Iranian tradition is not only about its sights and clothes, but also about very delicious and healthy traditional Iranian food in the world.
Iran has a high diversity of food in the world due to its vastness and large number of provinces and various ethnic groups. Some Iranian cuisine is famous in particular and in general. Some of them are cooked on special nights such as the first night of Nowruz, Iranian New Year.
These dishes has many fans both in Iran and in other parts of the world. We can be boldly introduced it as the best destination for food tourism.
In Iran, there are types of best Persian food. from delicious food in the north and spicy food in the south to all kinds of kebabs, fried chicken, pilafs, stews, broths, soups, seafood, Iranian desserts, etc. and ice cream with the aroma of rose and saffron.
Pilaf is a Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice (or sometimes wheat) cooked in stock with spices, typically having added meat or vegetables.
Iran has 31 provinces, each with its own dozens of local and traditional foods. So join us on this delicious journey to introduce 27 of the most famous traditional food of Iran.
The most famous local and traditional Iranian food by provinces
Local food of East Azerbaijan
The traditional cuisine of East Azerbaijan Province, with its tempting appearance and unique aroma, is so varied that you may have trouble choosing food at local restaurants. But rest assured, all menu options are delicious and you will not regret choosing them.
1- Kufteh Tabrizi
Kufteh are one of the famous old and popular dishes that are cooked with ingredients such as chickpeas, rice, aromatic vegetables, eggs, red meat, onions, walnuts and barberry.
The inside of the meatballs is filled with ingredients such as fried onions, plums, barberry, walnuts and eggs. Finally, Kufteh Tabrizi are cooked in a sauce consisting of tomato paste, water and saffron. It served with bread and vegetables, yogurt, buttermilk and various pickles.
2- Dolmeh barge moo
The dolmeh has a lot of variety. Capsicum, eggplant, tomato and cabbage are among the most popular types of dolmeh! But nevertheless, Dolmeh barge moo has always been more popular.
Dolmeh barge moo is one of the most traditional, popular and delicious Iranian food that is usually cooked in spring. Because the best grape tree leaves can be found this season.
It is one of the different models of dolmeh that is prepared from different materials such as grapes leaves, rice, chickpeas, minced meat (optional), fragrant vegetables and spices.
The method of preparing Dolmeh barge moo is a bit time consuming; Because in addition to preparing the raw materials, wrapping the grapes leaves is also a bit time consuming. It makes a lot of effort to make dolmeh, but eating it is a lot of fun.
Carrot stew is one of the types of traditional Iranian food whose origin goes back to the city of Tabriz.
Local food of West Azerbaijan
West Azerbaijan Province is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, which is a unique destination for food tourism, despite its historical monuments, Mediterranean climate and various local cuisines.
Ghozlamah or Ghozlameh is one of the local dishes of Urmia, which is made with garlic, eggs, yogurt, oil and salt. “Ghozlamah” in Urmia language means “do not wait” and the reason for naming this food is that preparing it does not require much time and is very simple.
It is an Iranian fast food and you can turn it into a parliamentary appetizer with a little decoration. This delicacy is usually served with dry bread for breakfast or light dinner.
4- Urmia khorosh
Urmia khorosh is one of the traditional stews of Urmia that is very similar to Chiti bean dish.
This delicious dish is usually made with eggplant and fried potatoes and served with rice. Stewed meat, pinto beans, onions, tomato paste, saffron, Ghora, salt and pepper are the ingredients of Urmia stew.
5- soup-e Balghure urmia (Ash-e Balghur)
Yarma Shorbasi or soup-e Balghure urmia is one of the delicious and local dishes of West Azerbaijan and the city of Urmia, which means “Ash-e Balghur” in Turkish. This famous traditional Iranian food has a very high nutritional value and fiber due to its wheat semolina. Among the properties of Urmia semolina soup, we can mention skin protection, easy digestion, strengthening the digestive system and preventing cancer.
Local food of Ardabil
Ardabil, with its cold and mountainous climate in northwestern Iran, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iran. The local cuisine of this region, depending on the climate, mostly includes different types of dishes! Of course, many traditional dishes such as souti pilaf, pichaq gheimeh, etc., as well as a variety of local pickles and salads, including green pepper salad, are also prepared in this province.
