All About Persian Food

Hi! I’m Tara! The cook, writer, and photographer behind the

My website is all about food, recipes, and photos. All the things that make me happy. Today, I have the honor to be the guest writer for Geev, and I would like to talk about Persian food with you all. Have you ever wondered why Persian Foods are so tasty, and what makes them super awesome? Let me explain.
As an Iranian, I grew up in a family with huge respect for food and ingredients (like almost all the Iranian). Half of my family are from Tabriz, and the other half are from Yazd. Me, on the other hand, was born and raised in Tehran! I got all my passion for cooking from my grandma who used to do magic with ingredients. I grew up watching her, doing her things in the kitchen and arranging a stunning ‘Sofreh’ for our small family. I was always interested in international cuisine, but I became more passionate about Persian food once I moved to Canada by myself، and missed my mom’s food for the first time. It was the time to start researching the ingredients, recipes، and making 'Ghormeh Sabzi' and 'Khoresht Gheimeh' for the very first time.
Since Persian moms are the best resources when it comes to cooking, I kept calling and asking her questions for every step. (Thank God she is patient!). I still have a long way to go but I can proudly say that I’m a Sarashpaz(Chef in Farsi) now.
Now let me tell you a little bit more about food in Iranian culture. In Persian families, we gather 3 times a day to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is great respect in doing this routine simply because we spend long hours in the kitchen to make amazing food and once the food comes to Sofreh, it not just about eating it, but also, it’s about communicating with each other. Our colorful, tasty, smell heavenly Sofreh includes the main meal, side dishes, beverage and dessert (we skip the dessert some time but side dishes are a must!)
Some ingredients take a huge part in our food culture. Such as rice, saffron, nuts, fresh herbs, etc.

Saffron rice is a basic, everyday meal that usually accompanies with stew. There are many different varieties of stew and it takes 2-3 hours to make. (Yes, making Persian food is time-consuming). Believe me, Persians are rice cooker experts! It is not just the Rice that matters to us but it's also the Tahdig! There is no rice-based meal without Tahdig. Tahdig translates to ‘bottom of the pot’. It’s the very crispy golden layer on the bottom of the rice pot. There are different variations of it such as potato, saffron rice, Lavash bread, Tahchin, … , each of them is tasty, and everybody at the table will fight for it. Saffron is a golden spice. Persians are very generous in using saffron simply because the flavor and the color that it gives to food, is irreplaceable with any other spices.
We use lots of nuts, not just in our desserts but also in foods too.
Last but not least is the fresh herbs. It might sound weird but our love for fresh herbs goes as far as eating them as a side dish, called Sabzi Khordan!

There are some ingredients which make Persian food unique such as:
Narenj, which is a kind of citrus grows in the north of Iran.
Sumac (you probably heard of this one), It’s a spice that mostly serves with any kind of Kebab.
Kashk, is a dairy product made from drained sour milk, use in Ashe Reshteh or Kashke Bademjoon.
Barberry is a sour berry with very reach red color use as a garnish or mixture with saffron rice.
This list can go on and on like Persian hogweed, orange blossom, rosewater, … but I’m going to finish it with the most unique one (and I mean it, you can’t find this one in any other cuisine).

Limo Amani, is a dried Persian lime and it use in some stews, it has a very bright taste and smell and if you are not Persian and want to try it for the very first time, just go easy and don’t try the whole thing!
If you know any Persians in your life, you might find it by now that we are very generous especially once it comes to cooking. We always prepare many more foods than the number of our guests and many varieties of food. Our tables won’t be a real Sofreh without 2-3 kinds of side dishes and different meals (especially once there are guests).
Feeling hungry? I bet. That’s why I don’t want to torture you anymore and now it’s the time to google and find the nearest Persian Restaurant or follow this recipe on my website and make a delicious Persian Saffron chicken kebab for yourself.

Please let me know if you had any questions about Persian food or their recipes in the comment section or contact me directly via my website, and stay tuned for part 2!

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