Kashk Bademjoon – Eggplant spread with whey and mint

Among all the eggplant spreads in the world, Kashk Bademjoon is unique! In this Persian dish, the eggplant is the star, taking center stage with an up-and-coming co-headliner, Kashk. Kashk is most often referred to as liquid whey: tart, aromatic and salty, bringing a deep umami experience to the dish. Name a culture, and it…

Salad Olivieh – Chicken and potato salad

Salad Olivieh is a chicken and potato salad that has won most if not every Iranian’s heart! To mention Salad Olivieh to an Iranian is to watch an excited smiling face staring back at you and to hear tales of where and how they used to eat this salad. Most of us would have it…

Kuku Sabzi – Fresh herb and leek frittata

Welcome to the world of herbs! Herbs play a significant role in Persian cuisine, whether they are served fresh as an appetizer with bread and cheese or cooked into Kuku or Khoresh (Persian stews). Herbs are integrated into Persian dishes not only to brighten up the colors and bring a brilliant herbal taste, but also…

Aash-e Sholeh Ghalamkar – Hearty beans and rice stew with beef and herbs

What looks like a soup or a stew, but is neither? It is Aash! Aash is a slow-cooked Persian dish that combines a variety of beans, grains, sometimes noodles, herbs, spices, and meat. Its texture most resembles a thick soup. Aash is quite versatile and has many variations. It can be a comfort food, but…

Nargesi РSpinach, parsley and mint saut̩ with poached eggs

A peasant food, at its core! And let’s face it, I’d eat like a peasant any day when the dish tastes this rich and yummy and is yet very simple, quick, and inexpensive! Nargesi’s origin is back in the Caspian Sea region of Iran, where produce and vegetables are abundant. Spinach is a cherished and…

Kuku Kadu Halva-ee – Butternut squash and walnut kuku patties

With the arrival of fall, not only come Halloween, Thanksgiving (and my birthday), but also glorious squashes! I don’t know too many people who would pass on a well-prepared butternut squash dish. Versatile in so many ways: you can eat squashes raw by shredding them into salads, fry them up, batter them like Tempura, roast…

Shami-e Lapeh -yellow split pea and beef patties

In the West, we have the burger with all its glorious variations. In Iran, we have the Shami with many regional influences. Shami resembles a donut, with a hole in its center. In the North of Iran, there is the green Shami, in which the beef patty is packed with fresh herbs and creamy walnuts….

Maast-o Museer – Yogurt with Persian shallots, garlic and mint

This is another gem in the Persian yogurt series. Yogurt plays such a significant role in the cuisine and is always there to accompany a flavorful layered rice or well-seasoned stew. The star of this yogurt dish is Museer, a Persian shallot. Museer is best described as a mix between an elephant garlic and a…

Maast-o Khiar – Yogurt with dried mint, cucumber and raisins

Yogurt is no stranger to Persian cuisine and is frankly a mandatory side item on the table. Each region of Iran offers its own unique version of a yogurt dish to accompany a Persian meal. In the North by the Caspian Sea, the specialty is a garlic and shallot yogurt, which has an intoxicating quantity…

Soup-e Pesteh – Pistachio soup with barberries

Iran is the world’s largest producer of pistachios, so it’s no wonder that pistachios are mandatory at any Persian table for celebrations and offerings to guests. Pistachios are roasted, salted, and typically flavored with various acidic ingredients that are a signature of the Iranian palate for sourness. They are often colored with saffron, another of…