Iranian cuisine is directly dependent on the geographical location of the country; its food resembles a cross between Greek and Indian cuisines. However, Iranian cuisine is more varied than Greek cuisine and less spicy than Indian cuisine.
Modern Persian cuisine still has not forgotten its ancient origins. Its main ingredients are rice, bread, fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. The meat, usually lamb or mutton, is cut into small pieces and cooked in a small amount of fat, but it rarely dominates the table.
The classic breakfast consists of tea with milk, bread and butter, fruit preparations, white Iranian unsalted cheese – plain or with candied walnuts, eggs (hard boiled or bagged) or scrambled eggs, apples or grapes in summer, oranges and tangerines in winter. In a simplified version, Iranians across the country eat bread and cheese and tea for breakfast.
In the east of Iran, where summers are very hot and dry, only fresh fruits are eaten in the morning, and where there are frosts in winter, hot porridge is eaten. Iranian cuisine cannot be imagined without bread. Bread is served here most often of three types. Sangam is a bread baked on stones, it has a flat rectangular shape with a rounding at one end.
Lavish is flat thin cakes. The most delicious type of bread here is barbaric (sesame cakes), the recipe for such bread was brought to Iran a long time ago. Separately, it is worth mentioning Fig. In Iran, they eat a lot of it, even a lot. It is a side dish for most dishes. For cooking, Iranians choose crumbly long-grain rice. It is served on a separate plate, and this dish usually looks like this: white rice is sprinkled on top with yellow rice cooked separately with curry or saffron.
Among the most notable Iranian dishes in which this cereal is used, it is worth noting rice with meat and vegetables in walnut sauce and many recipes for Iranian pilaf. The lion’s share of Iranian cuisine recipes is devoted to cooking meat dishes, the most popular of which is “august”. This dish is made with meat, beans and vegetables. The recipe for the dish may vary by additives. So, for example, it becomes truly extraordinary if you add quince to it.
The main meal takes place at approximately 13:00 in the afternoon. Lunch usually starts with a salad or a plate of fresh vegetables such as onion, radish, basil, mint and coriander. Rice with meat and vegetables is served as the main dish, very often rice is flavored with curry seasoning.
Eggplant, okra, spinach, quince, celery can also be served for lunch, together with chicken, duck, lamb or pheasant meat.
This dish consists of chemo (steamed rice) and kebab (skewers with pieces of lamb, veal or beef, or minced meat, all marinated with saffron, onions, yogurt and lime juice). In addition, an integral part of the chemo-kebab is fried tomatoes and fresh onions.
Rice is sprinkled with turmeric powder, and butter and egg yolk are added to it. The dish is served with various types of yoghurt sauces or vegetables marinated in vinegar.
Iranian cuisine is very popular for its sweets, which are also served at lunchtime. The influence of Persia on neighboring countries in cooking has always been noticeable, which is very clearly seen in the example of confectionery, which is still exported to neighboring countries.
First of all, these are sweets, such as baklava (baklava), got tab and pasha, which appeared in Yazd in eastern Iran; kolache (rice cake) from Hamadan in the western part of it, gaze (white nougat) from the city of Isfahan in the very center of Iran, nane-komadzh from Shiraz in the southwest and Balogh from Kerman in the southeast.
Dinner is usually light, consisting of leftovers from the midday meal, or for dinner, some bread, cheese, fruit, and tea are served.
Restaurants in Iran are very common, even in small towns there are a lot of them. And also in the cities there are a huge number of tea houses that can be visited at any time of the day.
Alcoholic drinks are officially banned in Iran because it is an Islamic republic. However, the drinking of alcoholic beverages is still widely practiced.
The main alcoholic beverage is vodka, which is distilled from grains, grapes, or, more commonly, raisins. Only men drink alcohol, most often it happens on holidays, but it also happens just in the evenings.
Several foods are traditional for New Year’s celebrations. During the fast Islamic month of Ramadan, people do not eat any food from sunrise to sunset. Families wake up before dawn to eat nutritious breakfasts, after which you can not feel hungry for at least half a day. The process is repeated at sunset. Usually they eat special crunchy sweets made from yogurt dough and soaked in a special syrup.
When sheep are slaughtered, it is customary to treat neighbors with meat.