Iran.

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