It is truly believed that Hormozgan’s local foods are the main motivators behind its’ tourism boom in recent years. The largest and most recreational islands in the country, Kish and Qeshm islands were shopping center for marketers dating ancient times. For several years, they have been tourist destinations hosting many tourists from different parts of the world throughout the year. The local cuisine of these areas, apart from tourism industry, is the main motivating factor for tourists to travel to Hormozgan. Missing local cuisine in these islands is a big loss.

Of course, Colomba is one of those dishes that you should try at the local people’s house.

Colomba (salted fish haleem): Hormozgan and Bandar Abbas local food

Colomba also called salted fish haleem, is a very delicious popular local dish in Hormozgan province. It is cooked like other Iranian haleems but with fish. We recommend to try this delicious nutritious food once at least and enjoy it.

Put the pre-soaked rolled wheat in a pot of boiling water, then boil the fish in salt water and turmeric, remove the bones and mix it with herbs (chopped coriander and dill). When the boiling wheat became thick, add fish and herbs to it to boil a little together and become thicker. When using a large fish, it should be sautéed in hot oil with a little chopped herbs to remove the smell of the fish.

Colomba Recipe

Wheat (rolled): two cups

Fish: one cup

Chopped herbs (coriander and dill): half a cup

Chopped garlic: 3 to 4 pcs

Hot green pepper: 2 pcs

Chopped onion: 2 pcs

Spices including pepper, turmeric and salt: As needed

Water: As needed

Salted fish haleem (Colomba) Recipe

First step

First, boil water in a pot on medium heat; Then add rolled wheat to become completely soft, then turn off the heat and set it aside.

Second step

At this step, boil the washed, gutted fish with a little spice (pepper, turmeric and salt) on mild heat. After boiling the fish, remove the bones and set it aside.

Third step

In this step, sauté the onion, garlic and herbs (chopped coriander and dill) in hot oil with a little spice, then add the boiled fish to the ingredients. Here you can add a chopped hot green pepper to the ingredients if you like. The ingredients should be sautéed well.

Fourth step

At the final step, mixed all the sautéed ingredients with the fully softened wheat and let mix together on low heat so the wheat takes the herbs’ flavor. Colomba is ready now and you can serve it with a few basil and parsley leaves and enjoy.

Important notes for preparing Colomba
  • The fish-wheat ratio should be two to one.
  • The wheat should not be on high heat as it may burn.
  • This food is usually served with fresh lemon and hot pepper sauce.  
  • Colomba is served with animal oil made in Qeshm.