Persian food what are the characteristics? and where does it come from?
Climate in Persia known today as Iran influences the food quite dramatically. In the cold and dry winters they eat warm hearty foods like meat , heavy rice dishes, vegetable stews and lots of tea. A morning staple is noon-e-barbari an oval shaped crispy wheat bread that is bought fresh and hot every morning and enjoyed in contrast to the cold surroundings.
Iranian food is full of fresh herbs such as turmeric , parsley and dill and colorful fruits such as pomegranate, raisins and zereshk or red wild barberries.
Persians also like a sour flavor to their food which is brought on by dried limes.
Persian food is flavorful, full of vibrant colors and also nutritious.
Let me tell you about my favorites:
Fesenjoon is a Persian delicacy that really gets me drooling because it is just so incredible. The unique combination of pomegranate molasses and fresh walnuts is mind blowing.
First of all the pomegranate molasses and chopped walnuts are stewed with tender meat, spiced with turmeric and then slow cooked on low heat for tenderness.
Paired with some flat bread and parsley salad this is just sensational.
2. Ghormeh Sabzi
Another very popular Persian food is a herb stew of parsley, spinach, fenugreek, coriander and kidney beans with lamb or beef. This is allowed to slow cook over a low heat. Dried whole lime is a typical accompaniment and is allowed to stew along with the herbs and meat lending a sour taste to the dish.
The high amounts of green leafy vegetables make this dish high in iron. Low in saturated fats and high in fiber. This meal is so nutrient dense yet only packs in 168 calories/bowl.
3. Kuku Sabzi
You can think of this as a yummy herb (parsley, coriander and dill) frittata. This is generally a favorite with the kids.
I like the potato based ones, where the potatoes are lovely and crispy at the bottom and then you have the whipped eggs and herbs on top. And then to garnish toasted walnuts and barberries.
The eggs make this a dish high in protein and the walnuts make it a good source of selenium.
Traditionally minced meat with onions, tomatoes, garlic and herbs that is squeezed on long metal skewers and roasted on the fire, this is kabob koobideh.
The flavors are equally unique when using diced chicken flavored with sumac and turmeric interspaced with fresh tomatoes, onions and capsicum and charcoal barbecue. These kebobs are equally delicious and can be prepared at home. This is jujeh kebob.
Doogh is an accompaniment with any Persian meal. It is a beautiful yogurt drink that you could use to wash down all your yummy treats from above. It’s basically a big bunch of mint and dill, added to yogurt and put through a liquidizer. It’s lovely and refreshing and I can’t get enough of it.
Why Persian food is not only delicious but healthy too?
Persian cooking is slow cooking, preserving in all the flavors and also the nutrients.
It is high in green leafy vegetables which are rich sources of iron.
Lots of nuts in the meal prep make the meals high in selenium.
Most of the dishes also use lots of Turmeric, I can’t tell you how good a pinch of turmeric is for you, you better read all about it in my previous posts.
I hope the above delicacies have sufficiently whet your appetite and now you are off to peruse your local Persian food hot spots.