Iran’s regional Cuisine
Eating is one of the main needs of every person, but it is also considered as one of the most enjoyable parts of travel. Today, food tourism has become one of the popular tourism styles and many people are interested in tasting new cuisines.
Wherever you travel in Iran, there are numerous tribes that have delicious traditional cuisine due to their different lifestyles, nature and cultures. Among the thousands of local and traditional foods in Persian Cuisine, several dishes are more popular than others because of their excellent taste; some are even well known in foreign countries.
If you ask foreign visitors about the characteristics of Iran, most of them are very satisfied with Iranian food and describe the taste of all kinds of Iranian kebabs, pilafs, soups and pastries. Basically, Iranians are gastronome and each region of Iran has its own delicious traditional cuisine which is not only food, but also the geographical, economic and social conditions of the region. In this article, we introduce some traditional foods of some provinces of the country.
Gilan Region Cuisine
Gilan region of Iran is a leader in delicious Iranian food. Gilani dishes have a wonderful taste. The types of vegetables and flavorings that exist in Gilan are the main reason for the good taste of Gilani food. The variety of Gilani dishes is very large. Here are just some examples:
Baghala Ghatogh or Baghali Khoresh is one of the healthiest and most delicious dishes of Rasht city, Gilan, Iran. A special type of fava bean that is grown in Gilan is used to prepare this dish. Other ingredients used to make this dish include garlic, eggs and dill. Some Gilanis serve this dish with rice as a main dish and others as an appetizer.
Another popular dish of Gilan province is Mirza Ghasemi which is sometimes served as a snack or appetizer. Eggplant, eggs, plenty of garlic, onion and tomatoes are some of the ingredients used in Mirza Ghasemi’s recipe. Mirza Ghasemi’s eggplant is often grilled.
Left: Baghala Ghatogh with Rice | Right: Mirza Ghasemi| Gilan Cuisine, Iran
To prepare this stuffed fish, the fish is first marinated in lemon juice, medlar paste for a few hours. Then they fill the inside of the fish with a mixture of ground walnuts, fragrant vegetables, onions, spices, pomegranate paste and caraway and put it in the oven. Stuffed fish is known in different parts of the province by different names such as Longi Mahi or Mahi Foige.
Torshi Tareh is also a very tasty Gilani food. Taste this dish and feel the taste of all kinds of fragrant vegetables. Abundant Narenj juice (Bitter Orange) or verjuice gives this food a pleasant sour taste. Eggs, cinnamon and garlic are other ingredients used to make Torshi Tareh.
Aloo Mosama | Gilani Plum Stew
In many cities in Iran, plum stew is made, off course, in the region’s own style. But plum stew of Gilan is something else! This delicious and tasty dkish is cooked with plums, chicken, sugar and saffron.
Left: Anarbij Stew with Rice | Right: Torshi Tareh Stew | Gilan Cuisine, Iran
Anarbij is another traditional dishes of Gilan that is very similar to Fosanjan stew. The difference is that a variety of delicious vegetables have also been used in Anarbij. Some make Fesanjan stew sweet, some sour and some smooth. But Anarbij is much sour with pomegranate paste or juice.
Mazandaran Region Cuisine
People of Mazandaran, like the neighbor Gilanis, are famous for variety of delicious dishes. Although many of these recipes are common in both provinces, some of them are specifically considered to belong to Mazandaran or Gilan. Food diversity is also high in Mazandaran. Here are just a few of their delicious dishes.
Stuffed chicken is made in many cities in Iran, but it’s originally from Mazandaran. The inside of the chicken is emptied and cleaned, then stuffed with a series of ingredients such as a variety of vegetables, fried onions, walnuts, barberry, dried apricots, plums and bitter orange juice. Apart from chicken, Mazandaranis also cook tasty stuffed ducks.
Mazandarani locals, like Gilani people, cook a lot of sour dishes. Nardon Stew is one of these sour and delicious foods. To prepare this dish, chicken gets fried then cooked in pomegranate juice and seeds, with fried onion, a bit of sugar and special local spices. Nardoon stew is served with high quality Iranian rice and Saffron.
Left: Stuffed Chicken | Right: Nardoon Stew | Mazandaran Cuisine, Iran
Kadoo Bareh is a healthy and delicious traditional food. Zucchini (Courgette) and potatoes are the main ingredients used in the preparation of squash. Tomatoes, eggs, garlic and onions are also added to the dish. If Kadoo Bareh is made with fresh courgettes, it would taste great.
Vavishka (Bij Bij)
Locals call this food Vavishka, but in Tehran and some other regions it is known as Bij Bij. Vavishka is one of the healthy dishes of Iran and if you want to experience an attractive taste of Mazandaran food and at the same time you are tired of Kababs and Chickens, Vavishka can be the best choice for you. The main ingredients of this Mazandaran food include minced meat (beef), onion, tomato, potato, turmeric, salt and pepper, which together will create a delicious meal in 30 to 40 minutes. Good to know that Wavishka is usually served with rice, but you can also have it with bread.
Left: Kadoo Bareh | Right: Vavishka | Caspian Region Cuisine, Iran
Shiraz Famous Foods
One of the main tourist attractions of Shiraz is its foods and sweets. Shiraz offers numerous sightseeing but the traditional dishes of this city also can be an option for being familiar with Iranian traditions and customs. If you travel to Shiraz or other cities in Fars province, be sure to try the special dishes of this region. Shiraz has many different kinds of local dishes that you shouldn’t miss.
It’s hard to believe how much Shirazi people are professional in cocking different colorful polows! Polow means Persian rice mixed with other ingredients such as herbs and meat or chicken.
