The Iranian cuisine is very diverse; however, the northern dishes of Iran are exceptional for tourists. The cuisine varies from region to region. In Mazandaran province, people are fonder of seafood and spices for it is alongside the Caspian Sea, a coastal area where locals can effortlessly catch fish, and in Gilan Province, a mountainous region, indigenous herbs and veggies are used for the main course. Here are some delicious northern dishes you should try while visiting the mesmerizing places in the northern region of Iran!
Naz Khatoon is an original and fancy side dish famous in the Mazandaran Province. It is a Torshi mixture made with special herbs, potatoes, and eggplants. A simple recipe that is excellent for those who enjoy sour foods. Naz Khatun contains garlic, grated onions, verjuice, condiments, cinnamon, vegetable oil, barbequed eggplants, and pomegranate paste for an additional sourness. Dried mint, angelica, basil, and fresh coriander are crushed and combined with the above ingredients to create an unforgettable taste. The mouth-watering Torshi is garnished with chopped or pickled carrots and garden-fresh coriander. The side dish is mainly accompanied by Adas Polo “rice and lentils” or Shami kebab, a mixture of beef and nuts.
Baghali Ghatogh is a delicious stew made with dill, kidney beans, and eggs. The Baghali Ghatogh is also served with sticky rice known as kateh in Persian, which is very common in the Northern dishes. Fresh Garlic and seasoning such as pepper, salt, and turmeric are added to the stew for a flavorful taste. The recipe for the stew is distinct between the two Northern Provinces. In Mazandaran, Baghali Ghatogh is made with kidney beans, and in Gilan, it is cooked with cranberry beans. Nonetheless, the Gilani recipe is mostly dished out in late summer, for the beans are supplied during this month.
If you’re looking for an extraordinary dish, make sure to try Aghouze Messeama, one of the northern dishes of Iran. Aghouze Messeama is a popular and healthy meal in Gilan Province, made with duck, pomegranate paste, and walnuts. Pomegranate seeds and walnuts are grinded and combined with the mixture of duck and the pomegranate paste, followed by salt, pepper, sugar, turmeric, fried onions, and butter or oil. The stew mixture is served with rice or torshi, which is simply pickled vegetables commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisines as a side dish. Fried Eggplants are set out by the plate as well for an extra relish. This dish is also made with goose instead of duck, depending on the different regions.
Mirza Ghassemi is named after Mohammed Qasim Khan, the Northern governor of Rasht, who was the first to invent this famous traditional savory in the 19th Century. Mirza Ghassemi is served as both an appetizer and the main dish. It is a dip cooked with grilled eggplant, tomatoes, spices, and eggs and helped with rice or bread. The majority of provinces enjoy the dish with freshly baked bread. Garlic, salt, pepper, oil, or butter is mixed with the three main ingredients to make the delicious roasted eggplant dish. In some areas, grilled zucchini is used instead of eggplants to make Kadoo Ghassemi. ‘Kadoo’ is the Persian word for Zucchini. The dish can be decorated with basil, mint, or other fragrant herbs, as well as onions or sliced red radish.
Sirabij stew is a well-liked meal cooked in Gilan Province, famous for its strong garlic fragrance. The word ‘sir’ stands for garlic in Persian, referring to the main ingredient of Sirabij stew. Garlic cloves and leaves are what make this stew aromatized. It is a simple and easy dish to make, requiring boiled eggs, salt, pepper, turmeric, and oil with the cloves prepared and then fried together. Gilani women cook Sirabij with Gija Oil, also known as Gijavash, a local vegetable oil perfect for this unique stew. Sirabij is served with bread or rice, along with fish or chicken and yogurt.
One of the most common leafy green vegetables in Northern cuisine is Spinach. A healthy and nutritious plant, recommended by many health experts. Spinach Maerji is the perfect meal for individuals with low iron and a weak immune system. Made with lentils, garlic cloves, sour pomegranate paste, spice, turmeric, salt and pepper, and animal fat or butter. The dish is accompanied by bread or kateh (sticky rice) and garnished with herbs such as basil or mint. Mazandaran province is where Spinach Maerji was first invented and is usually made by the locals as a flavorsome meal. All these delicious northern dishes of Iran will give an unforgettable taste to your trip!