Khoresh Beh – Beef and yellow split pea stew with quince

Autumn has finally arrived, so it’s quince season once again, and I have been busy making Persian quince stew, jam, and Membrillo! Every year I look forward to the arrival of Fall and its seasonal produce, ranging from a fantastic variety of squashes, including the sweet and tender butternut squash, to fruits like persimmons, pomegranates,…

Kabuli Pulao – Afghan rice and carrot pilaf with lamb

Kabuli Pulao is considered to be Afghanistan’s national dish, and traditionally was served only on special occasions. As with many popular dishes, there are regional varieties, and the dish is often personalized according to taste and the availability of specific ingredients. Lamb tends to be the primary protein, but it is also customary to cook it with beef or chicken.

Ghapeli Polo – Rice with beef and garbanzo beans

This dish finds its roots in the province of Kermanshah, located in the western region of Iran. At its core, it is a simple one-pot meal that starts with slow cooking of the beef and the garbanzos. Along the way, onions and simple spices are added to develop more depth and flavor. Once the beef…

Torsh Tareh – Tangy fresh herb stew with poached eggs

I seem to be on a roll of doing back-to-back northern Iranian dishes! All over Iran, many stews feature fresh herbs in the place of other vegetables to accompany either animal or plant-based proteins. While each stew has its own unique combinations and ratios, they all have one thing in common: Iranians’ celebration and love…

Anar Bij – Meatballs in pomegranate and herb sauce

Anar Bij is a hearty and flavor-packed dish from Gilan province in the Caspian Sea region of Iran. Delicate meatballs are gently cooked in a creamy walnut sauce that is then flavored with fresh herbs and pomegranate molasses. Tart flavors, aromatics, and a hint of sweetness combine to make this dish another poster child of…

Shami – Herb and meat patties

Shami is often referred to as a meat patty, though realistically it is more about herbs and ground walnuts than it is about the meat. Throughout Iran, you will find a multitude of Shami varieties using different types of meat, often with added chickpeas, yellow split peas, or red lentils. This version from the Caspian…

Kuku Gerdu – Walnut and herb frittata

You say frittata: I say Kuku; you say (Spanish) tortilla: I say K . . . and we are saying the same thing – almost! It is actually a stretch to call this dish a frittata or a tortilla, but I don’t know a better comparison. Kuku is an Iranian egg-based dish that combines vegetables,…

Kabob Kubideh – Grilled skewered Kebab

However you spell or pronounce them, Kebabs, Kebobs, or Kababs are meat dishes that take pride of place alongside other dishes in Persian cuisine. They are typically small pieces of seasoned whole or ground beef, lamb, chicken, or seafood that are generally skewered and grilled. Mention “Ka-bob” (the Farsi pronunciation) to an Iranian, and it…

Mella Ghormeh – Eggplant with herbs and poached eggs

Mella Ghormeh is a signature dish from the Caspian Sea region of Iran that celebrates the region’s abundance of local produce while bringing a depth of flavor into a simple dish. In many regions of Iran, there is a heavy reliance on a medley of spices. However, many Northern Iranian dishes rely on simpler fresh,…

Gishneez Polo – Cilantro rice pilaf

Iranian’s obsession with herbs in large quantities, fresh or dried, is no secret. You will find many dishes – ranging from yogurt, to stews, to soups and rice dishes – that incorporate at least one or more often a whole medley of herbs. Gishneez polo is a slightly lesser-known version of the more popular herb…