Persian cuisine can be quite difficult to pin down. Previously an extensive empire that spanned the Middle East, every you talk about Persia, you are often talking about Iran, a diverse and largecountry with a rich and extensive culinary tradition: slow-cooked braises, aromatic rice, and stews layered with sensuous and bright flavors.
Considering theimmensity of Iran, what is essential in one region might not as important in others. However,some specific ingredients shouldalways be part of any Persian pantry that you need to add to your cart when shopping at Super Sun Market Los Angeles.
While vegetables and legumes are used a lot in Persian cuisine, fruits are the ones that give a unique quality to most of their dishes. Iranians always love to mix meat and fruits, noting that sweet-and-savory or sweet-and-sourdishes date back to 6th century Iran.
The country is abundant with fruits, such as dried limes or limooomani with a very interesting earthy flavor you can never find in other sour agents. Sour plums, cherries, quince, and various berries like barberriesare used frequently throughout Iran.
Spices and herbs might often be considered by some people as one and the samebut not in Persian kitchens. Persian cooking considers herbs as vegetables since they serve as the dish’s body.
These are not flavor enhancers or garnishes, and instead, they make the dish itself. Some recipes require pounds of fresh herbs, which is typically a combination of cilantro, dill, parsley, and scallions.
Due to the way they are used, herbs should often be fresh. However, it is recommended to use dried fenugreek leaves and dried mint because their flavors are usually more potent compared to fresh leaves.
Some people assume that Persian cuisine relies heavily on meat. However,even if many recipes use beef, lamb, and other proteins, these are actually used just a bit, almost like a flavor enhancer. A single pound of meat can easily serve eight people.
A delicious but humble recipe koufteh ghelgheli is a dish that consists of small meatballs made with chickpea flour and lamb and served with a lemony turmeric broth, with the meatballs melting in your mouth.
Rice is the signature of Persian food, with experts claiming that Iranians make it the best, partly because there are numerous varieties, such as jasmine, basmati, or even “broken” rice, typically used formeatballs and soups, and also because of the way it is cooked.
You willneed to stock your kitchen pantry with almost half a dozen essential spices if you plan to make Persian dishes. Turmeric tops the list because you cannot cook anything Persian without turmeric. Saffron is another essential. Other must-haves are cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds, rose petals, and sumac.
Persian spices are known for their versatility, ranging from savory to earthy; some delicate while others are potent. Spices also show up in entrees, desserts, and rice. Iranians love their desserts, most of which also use spices as part of the recipe.