Iranian cuisine is rich in vegetables, rice, dried fruit, yogurt, meat stews, and some spices. Although it is quite similar to Mediterranean cooking, it is very varied and it is difficult to really know what to eat in Iran. Below we will explain some of the typical Iranian dishes that you have to try.
The Ottoman Empire spread the dolma to various European countries. Dolma is a Turkish word that means “to fill” and describes the shape of this delicious dish well. It is made with vegetables such as tomato, pepper, aubergine or onion from which they remove the flesh to fill them with cereals, dried fruits, rice, meat, spices, and herbs. Lemon juice is often used so its acidity intensifies the flavor of the other ingredients. Dolmas with meat is served hot and with a yogurt sauce and the vegetarian ones are eaten luke warm accompanied by a meze or light aperitif.
If you don’t know what to eat in Iran, this is one of the dishes you can’t miss out on trying. Its main ingredient is aubergine made with nuts, onion, garlic, tomato paste, mint and kashk. Kashk is yoghurt which is very typical of Persian and Turkish cuisine which is characterized by its bitter taste. It is eaten as a starter and is one of the most popular typical Iranian dishes.
Abgusht o Dizi
This dish could be the equivalent to the Spanish stew and is something to eat in Iran no matter what during your visit to the country. In this version, the diner is the main player in its preparation. To eat the dizi in Iran, you have to follow the steps below:Firstly, you have to cut up the bread and place it into an empty container that will be brought together with the casserole. Take the casserole and pour a bit of the stock onto the bread until it is soaked through, trying not to let the other ingredients spill out. In this step, you should make sure not to get burned because the stew has just been taken off the heat. Next, take the dizi and crush the potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, and meat with a mallet until it is well shredded. Finally, put everything to the boil with the bread and the stock, stirring it a little so that everything is well soaked. Now it's ready to eat.
Another typical hearty stew from Iranian cuisine and very common in any home. It is a simple dish but very complete which is made with noodles, various types of pulses, spinach, onion, yogurt, oil, and mint.
Fesenyán is also one of the typical Iranian dishes, which consists of a meat stew which can be chicken or duck with one of the star ingredients of Persian cuisine which are pomegranate. An exquisite sauce is made with this fruit which creates a contrast of flavor with its subtle acid touch. It is usually accompanied by a portion of rice and some dried fruits.
These are some of the traditional Iranian dishes that you can enjoy in Iran. However, this is a country which, as in many other Mediterranean regions, fills its streets with street stalls that foreign visitors usually love.
They are skewers of grilled sweetcorn, seasoned and served with a bit of fresh bread, fresh vegetables or beef liver. Balal is particularly typical during the corn harvest time and for the whole season, you can find balal sellers everywhere. It is a delicious snack that is eaten with a bit of lemon juice to boost the barbecue flavor.
There is also a variant which consists of corn with mushrooms accompanied by a sauce which is similar to mayonnaise.
You can’t miss out on a kebab which is a star product and is one of the most popular typical Iranian dishes in Spain. The establishments where they are served are called kabadis and they are on every street corner. Depending on the area, the kebab is made differently. The typical ones from Iranian cooking are those with boiled rice and lamb or roast chicken. If you move towards the Caspian sea, the tastiest are Sturgeon kebabs and in the region of Tabriz, they are made of lamb with green pepper and tomatoes. In general, they are accompanied by beetroot, grated carrot, raw onion, mint, and parsley.
In terms of desserts, the most typical are gosh-e fil, an ear-shaped dough made with dried fruit or baklava of Turkish origin, which is a filo pastry of dried fruit and honey. Sohan is also traditional and is a cake made from flour, butter, rose water, saffron, sugar and dried fruit with a shiny caramel on top. Finally, mentioning the popular halva, a type of Persian turron made from butter, flour, and sugar.
Now you know the most typical dishes to eat in Iran, which will help you to have a unique experience on your trip to the Asian country.