The richness of the Persian culture is truly spectacular to experience. 58% of the people speaking Farsi. If you can’t study their language, you can always study their cuisine. That said, should you get the chance to be in Iran, we have a list of classic Persian dishes you have to try for yourself. You may even learn to make them yourselves and store them using solar refrigerators.
Ready your tummies and the rest of your senses, because here are the top 20 Persian foods you have to try when in Iran.
1. Chelo Kebab Koobideh
Characterized as minced meat on a skewer then grilled, it may be made from beef or lamb “slammed” or smashed with a mallet. This is best marinated overnight in a solar refrigerator
2. Shishlik Kebab
Also known as lamb chops, this kebab has its meat sliced into cubes then grilled and prepared as a dish.
3. Bonab Kababi
This kebab is made with salted and spiced ground mutton and is named after Bonab City in the Azerbaijan region.
4. Chenjeh Kabab
This kebab is made with lamb chunks marinated with saffron and other spices. This is usually grilled with tomatoes, pita, or rice.
5. Bakhtiari Kebab
This kebab is named after a Lur tribe in the country and is served as a traditional grilled dish of marinated lamb meat and filleted chicken. This pairs best with local bread, rice, or sourdough.
Stews and Soup
6. Khoresh e karafs
Known as a Persian-style celery soup with lamb meat, this stew doesn’t take too long to prepare. It is also mixed in with spices and herbs, and a few drops of lemon for a tangy flavor.
7. Khoresh e bademjan
This stew is made with spiced tomatoes, verjuice, saffron, and eggplant mixed in with some beef or lamb. It can be prepared without meat, and you can put in some dried limes for extra flavor.
8. Khoresh e qarch
Commonly called mushroom stew, this dish includes mushrooms, but may also come with lamb, chicken, or beef, spiced with turmeric and saffron. It may also come with beans, pomegranates, peas, and walnuts.
9. Khoresh e fesenjan
Another stew that comes with pomegranate and walnuts, this dish is usually topped into the rice and is considered one of the best Iranian superfoods you can store in solar refrigerators.
10. Baqala qatoq
With its origins from the northern province of Gilan, this traditional dish is a mix of fava bean, eggs, and dill best served with yogurt and white rice. It is one of the healthier options in Iranian cuisine.
11. Ash reshteh
This thick noodle soup may also contain leafy greens and beans, but it is generally defined by two traditional Persian ingredients: kashk and reshteh.
12. Aush jushpare
This staple soup in Iran has earned a comfort food status in Persian cuisine. It also has Chinese influences to it and is commonly served in provinces, namely Khorasan, Sabzevar, and Gonabad.
Polow and Dami
13. Sabzi Polow
Iran is known to serve rice as their staple, and this dish is made with steamed Basmati rice mixed with herbs like parsley, dill, chives, scallions, cilantro, and kosher salt.
14. Lubia Polow
Also called green bean rice, this Persian rice dish may include tomato sauce, curry spices, and ground beef. When eaten on its own, it can be classified as Persian comfort food.
15. Albalu Polow
In contrast to the usual staple rice dishes, this Persian mix of rice, cherries, koobideh, and chicken is considered a side dish. It can also be paired with stews or kebabs.
16. Shirin Polow
Also referred to as Rosh Hashanah or Persian wedding rice, this dish is traditionally served during special occasions. It has a distinct sweet and herby taste and generally has a festive look to it.
This Persian take on saffron rice is a mix of Basmati rice, rose water, eggs, butter, and Greek yogurt, which will then be made into little cakes. It is usually served as an appetizer.
A savory dish made from sheep innards like the liver, kidneys, and heart, this traditional Persian appetizer easily stays fresh with the help of solar refrigerators.
19. Salad Shirazi
A healthy appetizer option, this dish originated from the southern province of Shirazi and has become the classic Persian vegetable salad to start every course.
This breakfast appetizer of spinach and eggs is a dish easy to make but incredibly delicious, making it a common choice for morning meals or quick morning snacks in Iran.
Given that each of these dishes may reflect the culture of Iran, we hope that you get to try these out when you do visit the country. This way, you get a holistic Persian experience worthy of note.