baghala ghatogh 3

Foods in Iran / Part 3

The Most Popular Iranian Traditional Foods Around the Country

Traditional foods are referred to foods that are made from certain foodstuffs of the specific region or by the specific preparation method of a specific region. In traditional food, most of the foodstuffs are special in that area and the method of preparation has features that are not observed elsewhere. All foods are categorized according to characteristics such as the type of use, the method of baking, the variety of raw materials used, or the region where it is commonly known. The most important Iranian cuisine is the Abgoosht, Ghormesabzi, Koofte Tabrizi, Mirza Ghasemi,  and Iranian barbecues.

This part continues Foods in Iran part 2:

Ghalyeh Mahi, Ahvaz

Ghalyeh Mahi is a lesser-known dish as it’s typically only made in the south of Iran in the Khuzestan province. Whitefish can be substituted with shrimp in the stew which consists of a melange of flavors like fresh cilantro and fenugreek, garlic, and tamarind paste. Iranians tend to categorize foods into ‘hot and cold’, and since fish and cilantro are considered cold, ghalyeh is usually served with pickled garlic, considered to be hot, to balance the pungent flavors.


Shishlik, Mashhad

If there’s one dish that the holy city of Mashhad is famous for, it’s shishlik. These skewered lamb chops are marinated in olive oil and saffron and grilled on the bone. The countryside towns of Shandiz and Torghabe, about 30 minutes outside the city, are full of restaurants serving up this specialty, but if you aren’t going to make to the east side of the country, you can try this ultimate kebab in the appropriately named Shandiz restaurant in Tehran.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi – Persian Herb Stew is one of the most delicious stews in Persian cuisine. A mixture of fragrant herbs and spices makes this stew very special!

This is what most people call “Iran’s National Food”. It’s more than a dish, it’s identity.

Now that we have started focusing on Persian food, I feel like there is so much to talk about and I would love to show you how amazing Persian cuisine is. As I’ve said many times, Persian recipes are full of flavors, some of which might be new to you. Ghormeh sabzi is one of those recipes that every Iranian family makes and loves. It’s known to everyone and many know the recipe by heart. Ghormeh means fried with an old-fashioned Persian method and sabzi means herbs. Herbs are the base of khoresh (stew) ghormeh sabzi which is sauteed in some oil and then mixed with other ingredients cooked over medium heat to perfection, then served with Persian style rice (kateh or chelow).

Like having fresh bread in the morning, having ghormeh sabzi – Persian herb stew on Fridays has been a ritual in our family for generations, just like a Sunday pot roast or a Friday night pizza. In Iran, Friday is the last day of the week on which people don’t work and usually stay home. We always had ghormeh sabzi on Fridays because the best part of having ghormeh sabzi is actually being hypnotized by its aroma while it’s simmering to perfection for hours.


Gheymeh (Yellow Split Peas Stew)

The word Gheymeh, literally refers to any meat that is cut into cubes, that is why some people call any stew with cubed meat inside it as Gheymeh. There are various types of this stew in Iran, but this recipe is for the classic Gheymeh, that is garnished with french fries and served with white rice. Also, in some religious occasions such as Ashoora, some people prepare it in big amounts and distribute it for free among people as a vow (Nazri).


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