People in different regions of Iran cook local and traditional Iran food based on their unique city culture and the suitable ingredients for their climate. Cooking Iranian dishes is usually not an easy task, and each person has a special way of preparing them. However, due to the deliciousness of Iranian cuisine, it has attracted the attention of many chefs worldwide. In this article, we’ll introduce some of the most popular Persian foods, desserts, and accompanying side dishes.
What is The Most Popular Persian Food?
To get to know the most famous Iran foods, we’ve put together an Iranian food list, categorized into stews, Polo(rice dishes), and various types of kebabs, which are three popular categories in Iran.
1. Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
Fesenjan is a traditional dish from northern Iran, prepared with ground walnuts, pomegranate paste, and sometimes pistachio powder. It’s commonly served with rice and can be sweet or savory, depending on the recipe. It’s one of the most popular Persian food.
2. Ghormeh Sabzi (Herb Stew)
Ghormeh Sabzi is a national Iranian dish enjoyed across the country. This Persian famous food includes a mixture of fragrant herbs, kidney beans, meat (usually beef or lamb), onions, and dried limes. It’s a healthy and delicious option.
Gheimeh is a popular dish with a long history, loved by Iranians and Iraqis. It’s made with split peas, fried onions, lamb or beef, dried limes, and potatoes. Various versions of Gheimeh exist, such as Gheimeh Nesar, Gheimeh Bademjan, and Gheimeh Morgh, each served with rice.
Baghali-Ghatogh is one of the oldest local dishes from Gilan and is prepared throughout Iran. Its main ingredients include dill, and lima beans, and often served with rice, fresh garlic, fish, and Ashpal.
Polo (Rice Dishes)
You can see a list of famous rice of Iranian people in the following parts:
5. Baghali Polo
Baghali Polo is a fancy and celebratory dish that doesn’t belong to a specific region in Iran. It’s almost like a go-to dish for various occasions all over Iran. The main ingredients are rice, lima beans, and dill, either fresh or dried. Typically, this Persian famous dish is served with either meat or chicken, and you can call it “Baghali Polo with Meat” or “Baghali Polo with Chicken”.
6. Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)
Zereshk Polo is a dish often served at ceremonies and special occasions. It consists of rice, barberries, and saffron, and can be paired with various types of meat like chicken, turkey, lamb, or even fish.
7. Sabzi Polo Mahi (Herb Rice with Fish)
Sabzi Polo Mahi is one of the most popular Persian foods, typically enjoyed during the Persian New Year. It’s made with rice and a combination of fragrant herbs like leek, cilantro, and dill, and it’s often served with white fish.
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Kabab (Grilled Meat):
8. Koobideh Kabab
Koobideh Kabab is one of Iran’s most famous foods, and the best quality is found in Gulpayegan. It’s made from ground meat (usually beef or lamb) mixed with spices and grilled on skewers. It’s often served with rice.
9. Joojeh Kabab (Chicken Kabab)
Joojeh Kabab is one of the most famous chicken dishes in Iran. It involves marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of lemon juice, saffron, yogurt, and various spices before grilling them.
10. Chelo Kabab-e Barg (Filet Mignon Kabab)
This Persian famous dish is made with tender, marinated filet mignon, often seasoned with saffron and served with plain rice or naan bread.
11. Kabab-e Torsh
Kabab-e Torsh is a dish commonly prepared in the northern regions of Iran, especially in Gilan province. In this type of kebab, chunks of veal are marinated with finely chopped onions, sour pomegranate juice, a small amount of pomegranate paste, powdered walnuts, local fragrant herbs from Gilan, black pepper, and salt. After the ingredients infuse the meat with flavor, the kebabs are grilled over charcoal with gentle heat.
11. Shishlik (Lamb Shish Kebab)
Shishlik is a specialty of eastern Iran, particularly Mashhad. This famous Persian dish is prepared by grilling marinated lamb chunks, resulting in a flavorful and succulent dish.
Iranian Famous Dishes
Biryani, a popular Persian meal, is one of the traditional dishes from Isfahan. This dish is prepared by combining lamb meat and white liver with special spices. It’s a delicious meal served with fresh yogurt and hot sangak bread.
