As might be expected from Iran’s geographical situation, its food reaches a midpoint between Greek and Indian preparations. It is more varied than Greek food, and less spicy and more subtle than Indian food with a greater use of fresh ingredients.

Iranians have a healthy diet centered on fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat (usually lamb or chicken) is used as a condiment rather than the centerpiece of a meal. Rice and breads with whole grains or semi-washed cereals are starch clumps. The main drink is black tea. You can’t miss tea at the end of every meal. Delicious! The only food prohibited in the Iranian diet is pork.

Iranian cuisine includes a wide range of main dishes, including various types of kebab, pilaf, stew (khoresh), soup (āsh) and omelet. Lunch and dinner meals are usually served with plain yoghurt or masto-o-khiar, sabzi, Shirazi salad and torshi.

Polo or Cholo ( Decorated Rice)

In Iranian cuisine, rice can be prepared simply with butter and saffron, known as chelo. But just as often, it’s cooked with other ingredients and called polo. Polo can be made with herbs, vegetables, beans, nuts, dried fruits, meat and even pasta, and acts as the centerpiece of the meal. Preparation of poles (rice) most common are:

Baghali Polo(Rice with Dill and Beans)

This polo is particularly good in spring, when the beans are young and soft and the dill is in season. The dish is topped with green dill and broad beans, and is often cooked with very tender pieces of lamb. Alternatively, it can be served alongside lamb on the bone (called Cholo Mahicheh). The rice should have a mild, rough taste, with Iranian saffron mixed into the rice just before serving.

Zereshk Polo (Rice with Zereshk (Barberry))

Iranians love sour herbs. Like cranberries, barberries have a vibrant red color, but they’re even more sour. This classic rice dish is filled with red berries, which are dried and then rehydrated before cooking.

Javaher Polo 

Made with brightly colored dried fruits and nuts like little gems, this is a sweet and savory dish that showcases some of Iran’s native ingredients including pistachios, almonds, candied orange peel, Barberries, carrots and saffron. It is cooked with a little sugar to balance the acidity of the barberries.


Kebabs have more variety than you think. The most famous is koobideh, prepared with minced meat seasoned with minced onion, salt and pepper. Kebab-e barg, made with thinly sliced lamb or beef, with lemon juice, onion, saffron and butter. Chicken kebab, known as joojeh, is traditionally made from chicken marinated in lemon and onion, with a little saffron and butter.


Joojeh Kebab

Kebab Barg


Bonab Kebab



This stew is an essential dish on the menu at Persian weddings. Chicken or duck is prepared with Greek pomegranate paste, ground walnuts, and onions that are slowly simmered over low heat to make a thick sauce. Sometimes turmeric and cinnamon are added, and a pinch of sugar is added to balance the acid.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Made from herbs, beans and bits of meat, deep green soap satisfies two Persian flavor obsessions: it’s bitter and full of herbs. The stew is seasoned with dried limes, Limoo Omani in Persian and these limes are extra-intense and sour, with a bittersweet taste that gives the stew a unique flavor. Other herbs include parsley, cilantro and onions. This stew looks like a pocco with Feijuado.


Kashk and Bademjan

It is one of the most popular Persian appetizers and its main ingredients are eggplants and kashk (very firm and tense yoghurt). This appetizer can be eaten hot or at room temperature with bread. Adding ground walnuts and fried onions makes this appetizer amazing.

Ash-e Reshteh

A richly textured soup filled with noodles, beans, herbs and leafy greens like spinach and beetroot. It’s topped with spearmint oil, crispy fried onions and rough kashk, a fermented whey product that tastes like sour yogurt.

Koofteh Tabrizi

Mirza Ghasemi

A great Persian dish of roasted and tender eggplant with tomato and garlic sauce, with eggs prepared at the last minute. Ideal as part of a starter meal.


Rice prepared with a mixture of eggs, yogurt and saffron. Fried in the bottom of the pan and covered with rice. It has a delicate flavor like basmati rice. At family gatherings, several dishes are served, and there is always plenty of food left over, but tahdig, this is never left over.


In fact, this is the name of the small stone dishes used for preparing food, traditional restaurants still use these dishes. Dizi or Abgoosht are usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, saffron and dried lime. Fresh vegetables and sliced onions are the best accompaniments for this dish as they aid in easy digestion . Iranians usually consume a drink with this dish, the Doogh (made with yogurt, salt and dried herbs)