Persian Cuisine

Iranian Women

Iranian cuisine is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, culinary traditions and styles distinct to its region. It includes a wide variety of foods ranging from chelo kabab (rice served with roasted meat: barg, koobideh, joojeh, shishleek, soltani, chenjeh), khoresht (stew that is served with white basmati or Iranian rice: ghormeh sabzi, gheimeh, and others), aash (a thick soup: for example Ash-e anar), kookoo (vegetable Souffle), polo (white rice alone or with addition of meat and/or vegetables and herbs, including loobia polo, albaloo polo, Sabzi polo, zereshk polo, Baghali Polo and others), and a diverse variety of salads, pastries, and drinks specific to different parts of Iran. The list of Persian recipes, appetizers and desserts is extensive.

Fresh green herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Typical Persian main dishes are combination of rice with meat, lamb, chicken, or fish and some onion, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic Persian flavorings such as saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.

The Most Famous Persian Dishes

Khoresht-e Baademjan Recipe

4 Servings

Ingredients: 500 grams lamb or beef 8 small eggplants 3 medium onions 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice cooking oil 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Peel onions and slice thinly. Fry in oil until slightly golden. Cut meat into small pieces and fry with onions until color changes. Bring 2-3 glasses of water to a boil, and add to meat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric and pepper, and cook over medium heat for about one hour. When meat is cooked, there should be about one glass of water left. Add tomato paste and lime juice, and mix well.

Peel eggplants and slice length-wise to a thickness of 1 cm. Add salt on both sides and leave for two hours and then dry the moisture and fry in abundant oil on both sides over medium/low heat until golden. Place eggplants over meat (but do not mix with meat). Place the lid on and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes.

Serve Khorest-e Badenjaan hot with plain rice (Polow or Chelow)

Chelo Kabob Recipe

2 pounds tender steak, cut about 3 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide and and1/2 inch thick
2 medium onions, grated or processed in a food processor for a minute
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 small tomatoes, halved, then sprinkled with pepper and salt

Combine meat, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper, then place in a refrigerator and allow to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

Place meat on skewers, then grill, brushing occasionally with butter, until done. Place tomatoes on skewers and grill separately, then serve both together, placing meat and tomatoes over a platter of rice.

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