13. Dizi (Abgoosht)
Dizi, or Abgoosht, is one of the most popular Persian foods and known for its slow-cooked combination of meat, vegetables, legumes, and spices. It’s served as a hearty soup and a mashed mixture of solid ingredients, typically accompanied by flatbread and fresh herbs, offering a unique and flavorful culinary experience.
14. Kashk o Bademjan (Eggplant and Whey)
Kashk o Bademjan is an authentic Iranian dish originating from cities in the north of Iran, Esfahan, Zanjan, and more. This popular Persian food is a delightful combination of eggplants, Kashk (a dairy product similar to whey), garlic, and onions, making it one of the most popular choices, often enjoyed as an appetizer.
15. Dolmeh Barg Mo (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
In Iran, you’ll find various versions of stuffed grape leaves, but one of the most beloved and famous is called Dolmeh Barg Mo. This famous Persian food is made by stuffing grape leaves with a mixture of ingredients such as meat, rice, lentils, herbs, and aromatic spices.
16. Mirza Ghasemi
Mirza Ghasemi is a local dish from Gilan province in Iran. It’s a delightful combination of eggplant, tomatoes, eggs, and garlic. This most popular Persian food has a unique and savory flavor that’s loved by many.
Delicious Iran Side Dishes
Here are the most popular Iran side foods:
Mast o Khiar (Yogurt and Cucumber)
Mast o Khiar is a classic Iranian side dish, prepared in unique ways throughout the country. It typically consists of chopped cucumbers mixed with yogurt. To enhance the flavor, dried mint, oregano, and rose petals are often added.
Zeytoon Parvardeh (Marinated Olives)
Zeytoon Parvardeh is a specialty of northern Iranian provinces. It involves marinating pitted olives in a special sauce made from ingredients like walnuts, pomegranate paste, ground peanuts, garlic, and local herbs.
Torshi Bandari (Southern Pickles)
Torshi Bandari is a spicy pickle commonly enjoyed in the southern regions of Iran. It’s made by pickling cucumbers, eggplants, carrots, cabbage, garlic, red and green chilies, and aromatic herbs, creating a fiery and flavorful condiment.
Shirazi Salad is known as the national salad of Iran and is often served alongside many Iranian dishes. The recipe for this famous Persian food is a mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions seasoned with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and dried mint for added flavor.
Here are some Iranian delicious desserts:
Khoresht Mast (Yogurt Stew)
Khoresh Mast is a dessert from Esfahan that’s adored by the locals. It involves cooking and mashing meat, then combining it with yogurt, saffron, and sugar. Some people also top it with crushed almonds and pistachios for extra richness.
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Shole Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)
Shole Zard is a sweet and traditional Iranian dessert and one of the most popular Persian food. It’s made by cooking rice and then mixing it with saffron, sugar, rosewater, and cardamom. This creamy treat is often served cold, and it’s a popular choice in various regions.
Firni (Persian Rice Pudding)
This dessert has roots in South Asian cuisine, especially India, but it has become a favorite in Iran. People in Esfahan, for example, typically enjoy Firni chilled and top it with grape syrup or dates for breakfast.
Faloodeh (Rosewater Sorbet)
Faloodeh is a cold summer dessert with a long history in Iran, dating back to the Qajar era. It’s made from ingredients like sugar, rosewater, vermicelli noodles, and cornstarch. It’s a refreshing way to beat the heat during the scorching Iranian summers.
Saffron Traditional Ice Cream
This summery treat named Bastani Sonnati is a nostalgic favorite in Iran, dating back to the Qajar era. To make this ice cream, ingredients like milk, egg yolks, saffron, rosewater, sugar, vanilla, cream, and pistachios are used.
Masghati is one of the Iranian sweet delicacies often enjoyed as a dessert. It’s considered one of the easier Iranian desserts to make and is known in cities like Lar, Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, Sirjan, and Kazeroon as a traditional treat. The main ingredients for this sweet include starch, sugar, rosewater, cardamom, oil, and saffron.
FAQ for The List Of Iran Foods
- what is the most popular food in Iran?
One of the most popular Persian foods is “Chelo kebab,” which typically consists of skewered and grilled meat, served with saffron-infused rice. It’s a beloved and iconic dish in Iranian cuisine.