Persian Foods Every Traveler Must Try
Traveling Iran simply wouldn't be complete without experiencing the local food culture. Here are our Top 10 recommended Persian foods every traveler must try. We think you'll find them incredibly nutritious and delicious.
#1 Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
Ingredients: Chicken, onion, bay leaves, walnuts, flour, natural pomegranate paste.
Health Benefits: Reduces total cholesterol and LDLs, lowers blood pressure, omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells, antioxidant, antidepressant, improved immunity and osteoporosis to name a few.
#2 Bademjan Stew (Eggplant And Tomato Stew)
Ingredients: Stew meat, eggplants, onion, tomato, turmeric, lemon, pepper and salt to taste (maybe a bit of whey)
Health Benefits: Full of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, B6, K, copper, manganese, niacin, potassium, foliate and phytonutrients. Plus the countless benefits of turmeric (super food).
#3 Baghali Polo (Dill Rice, Fava Beans and Chicken)
Ingredients: Rice, fava beans, dill, garlic, yogurt, saffron, advieh, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Health Benefits: Digestion, insomnia, hiccups, diarrhea, menstrual disorders, antioxidant, protein, foliates. The super food saffron helps prevent tumors and many other benefits.
#4 Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice Chicken)
Ingredients: Chicken, onion, saffron, sugar, barberry, turmeric, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Health Benefits: There are many health benefits of saffron, barberry and turmeric. These are classified as super foods that can help prevent many illnesses from tumors, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
#5 Gormeh Sabzi (Green Herb Stew)
Ingredients: Typically onion, garlic, turmeric, stew meat, lime, kidney beans, parsley, spinach, cilantro, fenugreek, chives, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Health Benefits: Wide benefits for anti-cancer, antioxidants, cataracts, anti-inflammatory, immune system, healthy heart, protein rich and helps pregnancy.
#6 Ashe Reshteh (Noodle and Bean Soup)
Ingredients: Typically chickpeas, kidney beans, fava beans, onion, olive oil, garlic, turmeric, lentils, stock, mint, noodles, dill, cilantro, parsley and yogurt.
Health Benefits: Many health benefits including protein, fire, antioxidants, to help the prevent heart disease, tumors and Alzheimer’s.
#7 Tahdig (Crunchy Flavored Rice)
Ingredients: Persian rice, butter, oil, saffron, water and salt. Many local varieties include potato, okra, yogurt etc.
Health Benefits: Full of energy and subtle benefits of saffron (antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, stress, immune modulator, cancer and more).
#8 Jeweled Rice (Rice with Nuts and Dried Fruit)
Ingredients: Saffron, carrots, orange peel (GOLD), barberry (RUBIES), pistachios (EMERALD) and almonds (PEARLS).
Health Benefits: Prevent infection, skin disorders, diarrhea, antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, stress, immune modulator, cancer and more.
#9 Kebab (Lamb, Chicken, Lamb Liver, Ground Meat)
Ingredients: Typically made from assorted meats, onion, egg, bread crumb, paprika, saffron, butter, ground sumac, pepper and salt to taste.
Health Benefits: Depending on leanness of meats Iranian kebabs are great for protein, iron and digestion (benefits of sumac!).
#10 Sabzi Khordan (Fresh Herb and Cheese Platter)
Ingredients: Typically made from feta, coriander seeds, cumin, caraway, herbs, walnuts, radish, lavish or flatbread, olive oil and salt to taste.
Health Benefits: The health benefits are numerous from each of the whole foods. Helps with asthma, diabetes, heart and even antiviral properties.
Probably what should've made the list too is Dizi (Abgoosht), which is a tasty meat and vegetable stew soaked for a long time with nice flavors. This is similar to Plov in Uzbekistan, but with slightly less fat, however, but still slightly heavy on cholesterol.
And also if you're game to try something more unusual, there's also kalaboche. It's a sheeps' head soaked in a stew, and full of gelatin!
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