Here is a list of some of the best foods of Shiraz:
The most famous dish of Shiraz is Kalam polow (cabbage pilaf), which of course is different from a dish with the same name cooked in other cities of Iran. Apart from cabbage, fragrant vegetables, meat and spices are used in the preparation of this food. Be sure to eat Shirazi Kalam Polow salad to enjoy its taste more.
Aush-e-Sabzi (vegetable soup)
Shiraz has many different kinds of Aush. Aush, ash, aash, or āsh, is a thick vegetable soup which is also found in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Caucasian, and Turkish cuisine. In Iran there are different types of Aush that are common in the whole country, but the Shirazi Aush-e-Sabzi is unique to Fars province and is a breakfast meal. You can find many food shops that sell Aush-e- Sabzi. It’s interesting to know that Shirazi people eat Ash for breakfast.
Koofteh Shirazi (Koofte hulu)
Koofteh or Kofta is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes. Koofteh Shirazi locally known as Kofta Hulu is one of the traditional dishes of Shiraz and is prepared in such a way that the minced meat is grated with chickpea flour, eggs and onions and mixed with turmeric and salt and kneaded well. Then they chop two large onions, fry them and finally pour the raisins on it and fry a little. sometimes they add Pomegranate paste. This food is like a meatball containing all above-mentioned ingredients. Don’t forget to taste this delicious food during your trip to Shiraz!
Left: Kalam Polow | Middle: Aush -e-Sabzi | Right: Koofteh Hulu | Shiraz, Iran
Isfahan food & cuisine
Isfahan is a vast province in central Iran that has a wide variety of food. Therefore, in traveling to this city and after seeing the attractions of Isfahan, an important part of your trip can be a trip to the colorful world of food. Isfahan has a unique variety of traditional dishes, many of which are cooked with healthy and nutritious ingredients. Therefore, traditional foods of Isfahan, in addition to good taste, also have a high nutritional value.
Dairy products play an important role in Isfahani cuisine, and if you are not very interested in eating rice with your food, it is better to know that the people of Isfahan have unique skills in cooking dishes that are served without rice, and in this regard, Isfahani cuisine can be a completely different style of cooking. Be Iran. In this article, we will visit Isfahan province and get acquainted with the delicious food of this city.
The most famous food of Isfahan is Beryani which is served in restaurants and also can be prepared at home. Beryani is a combination of minced meats, and a variety of spices. It is a round and hamburger – like meat served with some broth in a separated bowl that you can put bread in. This broth is obtained by cooking Beryani compounds in water. It is good to know that Beryani is not only the most popular food among Isfahani people, but it has also been able attract attention of tourists who travel to this city. Therefore, if you have never experienced this authentic Isfahani food, it is better to go to one of famous Beryani places of Isfahan and get familiar to its taste. Undoubtedly, traveling to Isfahan without tasting this traditional Isfahani food makes no sense.
Left: Beryani of Isfahan | Right: Khoresh Mast
A dessert that is very popular among Isfahani people; to prepare this dessert, the meat is cooked, beaten, and then combined with thick yogurt, saffron and sugar. This dessert is decorated with chopped almonds and pistachios. Of course, yogurt stew can be used as a main dish because it has nutritious and rich ingredients. Another thing about this yoghurt stew is that it tastes different from other stews; it is sweet.
Khuzestan food & cuisine
The prosperity of fishing, various plants and spices, and of course good taste, are the factors that make Khuzestanis also have delicious food. If you travel to Khuzestan province, enjoy their food.
Ghalieh Mahi – Fish stew
Ghalieh Mahi fish stew is one of the most famous traditional dishes in almost every region in south Iran. Different species of boneless fish are used to prepare this dish. Onions and aromatic vegetables are the most important ingredients for this stew and also tamarind to give a smooth sour taste.
Left: Ghaleh Mahi| Right: Felafel
Samosseh is also one of the famous dishes of Khuzestan. To make Sambouseh, a mixture of minced meat, potato, vegetables, garlic, pepper is wrapped in lavash bread then fried in hot oil. Samosas are usually eaten with hot sauce.
Felafel of Ahvaz and Abadan are very well known in Iran. Mashed cooked chickpeas, spices and eggs are the main ingredients in the preparation of falafel. The mixture is fried in oil and placed in bread like a sandwich. If you want to try felafel in Ahvaz, visit Lashkar-abad Street of Ahvaz in the evening.
Azerbaijan Regional Cuisine
The variety and quantity of tourist attractions of the Azerbaijan region in Iran, show us the rich and long history of this region. But these are not the only attractions that reflect the civilization of Azerbaijan; the traditional cuisine of the region also plays an important role in showcasing its culture. Azerbaijan is the cradle of delicious food – A cuisine that is enough diverse to satisfy all tastes.
Kufteh Tabrizi is one of the famous dishes of Iran. This globally famous meatball-like dish is attributed to the city of Tabriz. The different types of Kufteh are prepared in different parts of the Middle East, and the difference between most of them is more in the way of preparation and the ingredients.
In Kufteh Tabrizi, a variety of aromatic vegetables are used and traditionally, the meat of this meatball is beaten in a stone mortar and vegetables and split peas are added to it. The main ingredients of Tabrizi meatballs are lamb, split peas and vegetables that are mixed together, rounded and cooked in a special sauce. Occasionally, a boiled egg, barberry and plum are placed in the middle of the meatballs.
Dolma- Stuffed Grape Leaves
Dolma is one of the most popular and famous Iranian dishes within “Stuffed dishes family”. Some types of dolma are made with whole vegetables, fruit, offal or seafood, while others are made by wrapping leaves, most commonly grape or cabbage leaves, around the filling.
The special dolma of Azerbaijan region is made by wrapping grape leaves. It can be served warm or cold, as a main course dish or as an appetizer in ceremonial gatherings.