Persian cuisine is a very important part of Iranian culture. So, let’s enjoy the taste of this ancient art. Please note, based on the number of people, you might need to increase or decrease the volume of ingredients:
We start our recipes with Saffron Rice. Rice is not a meal by itself, but you can have lots of Persian foods with rice if you like. That is why we have this recipe right at the start of the post.
Basmati Saffron Rice: First thing to learn in Persian Cuisine
- 2 Cups Rice
- 2 Tbsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Saffron
- Vegetable Oil
- 50g Dried Barberries
- Rinse and clean the rice.
- Boil 6 cups of water
- Put the rice in a bowl, add 2 tbsp salt and 4 cups of water and stir.
- Soak for 2 hours.
- Soak 1/4 tsp saffron in 1/4 cup of boiling water.
- Drain the soaked rice.
- Pour in Approximately 4 cups of water into a pot and bring to a boiling point.
- Add the rice to the pot, continue simmering until tender. Occasionally remove the foam using a spoon.
- Drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Place the rice back in a pot, add 4 tbsp of vegetable oil and water.
- Cover the pot with a large napkin and the lid and cook for half an hour.
- Take 1 Cup of the cooked rice, add the saffron and mix well.
- Serve the saffron added rice with the rice, usually with the ratio of 1 to 2.
- Dried barberries can be added to the rice either:
- a) Raw, cleaned and washed.
- b) fried, Fry 50g dried barberries in 1 tbsp oil.
An easy to cook food, can have it as an appetizer or main meal.
- 2 Cups Lentils
- 1 Large Potato
- Unsalted Butter (As
- much as you prefer)
- 1 Small Onion
- Vegetable Oil (A little bit)
- Turmeric, Salt: Use Turmeric double size as black pepper
1- Dice the onion.
2- Skin off and chop the potato.
3- Wash the lentils.
- Fry the diced onion in a pot with 2 tbsp vegetable oil until translucent.
- Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric.
- Add the lentils to onions and continue frying for two minutes
- Add the chopped potatoes to the pot, add boiling water until covers the mixture and stir.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat or until the potatoes are fully cooked.
- Add a pinch of salt and crushed dried savory to the pot and stir well.
- Mash the lentils and potatoes with a masher. (Optional)
- Add unsalted butter, and stir until melted and fully mixed.
- Continue the heat for 5 more minutes.
Adas Polo (Lentils Rice)
- 2 Cups Rice
- 1 Cup Lentils
- 250g Ground Beef
- 1/2 Cup Raisins
- 1 Tsp Saffron (To use Saffron, you need to grind it into powder, and then add1/4 cup boiling water to the powder, cover the container and use it after half an hour)
- Salt, Black Pepper Powder, Turmeric, (Use Turmeric twice Black Pepper), Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Small Onion
- 7 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Medium Potato
- 85g Dried Barberries (Zereshk) (Optional)
- Soak the rice with few Tsp salt for at least 1 hour in a pot. Then wash the salt
- Add 1 Tsp Zafran (saffron) to 1/4 cup boiling water.
- Dice the onion
- Slice the potato
- 6 cups boiling water
- Put the Lentils in a small pot, add salt and pour in boiling water until it covers the lentils (Approx. 2 cups of boiling water).
- Cover the pot with the lid (leave the lid cracked open so the steam can scape) and simmer for 30 minutes at low heat.
- Pour the soaked rice into a pot and simmer the rice until it becomes tender (A rice must get halved under your teeth without any firmness.
- Drain the rice in a colander.
- In a small pot, dip fry the diced onions in vegetable oil until translucent.
- Add the ground beef to the pot.
- Add salt, turmeric, black pepper powder and ground cinnamon, stir well and fry along until the beef is evenly brown.
- Add the raisins to the pot and continue frying for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the lentils in the rice pot and mix well so the lentils and rice are well blended. (Optional: you can keep 1/3 of the lentils back to mix with the beef mixture).
- In a large pot, pour 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, lay the sliced potatoes across the pot and add the lentils and rice mixture to the pot. Add 2 tbsp oil (Mix 2 Tbsp Oil with 4 Tbsp boiling water) to the pot.
- Cover the pot with a large napkin and put the lid on top.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add 5 to 6 tbsp of the lentils rice to the beef/raisins mixture, then pour in the soaked saffron (Optional: Add the 1/3 of the lentils to the pot, if kept from the prior step (step 9).
- Mix thoroughly, cover the pot with the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Fry the dried barberries in 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
- Add the beef/raisins mixture to the lentil rice pot, stir thoroughly until well mixed.
- Add the fried barberries right before serving.
Joojeh Kabab (Chicken Kebob) - Exciting Part of Iranian Foods
You can use either chicken breast or Leg’s fillet, please note legs fillet cook slower so you need to separate legs and breast fillets while roasting.
- 2 kg Boneless Chicken Breast or Leg fillet
- 2 medium Onions
- 1/4 Tsp Saffron (Prepare Saffron as explained)
- Salt (Approx 1 Tbsp) as you prefer
- Red Pepper Powder (Approx 1 Tsp) as you prefer
- Black Pepper Powder (Approx 1 Tsp) as you prefer
- Turmeric (Approx 1 Tsp) as you prefer
- 3 to 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Optional additions: (Chilli Pepper and tomato)
- Cut the boneless chicken breast to small 3 x 3 inches cubes or leg fillet into similar size.
