7 Best Persian Foods To Try

Persian cuisine is a diverse cuisine known for its aromatic spices, flavorful stews, and colorful rice dishes. Originating from the region of Iran and the surrounding countries, Persian food has a long and rich history stretching back thousands of years.

In recent decades, Persian restaurants have popped up in major cities across the globe, introducing new audiences to these tasty culinary delights. From hearty kebabs to refreshing yogurt drinks, Persian food combines complex flavors in creative combinations. With its growing popularity around the globe, now is the perfect time to explore the tastes and textures that make Persian food so exceptional.

If you’ve never tried Persian food before, this list of the seven most iconic and delicious Persian foods can be a good starting point. Let’s start!

1.      Koobideh (Ground Meat Kebabs)

These juicy and flavorful ground meat kebabs are the quintessential Persian barbecue food. Minced lamb or beef is mixed with grated onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, then seasoned with turmeric to form sausage-like kebabs. They are grilled over an open flame, which gives them a smoky char.

Koobideh kebabs are served with grilled tomatoes, rice, and fresh herbs. The blend of flavors and textures between the succulent meat, smoke, herbs, and rice is simple yet satisfying.

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Check out this koobideh recipe for a step-by-step guide to making this easy Persian favorite at home.

2.      Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

This luxurious walnut and pomegranate stew is a stellar representation of Persian cuisine. Tender chunks of chicken or duck are simmered in a sauce made from ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, onions, and spices.

The tangy-sweet flavor of the pomegranate balances the richness of the walnuts. Saffron and cinnamon add warmth and fragrance. Fesenjan has a complex sweet and sour taste that is utterly addictive. It’s usually served over white rice to soak up the luscious sauce.

3.      Ghormeh Sabzi (Herb Stew)

A beloved national dish, ghormeh sabzi is a hearty herb-packed stew bursting with flavor. It brings together a medley of fresh green herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, and fenugreek, which give it an intensely aromatic quality. This is simmered with lamb, kidney beans, onions, dried limes, and tomatoes for a rich and satisfying meal.

The interplay of the earthy herbs, tender lamb, tart limes, and sweet tomatoes is magical. Ghormeh sabzi is the ultimate comfort food for Persians.

4.      Tahdig (Crispy Rice)

Tahdig is the golden crisp crust of rice that forms at the bottom of the pot when cooking Persian rice. It may seem simple, but it is an art form to create the perfect tahdig. Rice is par-cooked and then drained before returning to the pot to finish steaming. Oil or breadcrumbs are sometimes added to the bottom layer to increase crisping.

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Tahdig provides a delightful crunch and texture contrast to the fluffy basmati rice it accompanies. It’s often served with stews and kebabs.

5.      Jeweled Rice (Rice with Nuts and Dried Fruit)

As rice is integral to every Persian meal, there are endless variations to make it special. One such recipe is jeweled rice, where the rice is mixed with colorful fruits and nuts.

You can use caramelized onions or saffron to tint the grains yellow and pistachios, almonds, cranberries, raisins, apricots, or cherries to add pops of color and sweetness throughout. The contrast of the fluffy saffron rice and chewy dried fruits makes a stunning presentation.

6.      Ash Reshteh (Noodle and Bean Soup)

This hearty soup is loaded with noodles, beans, herbs, and leafy greens. It’s made from ash, a thick noodle soup base, and reshteh, thin noodles. Chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils provide protein, while the herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, and mint add freshness.

On the other hand, spinach or kale contribute color and nutrition, and toppings like fried mint, garlic, and whey complete the soup. The diverse mix of ingredients and textures come together in a flavorful bowl. Ash reshteh is a staple on Persian dinner tables.

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7.      Faludeh (Rosewater Sorbet)

Cool off after a Persian feast with faludeh, a rosewater-infused sorbet dessert. Starch noodles made from rice or wheat are placed in a semi-frozen syrup made with rosewater and lime juice. Toppings include pistachios, basil seeds, and dried rose petals.

The interplay between the chewy noodles, icy sweet syrup, and crunchy nuts is refreshing and decadent. Faludeh is the perfect way to end a Persian (or any other) meal.


From the complex stews to the perfect pilafs, Persian cuisine offers a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes that will transport your tastebuds. The next time you want authentic Persian foods, try these seven iconic foods for a flavor experience like no other.

The aromatic spices, fresh herbs, tantalizing grilled meats, and colorful rice dishes come together to create a cuisine that has enriched the culinary world for millennia.

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