For anyone who’s a food-lover, travelling through Iran is like entering culinary paradise. Therefore, we’ve asked New Zealander and longtime Iranian resident Carmen Aim to list the 10 must-try dishes when on a holiday to Iran. This is the list of Iranian food she provided us with:
by Carmen Aim
What better way to begin your journey than with a bowl of thick ash, a type of Iranian soup. One of the most delicious is ash-e reshteh (noodle soup). Black-eyed beans, chickpeas, lentils, herbs, chicken, noodles, and whey make up this hearty dish.
Try rich fesanjan stew, a mixture of pomegranate paste, walnut oil, chicken or meat. When you’re visiting Yazd on our our Best of Iran holiday, look out for camel fesanjan.
3. DOLMEH BADEMJAN
Order dolmeh bademjan, eggplant filled with rice, minced meat, split peas, and Persian spice blend.
4. LARI KEBAB
When in Shiraz don’t miss Lari kebab, the lamb flavoursome with yoghurt marinade.
How about gheimeh stew – split peas, diced meat, and hot chips (fries), with the tang of dried lemon. When eggplant is added, this Iranian dish is called gheimeh bademjan.
6. KOFTEH TABRIZI
Taste kofteh Tabrizi, a large savoury, herby meatball stuffed with dried plum and egg, pictured in the middle.
Sturgeon (caviar fish) from the Caspian Sea is Iran’s most delicious fish, and much less pricy than caviar!
8. KASHK-E BADEMJAN
Add to your meal with kashk-e bademjan – a smooth eggplant, whey (kashk), and mint delight.
9. ZEITOON PARVARDEH
Zeitoon parvardeh is another appealing appetizer that Iranian food has to offer. Team this tangy treat (available in supermarket delicatessens) of olives, walnuts, and pomegranate paste with a roast chicken and salad picnic. Perfection!
How could your holiday to Iran be complete without sampling traditional bastani (ice cream)? Check out Hajj Ali’s, Dampezeshki Street, south Tehran, for superior saffron and cream ice cream.
To taste Iran’s unique cuisine at its best, accept an invitation to an Iranian home. It will be a highlight of your journey. But no matter where you eat, as Iranians say, “noosh-e joon”. Eat with enjoyment!
Please note that dishes from one region may be found outside their home areas, particularly in Tehran.
Has this mouthwatering must-try Iranian food made you want to visit Iran and try the dishes for yourself? World Expeditions has more than five active holidays to Iran that depart year round including a trekking holiday to Mount Damavand.
Carmen Aim is a New Zealander who has lived in Iran for 11 years. She writes novels of history and adventure.