6- Ashe doogh
Ashe Doogh, known in Turkish as “Ayran Ashi” and “Dog” and in Kurdish as “Doklio”, is one of the local and ancient Iranian cuisine. This traditional Iranian food is made in different provinces of Iran, including Ardabil, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Isfahan, Kashan, Hamedan, and Qazvin.
The ingredients of Ashe Doogh include legumes such as peas and beans and various mountain and local vegetables. It is finally flavored with doogh and served. Ashe Doogh can be served as a snack, appetizer or even at lunch. Due to its calcium and vitamin content, Ashe Doogh is also a good option for breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Pichaq Gheymeh and Shir-Polo are two other famous local dishes of Ardabil.
Local food of Isfahan
Esfahan dishes usually consist of a combination of beans and meat, which are crushed and served with fresh bread and vegetables. There are also hot foods similar to soups and stews, in which meat still plays an important role.
In general, the diet of the people of Isfahan is mixed with meat, which is a great advantage for those who are interested in meat, especially red meat.
This food has a special place in the food heritage of this province and has a very delicious taste. The best type of Brian is prepared with fresh mutton, but today it is also cooked with chicken. Beryan’s reputation is not limited to Esfahan and Iran, this very delicious traditional Iranian food has a world-wide reputation.
Beryan is a fatty, nutritious, high-quality and tasty food made using minced mutton, mint, onion, saffron and cinnamon. It is usually served with minced white liver and Sangak bread.
Beryan is a really delicious food by decorating pistachio slices, almond slices and barberry, which have a special glaze with saffron.
Among the traditional dishes of Esfahan, we can mention kebab zardak, Ash-e Mast, etc.
Local food of Alborz province
Alborz province is the 31st province of Iran and the fifth largest city in Iran in terms of population. The province is very diverse in terms of climate; It starts from the desert climate in the southern parts and continues to the semi-humid and humid climates in the northern parts.
8- Khoesh-e Adas Taleghan (Marjoo khoresh)
Khoresh-e Adase Sabz is one of the most delicious, nutritious and traditional Iranian food that originates from Taleghan in Alborz province. Of course, this stew is also cooked in Gilan and Mazandaran with a slight difference in the way of preparation. This stew has a simple recipe and can be included in your diet as a complete meal with bread or rice.
9- Lobia pileh
Lobia pileh is one of the local and seasonal dishes of Alborz province that is cooked in summer. In the past, this food was poured into a dark container called tiareh and after baking bread, it was placed in the oven. Lobia pileh are actually fresh pinto beans with pods.
Yuan Ash is another traditional Iranian food and local and nutritious food of Alborz province. It is made with rice, lentils, vegetables, turnips, minced meat, salt, pepper and turmeric.
Local food of Ilam province
Ilam province is located in western Iran and has a mountainous location and many forest areas and pastures.
This province also has a high food diversity and the local food of Ilam has an extraordinary taste. People of this province cook a variety of food on different occasions and seasons.
10- Ashe Tarkhineh
Tarkhineh is a nutritious dish that treats colds. It is one of the foods that is cooked and eaten in winter due to the prevalence of colds. Of course, Tarkhineh is also known as a local food in other western province, including Kermanshah, Lorestan and Kurdistan.
Nutritious Ashe Tarkhineh consists of legumes such as lentils, beans and peas, fragrant vegetables, onions, peppers and turmeric.
Other local dishes of Ilam are: Shale-Amiri and Qhale Maseva
Local food of Bushehr Province
Bushehr is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the south of Iran and host many travelers every year. It has many attractions from beautiful beaches, tourist villages and commercial markets to a variety of local food.
Most of the local food of Bushehr province is made from seafood due to its proximity to the Persian Gulf. Shrimp and fish are the main part of the food of the people of this province.
The most famous dishes of Bushehr include Qhalyemahi, Qhalyemeygo, Gheymeh Bushehri, shekar polo, Ranginak, Halvaye Pich and many other foods.
