What to expect in Iran

As a vast country with diverse local traditions, one of the highlights in traveling to Iran can be the pleasures of the table.

In every city and geographical region, there are many foods to try and there are certain dishes that you can find almost everywhere. But all these diversity can be but in certain categories so when reading a strange name like “khoresht Gheimeh” you would be able to know some basic things about the food.

  • The generic names:

“Kabab” is a generic name that basically means grilled meat. So anytime you see this name you know basically what it is. That being said, there are many different types of Kabab from fillet (Barg) to grind lamb or beef (Koubideh) to chicken (Jujeh). In many cities and regions different seasonings are added to meat so remember this is only a generic name.

Kabab is usually served in two ways, one is with vegetable sidings including grilled tomato and fresh mint and basil leaves, and also with cooked rice: “Polo” or “Chelo”. These are two different ways of cooking rice but almost similar.

“Khoresht” is another generic name that covers a big category of different dishes. Khoresh or Khoresht is a kind of stew, usually rich and thick, which is served with Polo. you will put some of the Khoresh on the Polo and eat them together. There are many types of Khoresht including “Ghormeh Sabzi” which has a combination of many vegetables in it, to “Gheymeh” which has split pea and fried potato, and many many more.

“Ash” make another big category. It is basically a soup but usually richer. It can have vegetables, or meat or pasta-noodle shaped dough in it.

These dishes are served for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, in addition to the usual stuff like butter and jam or honey with fresh bread, different types of eggs, etc, there are some really heavy foods: “Halim” is one of them. It is a type of stew that includes wheat and meat. It comes with sugar and sesame and butter.

These are just the basics. There are countless varieties in each of these categories; so make sure to try something new every time! Bon appetit!

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