Delal – Caspian Sea herb salt

Delal, also known as green salt, is a specialty condiment from the Caspian Sea region of Iran, specifically from the Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. Traditionally, locally foraged herbs are harvested, roughly chopped, and placed in a traditional stone bowl along with salt, and pulverized by a repetitive rolling and grinding action using a smooth rock….

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…

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,…

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…

Aash-e Mash – Mung beans and herbs soup

Here is another great entry in the long line of Aashes – thick, hearty soups – in Persian cuisine. Much like others in the series, this Aash incorporates an abundance of fresh herbs, Kashk, a Persian whey sauce, along with crispy garlic, caramelized onions, and the aromatic mint sauce! Though the main ingredient for this…

Kashk-e Kadu – Butternut-squash-spread with whey and mint

Fall is my favorite season for a variety of reasons: the turning of the leaves, the bright and colorful fall foliage, my birthday, and the arrival of harvest time. Squashes, persimmons, quinces, and pomegranates top the list of seasonal favorites for me. I find the flavors of squashes quite appealing and when you think of…

Kadu Polo – Butternut squash rice

Kadu Polo is a delightful Fall-weather dish from the Caspian Sea region of Iran, where its regional name is Ka-ee Pelah. It is a true celebration of the local flavors and produce that make northern Iranian cuisine so incredibly fresh, tasty, and healthy. I am often surprised and delighted when simple dishes without a long…

Aash Gholvat – Potato and herb stew with eggs

What looks like a soup or a stew, but is neither? It is an Aash! Aash has always been front and center in Persian cuisine. This is a Persian term used to describe a thick style of soup that often combines a variety of beans, grains, sometimes noodles, herbs, spices, and meat.  There are nearly…

Hali Ghuroo – Sour plum stew with poached eggs

With the arrival of spring, Iranians hit their local markets and eagerly look forward to finding unripe sour plums (Gojeh Sabz), unripe almonds (Chaghaleh Badom), and unripe sour grapes (Ghooreh). I find Iranians’ love of sour and unripe fruits to be incredibly unique and endearing. Gojeh Sabz, Persian green unripe plums, are a seasonal delicacy…