11- Qhalye mahi
Qhalye mahi is one of the most famous dishes of southern Iran, which is cooked in Bushehr, Khuzestan, Hormozgan and southern Baluchistan.
How to prepare this food is very simple and fast; in addition, it does not need many ingredients . It is prepared with Qhalye vegetables (coriander and fenugreek), southern fish, tamarind and spices.
The people of each region in the south of the country use a special type of fish to prepare Qhalyemahi. For example, Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel are used in Bandar Abbas, Groupers in Ahvaz, and John’s snapper in Bandar Ganaveh.
Local food of Tehran Province
Tehran is the capital and most populous city of Iran and it dates back to the Neolithic era.
This old city has been the political and economic capital of the country since the time of Qajar. For this reason, many people with different cultures and traditions have migrated to it over the years. Perhaps this is why the local cuisine of Tehran, like other provinces, cannot be named separately.
12- Khoresh-e Gheymeh
Ghimeh is another delicious traditional Iranian food that is very popular among the people. This dish is cooked using tomato paste, fried onion, cobs and red or white meat, Omani lemon.
This delicious stew cooked with various recipes in different regions of Iran. It is served with rice or pilaf noodles, fried potatoes and sometimes fried eggplant. It can be said that 80% of the deliciousness of this food is due to its fried potatoes. Some people add cinnamon, saffron, cardamom and rose to make this stew more fragrant and flavorful.
13- Ghormeh Sabzi
Khoresh-e Ghormeh of Ghormeh Sabzi is definitely one of the popular national dishes of Iran among Iranians after kebab. This delicious stew, like Gheymeh, is cooked in different parts of the country with a variety recipes.
This stew is cooked with Vegetables such as leeks, parsley, fenugreek, coriander, spinach or beet leaves, beans, onions and red meat and is usually served with rice. It is one of the few traditional Iranian foods that has not changed from the past until today.
This traditional stew is flavored with salt, pepper and Omani lemon. It takes a lot of time to cook Ghormeh Sabzi. Because with long cooking, the stew becomes more settled and delicious. It is interesting to know that the first day of December has been named as the World Ghormeh Sabzi Day.
Local food of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, with its extraordinary climate and lush nature, provides its people with a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains and livestock so that they can prepare colorful and delicious food with these fresh foods.
14- Kabab bakhtiari
Kabab Bakhtiari is one of the delicious and famous Iranian kebabs that originates from Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari and Lorestan provinces. Of course, this type of kebab is cooked all over Iran and the world today and has many fans. To prepare Kabab bakhtiari, you need mutton, chicken breast or fish fillet.
Gherdo polo and Shorbaye Gheymeh rize are two other local dishes of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari.
Local food of South Khorasan Province
South Khorasan in the southern part of Khorasan in eastern Iran, with a long history has many local dishes. We suggest you to taste them when traveling to this region.
15- Balghor polo
Balghor polo is one of the simple and vegetarian traditional Iranian food that can be prepared quickly at home. This dish, which is very similar to Istanbuli, is made with wheat semolina, onions, oil, water, turmeric, salt, pepper and sometimes tomatoes, tomato paste or both.
The authenticity of this delicious and very nutritious food is attributed to South Khorasan province and Birjand city. However it is cooked in other cities of Iran such as Gonabad, Tabas, Ardabil and also in Turkey with different ingredients.
Kashk Salari and qhorout bademjan are two local and delicious dishes of South Khorasan.
Local food of Razavi Khorasan Province
In addition to a variety of Iranian dishes that are served in restaurants in Mashhad, there are many local and delicious food such as coco shirin, Halim Adas, shele, etc., which you have to taste them.
Shishlik is one of the special dishes of Mashhad, which is derived from the Turkish word. In Caucasian Turkish, “shish” means skewer and “lik” refers to the meat inside the skewer.
The way of cooking Shishlik is a bit different from other kebabs, In most restaurants, the best Shishlik is prepared with mutton ribs with bones and on direct heat of the fire.
Local food of North Khorasan Province
Different ethnic groups such as Persians, Turks, Turkmen and Tat live in North Khorasan province and therefore the local food of this province is very diverse.
