Monday, June 27, 2011

A Repertoire of Iranian Culinary

Chicken Kebab with huge portion of rice for one person

There is so much to write about the magnificent Iranian cuisine. Food is almost an element of entertainment everywhere we go and we had fun feasting the Iranian cuisine. I’m indulging myself too much with food but how else can one be entertained in Iran! Iranian cuisine is diverse, with each province featuring their specialty dishes and culinary tradition. A typical Iranian meal is a combination of rice with meat, lamb, chicken or fish. On top of the white basmati rice there is always the flavored saffron rice. What I love most is the balance mixture of sweet, savory and sour in the dishes.
The succulent Kebab Koobideh in Babolsar, Mazandaran

I love the minced meat kebab (Kebab Koobideh) soft texture and had a taste of it at a party in Mazandaran. In Isfahan we had the special Tah Dig dish (crunchy rice from the bottom of the pot – kerak nasi) where in my culture it is considered rude to serve such rice to one’s guests :). Next is the famous Chelo Kebab (rice served with tender roasted kebab) which is almost similar to steak and the best we tasted in a traditional restaurant in Tehran. Served with succulent grilled tomatoes on the side of the rice, and butter on top of the rice, the dish is superb.   

Saffron and pistachio flavored ice cream with faludeh
in Sanandaj
There is an extensive list of appetizers and desserts but Doogh, the traditional Iranian yogurt drink we tasted in Kurdistan was quiet interesting. Doogh is a combination of yogurt, carbonated water, dried mint and a little salt which is delicious after you have acquired the taste. We spoilt ourselves with ice cream in every parts of Iran we went. Iranian ice cream has several flavors of saffron, rosewater, pistachios, walnuts and many others. The Bastani-e Za’farani (saffron flavored ice cream) has a unique taste. We had several variation of the famous Faludeh (a frozen sorbet made with thin starch noodles and rosewater) in Shiraz, Sanandaj and Persepolis. 

At one of the restaurant by the  street of Shiraz we had Aash for breakfast, the delicious thick gravy served with warm thin flat bread .  We were introduced to too much Iranian delicious food that I lost count of them and their names. But when I looked at the pictures again, I can still imagine the taste...and what a celebration of food I had in Iran!

Aash - Thick gravy served with bread
Warm delicious bread for breakfast
Chai (tea) for breakfast
The delicious creamy ice cream in Amol, Mazandaran
Lemon flavored Faludeh in Rahoullah Bazaar, Shiraz 
Ice cream and Faludeh in Persepolis
The famous Tah Dig with fish in Isfahan
Salad in Shiraz
Mazandaran flatbread
Fried fish at village restaurant
Mixed grill
Lunch in Shiraz
Delicious, healthy and colorful salad

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