Iranians are known for their delicious food and welcoming hospitality. These are the dishes you have to order while in Iran, or try if you are lucky enough to be invited for a home cooked dinner!
1. Shashlik Kebab
This is a real delicacy, often the most expensive item on the menu, but worth the money. It comprises of succulent lamb chops, often served with bread, pickles and garnish. You can also order Mast, which is a type of thick yoghurt to be eaten with the kebab. Shandiz Garden Restaurant in Tehran is the go to place for Shaslik Kebab, known for its unlimited servings.
2. Ghormeh Sabzi
This is the Iranian national dish, known as Iranian herb stew. Ghormeh is the Persian word for stew, and Sabzi is the Persian word for ‘greens’. This is a delicious dish, often served with lamb, and can be eaten with either bread or rice. This is an important dish for Iranian people, and is traditionally served to family member’s after they have been away for a long time.
3. Zeresk Polo Ba Morgh
My personal favourite; it’s crispy roast chicken served with rice mixed with sweet butter and Zeresk (a small dried, red berry.)
To make it extra special part of the rice can also be flavoured with saffron and cooked to make a tadeek. Tadeek is a Persian speciality where they intentionally burn the bottom of the rice a little to make it crispy and slightly chewy. A very delicious and simple dish.
Abgoosht, also known as Dizi, is an interesting dish, that comes in a boiling clay pot filled with whole potatoes, chickpeas and pieces of lamb. Traditionally you pour out the liquid in a separate dish, and drink it with flatbread crotons.
Then you use the metal masher, to smash the remaining ingredients together in the clay pot to make a stew type consistency and then enjoy.
Best eaten in the outdoor restaurants on Darband Mountain, North Tehran. On the walk up the mountain there are numerous restaurants where you can sit on Persian rugs next to waterfalls and relax, eat and smoke shisha pipes.
5. Bastani sonnati
This is Persian traditional ice cream, and it has a sweet, unique taste, and can become highly addicti ve! A truly delicious ice-cream made from Persian ingredients such as saffron, rose water and pistachios, mixed with the occasional frozen flake of clotted cream.
A delight at the end of any meal, or worth a trip to the specialised ice cream stalls in Tajrish Market, Tehran.
6. Bonus Item – Kale Pache!
An item only the bravest of you will try, this dish consists of a boiled sheeps head, including brains, cheeks, eyes, tongue, as well as hooves in a shallow bowl of broth. Traditionally eaten in the early hours of the morning, and to be found only in speciality Kale Pache restaurants which light up the streets from 3am to dawn.