The local food of North Khorasan province is prepared with special customs and traditions and usually has a wonderful aroma and taste due to the use of mountain vegetables.
Eshkane is one of the original, delicious and meatless Iranian dishes that is usually served with bread. Ingredients for this soup-like food include oil, onions, vegetables (fenugreek or savory), wheat flour, salt, turmeric and other spices. Eshkane is an appetizer that is cooked quickly and easily in the kitchen.
Historical evidence shows that this traditional Iranian food was first cooked in Khorasan, especially on cold and winter nights in Bojnourd.
Local food of Khuzestan Province
High ethnic diversity in Khuzestan province has caused that in addition to the existence of special customs and culture in each region, there is also food diversity in the diet of indigenous people. Khuzestani food is usually spicy and full of spices.
Khuzestan samosa and falafel are popular in most cities in the south of the country. Falafel consists of peas and lots of spicy spices. Khuzestani falafel is prepared in different ways and it is served with bread, tomatoes and various pickles.
They are spicy and appetizing foods that you can taste in Khuzestan. In addition, traces of spicy Indian and Arabic food can be seen in different parts of Khuzestan. Eating each of these dishes will give you double the pleasure.
18- Khoresh-e Bamieh
Khoresh-e Bamieh originally belongs to the southern cities of the country. In addition to its delicious taste, it is very rich and therefore it is prepared in most cities of Iran. Khoresh-e Bamieh Ahwazi uses potatoes, which is perhaps the most important difference with other Khoresh-e Bamieh. It has simple ingredients and is suitable for any taste and diet.
The ingredients of this traditional Iranian food are similar to eggplant Khoresh. The important point in preparing this food is to cut the bottom of the okra in such a way that its viscous liquid does not come out.
Khoresh-e Bamieh is a main dish that is served with chelo or kateh, vegetables, salads and pickles. This incredibly nutritious meal is perfect for lunch and dinner at family get-togethers.
Local food of Zanjan Province
The local food of Zanjan is so diverse and delicious that it is one of the reasons for tourists to travel to this region of the country.
Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of a trip to Zanjan is tasting the delicious taste of authentic and traditional food from different parts of the country. Fragrant foods that are a source of energy and natural medicine for the body and their taste and aroma will make the memory of the trip more memorable.
The main feature of Zanjan food is its tonicity and high calories. In fact, since Zanjan is a cold region, people turn to high-calorie and natural foods to strengthen their bodies in the bone-chilling cold of winter.
19- Jaghor Baghur
Zanjanis use the heart, liver and offal of sheep along with Ghora, onion, tomato and spices to prepare Jaghor Baghur (Jighir Begighir). It may be interesting to know that this traditional Iranian food is eaten as a breakfast in Zanjan.
During your trip to this area, you will see that many stalls and restaurants offer customers hot Jaghor Baghur during the morning.
The basis of this food is ingredients such as heart, offal and liver of sheep, which are combined with various spices and vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and potatoes to create a delicious taste. This food is served with bread after cooking.
Local food of Semnan Province
Semnan province does not have a favorable agricultural situation due to its location in a special geographical area with desert and semi-desert climate and also due to water and soil conditions. Wheat, barley, potatoes, alfalfa, beets, clover and pistachios are known as agricultural products of this region. However, you can see an interesting and amazing variety of traditional and local foods in the diet of families in this region of Iran.
20- Tah chin
Tahchin is another of the best traditional Iranian dishes. This food is a combination of different meats, yogurt, eggs, saffron sliced almonds and eggplant. In addition to the high variety of combinations, its beautiful shape and form, Tahchin is considered as a formal and suitable food for parties.
This delicious traditional Iranian food is cooked in different ways in different regions of Iran. For example, it is also prepared with duck and goose meat, but Tah chin is more popular with chicken. It is interesting to know that Tah chin is called Iranian cake abroad because of its stylish and beautiful appearance.
