Iranian cuisine could just as well be (and often is) referred to as Persian cuisine. Modern day Iran was formerly Persia, and the authentic foods from millennia of tradition are still primarily what Iranian Cuisine consists of today.
Iran is of course influenced by Asian cuisine, since it is part of the greater Asian continent. However, nowadays the several countries that are in the further Western region of Asia are considered “Middle Eastern” – and that includes Iran.
With its diverse population, Iranian cuisine had developed over the centuries a style that is unique to Iran. Even so, the neighboring Middle Eastern countries have had their significant influence on its culinary style and foods. Most notably these influences have come from the cuisines of Turkey, the Kurds, Mesopotamia, Greece, Central Asia, and Azerbaijan. In recent times, Iranian cuisine has also been influenced by Caucasian and Russian cuisines as well.
Iranian cuisine features lots of fruits, such as raisins, apricots, quince, plums and pomegranates. These fruits are typically seasoned with fresh green herbs. Persian dishes are noted for their balanced taste, achieved by the use of flavorings of dried lime, cinnamon, parsley and saffron. These flavors are exquisitely balanced in many special dishes. A typical Iranian/Persian main course dish will consist of meat, such as chicken or lamb, or seafood, with rice, vegetables, onions, and array of herbs, and often nuts.
Iranian cuisine boasts a wide variety of offerings, with dishes like “Koresh” – which is a stew traditionally served with Iranian white rice, and the national dish “Chelow kabab” – seasoned lamb meat grilled on skewers. The Persian meals of Gormeh Sabzi (herb stew) and Koofteh Berenji (rice/peas/meatballs stuffed with fruits and nuts) are also among distinctive national favorite dishes. Other notable dishes include “Ash” – a very thick soup, “Kuku” – a vegetable soufflé, and “Polo”, which is white rice served either by itself or (more often) with the accompaniment of vegetables, herbs, and meat.
Iranian cuisine also includes a broad array of pastries and salads, as well as a plethora of drinks – which are specific to different regions of the country. Also very prevalent in the Iranian culinary tradition is an extensive list of delicious recipes for appetizers and desserts.
Below is a list of Iranian dishes. For your convenience, each one is hyperlinked to take you to a print-friendly page with just that recipe on it. Go now, and enjoy your adventure into the rich, traditional, and delicious world of …
Chelow Kabab (Seasoned ground lamb grilled on skewers)
Gormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb and Meat Stew)
Koofteh Berenji (Persian Meatballs with lamb, rice, split peas and herbs)
Tabbouleh (Cold salad with parsley, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bulgar, citrus and herbs)
(Note: come back soon and often – this is a new page here on Ethnic Foods R Us, and lots more recipes will be added!)
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