9 Dishes You Have To Try Whilst Travelling in Iran August 28, 2020 9 Dishes You Have to Try While Travelling in Iran Now is not the best time to travel, with worldwide pandemic restrictions limiting options, so why not bring a travel adventure into your own home! Check out these amazing dishes with links to recipes so you can make them yourself. 1. Tahcheen (Baked Saffron Rice) The main feature of ‘Tahcheen’ is to have a crispy, golden crunch on the outside of the baked rice. There are variations to the recipe throughout the country, but our favourite is in Shiraz. There’s something about the rice in Iran which gives it a ‘melt in your mouth, buttery’ type taste and texture. The filling can be either chicken or slow-cooked lamb. The key to the flavours in the crispy shell (and the marinaded meat) is the combination of saffron, yoghurt and eggs. It’s a brilliant dish to plonk in the middle of the table and let the guests enjoy! If you’d like to try at home, have a look at this recipe for a chicken version. 2. Dizi (Lamb & Chickpea Stew) If you’re only going to eat this dish once in Iran, then you have to go to Azari Traditional Teahouse in the south of Tehran. Famous for the dish of Dizi, the experience is enhanced by the dimly lit, buzzy vibe with traditional music and wait staff. There is a method to eating this lamb, chickpea and tomato stew. The ensemble comes with your own piping hot pot of stew, a pestle for muddling, fresh bread, yougurt and leaves. The best way to eat this is to crush the meat inside the stew to a relatively smooth consistency. This helps when soaking the bread. A great interactive and engaging meal to introduce you to the flavours of Iran. Also known as Abgoosht, you can find a recipe here from the Persian Pot. 3. Baghali Polo (Herb rice with Flava Beans) This dish often serves as a side to many main events, but don’t underestimate how good simple rice can be. If you thought all rice was the same, then think again. There is a particular method to get Basmati rice to melt in your mouth like this, and nobody in the world can seem to do it like the Iranians. The flavours of dill, turmeric and saffron compliment the fava (broad) beans, but if you cannot get your hands on the beans, the dish works just as well without. Once you master this dish, you’ll never forget it. It’s worth having a go because this is a life skill that keeps on giving back. Check out the recipe and instructions here. 4. Gormeh Sabzi (Herb and Kidney Bean Stew) When most people think of Persian food, the mind goes straight to the world-famous kebab, but that’s because you haven’t tried Gormeh Sabzi. A common favourite of our Social cycles travellers, this dish is as simple as it is delicious. Usually made with stewed lamb as the main ingredient, it is complemented with fresh herbs and kidney beans, although variations occur depending on what part of the country you are in. A key feature ingredient is dried fenugreek, giving it the floral aroma. You can find the recipe to make it at home here. 5. Ash e Reshteh (Noodle and Bean Soup) During the annual Muhurrum mourning period in Iran (and across the Shia world), and also in preparation of the Persian New Year, it is quite common to see food carts set up across the cities giving out free food to the people. This is the best time to try Ash e Reshteh, an Iranian Noodle Soup, packed with pulses, vegetables and flavour. The crucial element here is the toppings: mint oil, crunchy fried onions and sour kashk, a fermented whey product eaten in the Middle East that tastes akin to sour yogurt. You can find our favourite recipe here. 6. Kebab (Lamb, Chicken, Lamb Liver, Ground Meat) No Iranian food list is complete without the humble kebab. There’s a wide variety to choose from whilst in Iran, from the corner shop fast food outlet to the traditional restaurants dotted throughout the country. As with most food, the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. Our favourite kebab is in a small town called Izad Khast in Fars province. A freshly slaughtered lamb on an open fire roast makes a meal that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The spices and sumac, combined with the fresh bread and homemade yoghurt, assure an incredible experience. 7. Fesenjan Fesenjan is a thick walnut and pomegranate based stew. Traditionally served with duck, you can use chicken as an easy alternative. The trick with this dish is that it is best prepared the day before you want to serve it to let the flavours properly infuse and intensify. Balancing the flavours to your taste is really important, as fresh pomegranate can vary between sweet and tart. Some recipes call for pomegranate juice, whilst some use molasses, so be wary of the sweetness. You can always add sugar later to balance. Every time we have had this dish, usually in Kashan, it’s definitely been on the sweeter side. You can find a recipe here. 8. Sohan Sohan is a cardamom and pistachio butter fudge caramel. And it tastes as good as it sounds. Traditionally from Qom, this delicious treat can be purchased from numerous stalls throughout the city. The difference in quality, and price, is the ratio of pistachios. However, it’s also possible to make at home but you want to be comfortable in making caramel on your stove. A word of warning, this treat is wickedly addictive so it’s best to decorate with rose petals and pistachios, pack it in a box and give it away to friends before you eat them all! Find our favourite recipe here. 9. Ajil (Iranian Style Trail Mix) This trail mix celebrates all things Iranian. With a fantastic blend of dried fruit and nuts, this is the perfect energy food. In actual fact, this is the mix we use on our cycling tours throughout Iran. It’s perfect for that little boost of energy when the hills appear to be never-ending. In the pack, you’ll find pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sugar-coated slivered almonds, dried mulberries, salted chickpeas, raisins, currants and dried figs. You can find the full list here. Send me the Iran itinerary Name Email Please send me the itinerary! Your privacy is safe. We do not use emails for spam. Share the journey Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Feeling inspired? Cambodia Learn More Laos Learn More Vietnam & Laos Learn More Cambodia & Vietnam Learn More Cambodia Learn More Laos Learn More Vietnam & Laos Learn More Cambodia & Vietnam Learn More Search for anything... Search Stay ahead of the trend Be the first to get the latest travel tips, cycling inspiration and insight into life changing local initiatives- straight to your inbox! 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