Local food of Fars Province
Vegetation of Fars province consists of forest trees, medicinal and industrial plants. Almonds, oaks, licorice, calendula flowers, tragacanth and Angozeh are the most important local products of this province. According to statistics released by tourism and food officials in Fars province, more than 250 types of local and indigenous food have been identified in the province, which are rooted in the culture, climate and way of life of the people of this land.
Foods such as Ash alok, Polo Esfandi, Dopiazeh, Kate Shirazi, Shirin Polo, Shirazi , Kalam Polo Shiraz, Ash Abghoreh, Dempokhtak Kazeruni and Ash Anar Shirazi are just some of these local and traditional dishes.
21- Kalam Polo Shirazi
Kalam Polo Shirazi is a popular food among Iranians that is cooked in different ways throughout Iran; But its originality goes back to Shiraz. It usually consists of cabbage, rice, various vegetables and spices. Cabbage used in Shirazi pilaf cabbage is lunar cabbage.
Kalam Polo Shirazi, unlike Kalam Polo Tehrani, which consists of cabbage, tomato paste and minced meat, is a completely green rice with slices of kale. The main flavor of this food comes first from tarragon and then from kale.
The composition of Kalam Polo Shirazi vegetables is unique and bears no resemblance to classic vegetable polos such as Baqhali polo, Sabzi polo and Shevid polo.
Local food of Qazvin Province
Due to being surrounded by the Central Alborz Mountains, this province has a unique geographical location and climate. This issue, in addition to the ancient history of this city, has a unique impact on the local food of Qazvin.
Most Qazvini dishes have a sweet taste and are made with beans, meat, various nuts, slices and local spices.
This province also plays a leading role in cooking sweets in Iran and is one of the best tourist destinations for those who are interested in sweets.
22- Gheymeh Nesar
Gheymeh Nesar is one of the famous and local dishes of Qazvin, which is cooked with pieces of mutton or beef, hot onion, sliced almond, pistachio, sliced orange and barberry and poured over rice for serving.
Contrary to its name, this traditional Iranian food does not bear much resemblance to traditional Khoresh Gheymeh and does not use cobs or other beans in its preparation. Gheymeh Nesar is more similar to Morasa Polo and is the most popular food in Qazvin.
Gheymeh Nesar can be boldly introduced as one of the most beautiful local food of Iran. This delicious food with a variety of slices of almonds, pistachios and oranges along with barberry and saffron rice, displays an extremely beautiful combination of green, white, yellow, orange and red colors in front of your eyes.
Local food of Kurdistan Province
Kurdistan province is very rich in local food and this is due to the way of life of the people, which is based on livestock, agriculture, horticulture and beekeeping. As a result, the people of this region make the most of natural edible plants such as mushrooms, celery, artichokes and rhubarb, fresh and dried.
Among the various food of Kurdistan, ASh can be considered as the most diverse local dishes of this province, which are often prepared from very simple and available ingredients of households, such as doogh, Whey or mountain plants.
Cooking these delicious and healthy dishes is usually common in winter, which are effective for health and recovery from colds. In addition, the presence of natural and plant materials such as local bread and butter, local eggs, milk, honey, etc. make these foods tastier and healthier.
If you want to know the best Kurdish singers, click here: 10 Most Famous Kurdish Singers | Best Kurdish Singers Ever
23- Ash Parpole
Ash Parpole is one of the local dishes of Kurdistan, which is popular in the cold season and especially during colds. In the past, the dough for this Ash was made by hand; But today, ready-made noodles have replaced it.
Fry the chopped onions in some local oil or butter. When the onions are golden, add salt and spices. Wash the lentils and cook separately with some water. Then add hot onion and savory to cooked lentils.
After cooking the lentils, hot onion and savory, add the noodles and let the Ash simmer over low heat. If you wish, you can also use broth or pen juice, which gives a much tastier taste to it.
Local food of Kerman Province
The local food of Kerman province is very diverse and delicious, and among them we can mention a variety of stews, soups, broths, pilafs and stews. Cumin is one of the most famous spices in Kerman province, which is used in cooking many local dishes of Kerman.
As you know, the best and highest quality cumin in Iran grows in Kerman province and this is the reason for the high use of this spice in the local food of the people of Kerman. Whey is another popular food in Kerman province that is used in many dishes.