- Dice/Cut the onions or preferably grate them
- half tomatoes.
- Soak the saffron in boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
1- Place the sliced chicken breast or leg and diced or grated onions in a large bowl.
2- Add salt, black pepper powder, turmeric, olive oil and 3 to 4 tsp of the soaked saffron to the bowl and mix until well combined.
3- Cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap.
4- Keep them in a refrigerator to marinate for 8 to 12 hours.
5- Skewer pieces of chicken (Skewer breast together and leg together, halved tomatoes and chilli peppers.
6- Cook the chicken kabobs over a charcoal or gas grill (Charcoal taste better).
Kabab Tabei (Pan Kebob) - Easiest Kabab
- 500g Ground Beef or lamb – It is better to have a bit of fat
- 1 Small Onion
- Salt, Black Pepper Powder, Turmeric use Turmeric twice as Black Pepper Powder
- 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 3 Small Tomatoes, Capsicum
- Grate the onion.
- Chop tomatoes into four pieces also chop the capsicum as you prefer
- Mix the grated onion with the ground beef or lamb in a big bowl.
- Add salt, black pepper powder, and turmeric to the bowl and mix thoroughly until well mixed.
- Pour vegetable oil in a frying pan.
- Spread and flatten the beef mixture across the pan and put tomato and capsicum chops on top of the meat, and place the pan on stove over medium heat and put the lid on the pan.
- Wait for 10 minutes, then go back to the beef pan, allow the beef to become somewhat hardened, divide the flattened beef in 2 inches rows using a silicone turner. You don’t need to cover the pan with lid anymore
- Allow the beef to fry on one side and flip them over to fry the other side.
Mirza Ghasemi (Vegeterian Persian Food)
- 5 Medium Eggplant
- 2 Medium Tomato
- 1 Garlic Head
- Salt, Ground Chili Pepper, Ground Bay Leaves
- Roast the whole eggplant in the oven.
- Dice the Tomato.
- Dice the Garlic.
- Peel the skin off of the eggplant and chop the eggplant in small pieces.
- Fry the diced garlic in a pot with 2 tablespoon vegetable oil until golden.
- Add the diced tomatoes to the pot.
- Add the chopped eggplants to the pot.
- Add salt, ground chili pepper and ground bay leaves, stir and continue frying for 5 more minutes.
- Now you can either break the eggs into the pan and stir the eggs thoroughly with the rest to get cooked or fry the eggs in another pan when the eggs became hard smashed the eggs.
- Add the smashed eggs to the first pot
- Let it cool down for few minutes then mash the mixture thoroughly.
Abdoogh Khiar is very easy to make, it is a great appetizer and pleasant to have it specially for summer.
- 2 Cups (600g) Plain Yogurt
- 3 Cucumbers
- 1/4 Bunch Fresh:
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts
- 1/4 Cup Raisin
- Black Pepper, Salt, Dried Mint
- Rose Bud (Optional)
- Ice Cubes
- Dice the cucumbers.
- Mince the herb (leaves only).
- Shred the walnuts.
- Combine diced cucumbers, minced herbs (tarragon, mint, basil, chives), shredded walnuts, and raisins in a large bowl.
- Add black pepper powder and salt and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Add plain yogurt and stir well.
- Stir in 6 to 8 ice cubes to bowl and stir.
- Add as much as water you would prefer and mix thoroughly.
- When Serve
- Add bread (crackles) to the served bowl.
- Garnish with dried mint and rose bud. (Optional)
- 3 Tomatoes
- 5 Cucumbers
- 2 Small Onion
- 1/4 Bunch Mint (leaves) (Optional)
- 2 Lemons or 1/3 Cup Verjuice (Sour Grape Juice)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (Optional)
- Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and the onion into very small pieces.
- Mince the fresh mint.
- Combine diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and minced mint in a large bowl.
- Squeeze two fresh lemon into the bowl or add verjuice
- Add salt and black pepper as much as preferred
- Add olive oil.
- Stir thoroughly until well mixed.
- Keep the salad in refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving.
Shole Zard is a great Persian dessert. It is very easy to cook. The only note is that you need to soak the rice from the night before.
- 1 Cup Rice
- 1 Cup Rose Water
- 50g silvered or flaked Almonds
- 1 Tsp Zafran (saffron)
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 6 cup Boiled Water
- Pick through the rice, add it to a bowl and wash in cold water. Drain and wash couple of more times each time with fresh cold water. Drain all the water. Then soak the rice in water for 12-24hrs
- Soak the saffron in boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
- Soak the livered almond in rose water for at least half an hour
- Add rice and boiling water to a deep nonstick 3-Qt saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to just above the low marking. Simmer with a low boil without covering the pan completely.
- Do Not Stir until most the rice should be completely tender. To test the rice, very gently squeeze one grain between thumb and index finger; it should fall apart with a sticky texture. (Please note the water shouldn’t be completely gone.)
- Add sugar and stir for 15mins
- Add rosewater and silvered almond, stir and let it cook for 10mins
- Now add saffron and hot water and stir for another 10mins or until shole Zard thickens.
- Pour Sholeh Zard in the serving container and leave it in a fridge for 1-2 hour. Now you can decorate the dessert with cinnamon and other toppings. Enjoy.