Until a few years ago, anyone who intend to travel, went to the “North” or to the “North”! The first north means Mazandaran and Gilan provinces, and the second north means Mashhad, Tehran, Isfahan and Tabriz. In short, any trips ended up in the northern half of the country. But fortunately, with trip and tourism culture boom in Iran, people have been trying travelling all over Iran. South of Iran especially Hormozgan province is one of popular destinations, and also full of potentials. A vast province with a high variety of natural landscapes and extraordinary cultural rituals, beautiful colorful costumes and of course, unique local and traditional foods. Foods in which you can see the traces of Hormozgan geographical location and its vicinity to the Persian Gulf.

Today, we would like to introduce you one of the popular southern dishes with Bandar Abbasi origins. Foods that you will probably think of buying a train ticket and traveling to Bandar Abbas to taste after reading this article.

Howari, also called Howori among Hormozgan locals, is a very delicious local dish and is one the motivators to a trip to Bandar Abbas. This food is very popular among the south people and is cooked in different regions, although it is originated to Hormozgan, especially Bandar Abbas. Howari is cooked both with fish and shrimp and is called fish Howari or shrimp Howari.

In fact, Howari is a pilaf mixed with herbs, fish (or shrimp), garlic, golden onions and spices. Sometimes, they add tomato paste or saffron while cooking which affects the color and smell.

Fish for Howari

All kinds of fish can be used to cook fish Howari but the most common one is longtail tuna. Longtail tuna is a types of fish used to produce canned tuna; and so it is also called tuna fish. This fish has few bones and so it is popular among the seafood fans. Longtail tuna has chocolate colored meat and it kind of have a bloody flesh. Longtail tuna has a high nutritional value and is rich in protein, selenium, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.

Howari or fish pilaf is one of the traditional dishes of Hormozgan and it is more popular in Bandar Abbas. Various spices, southern herbs, coriander, dill, fenugreek, fish and rice are the ingredients of this mixed nutritious pilaf. Although, you can use all kinds of fish and even shrimp in Howari but interestingly longtail tuna gives a more pleasant taste to this delectable dish.

Recipe of fish Howari from Hormozgan province

In the following, we will have the recipe of this delicious dish.

Ingredients (for 3 people)

Rice: 3 cups

Longtail tuna: 150 grams

Garlic: 2-3 cloves

Salt, red pepper, turmeric and spices: as needed

Water: 6 cups

Diced medium onion: 1pc

Butter or oil: 50 grams

Recipe of fish Howari from Hormozgan province
This delicious dish is prepared in three steps as the following:

1-First step:

Soak the rice in advance. Heat some oil in the pot on mild heat and add diced onion to be golden. Dice the garlics in small cubes and add it with turmeric to the onion. Stir a bit.

2-Second step:

Add the fish, pepper and spices. Heat the fish with onions to become dehydrated.

Heat water and salt in a pot until it boils. After a while, add the rice. When the water comes to the rice level, turn the rice upside down with a spatula and add a little melted butter on the rice.

3-Third step:

Reduce the heat. Put a heat diffuser under, and a layer of fabric on top of the pot. After 30 to 40 minutes the pilaf is ready. Enjoy!

Important Notes:
  1. If you wish, you can add a cup of chopped cilantro or dill and a cup of cowpeas or lentils to Howari.
  2. In this food you can use shrimp instead of fish.
  3. It is better to marinate the fish or shrimp in advance.
  4. If longtail tuna wan not available, you can use other fish.
  5. At the end you can sprinkle some cumin on the rice.
  6. Don’t be surprised if the color turns yellow, because the main spice of this dish is turmeric.

Trying the local cuisine of each region is one of the most interesting things we can do in our trips. Knowing the traditional foods of each city can help a lot to enjoy the trip.