24- Zire polo
Zire polo or polo Zire is one of the strongest and most delicious local food of Kerman, which is made with black cumin or a mixture of black and green cumin. Zire polo is also one of the local dishes of Mazandaran; The difference is that cinnamon, cumin, pepper, fenugreek and raisins are used in its preparation.
Due to the warm nature of cumin and the cold nature of rice, Zire polo has a balanced nature and for this reason, it is a suitable food for autumn and winter.
Zire polo can be cooked with chicken, pieces of meat, minced meat and stir-fried meat; Of course, you should know that this food is traditionally a simple and meatless food that is cooked completely plant and vegetarians can include it in their diet.
Local food of Gilan Province
Gilan province with 170 to 220 types of local traditional Iranian food is the first province in Iran in terms of variety of local food.
A variety of stews, vegetarian food, kebabs, KoKo, ASh, desserts and sweets are cooked and prepared in this region of Iran. These food are so famous and delicious that it is impossible not to have heard their names before.
Morqe Torsh, anarbich, Baqalaqatoq, Mirza Ghasemi and zeytoon parvarde are five local foods of Gilan province whose traditional way of cooking has been nationally registered.
In 2015, UNESCO introduced Rasht as the creative capital of food, and of course, given this volume of food diversity, this is not surprising at all.
25- Mirza Ghasemi
Mirza Ghasemi is one of the most original local dishes of Gilan province, which is made with tomatoes, grilled eggplant, garlic, spices and eggs. It is served in Gilan with North Kata as a main dish or appetizer; But in some parts of the country, especially Tehran, this food is also eaten with bread.
Its preparation is very simple and you can easily prepare this very tasty and tempting food in the kitchen for your parties. Mirza Ghasemi, due to the lack of meat, is also an ideal food for vegetarians.
Local food of Markazi Province
Markazi province has a diverse climate that has a great effect on plant growth and variety of native vegetables. It is due to the presence of high mountains, proximity to areas such as Namak Lake and Miqan Desert.
For this reason, an interesting and unique variety can be seen in most traditional and local foods of Markazi province, which in addition to having high nutritional value, is reminiscent of many rituals and customs that were common in the past.
26- Khoresh-e Fesenjan
Fesenjan is one of the best traditional Iranian food that has decorated the Iranian table in all parties and gatherings. It is cooked with walnuts, pomegranate paste and chicken or duck meat. Of course, the cooking method is very different in different cities. In general, its cooking method depends on the taste of people, some people like it more sour and others like smoothies.
The method of cooking this stew, like Ghormeh Sabzi, has its own trick. It must be cooked with very low heat to fit. Khoresh Fesenjan in Iran is several hundred years old.
It is interesting to know that this ancient antiquity can be found on the tablets and inscriptions of Persepolis. According to ancient inscriptions dating to 515 BC, some of them have been hacked raw materials and methods of preparation of fosanjan
Traditional and religious Iranian food
27- Ash-e Reshteh
There are special soups in every region of Iran. But Ash Reshteh is more famous and popular than all of them.
Ash-e Reshteh smells of Iran, Ramadan traditions, Iftar and family dinners in grandparents’ houses. Ash Reshteh is a common memory from the childhood of every Iranian. There are few people who do not love its taste. It is one of the most authentic Iranian dishes that has been cooked for many years.
This tasty traditional Iranian food is cooked with a variety of beans, vegetables (spinach, leeks, parsley, coriander), garlic, noodles, onions, oil, salt and turmeric.
The most important part of Ash Reshteh is its decoration and Iranians are very skilled and tasteful in this regard. Curd, garlic, hot mint and hot onion are used to decorate it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1- What is the most popular food in Iran?
2- Is Falafel an Iranian food?
It is originally an Arabic (Egyptian) food and since 2% of Iranian population are Arabs, this food has found its way to Iran.
3- Is Abgoosht a traditional Iranian food?
Yes, abgoosht is Iran’s most beloved and ubiquitous peasant dish.
4- What is the national dish of Iran?