Since I am vegan, that means no meat for me, so these 5 Iranian dishes are at the top of my list.
1. Shirazi Salad سالاد شیرازی
I love, love, love this dish.
Named after the Shiraz region in Iran, this is a refreshing, delicious, and vegan, salad made of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Spiced with mint, lemon, and sumac (I order mine from Amazon), it’s perfect for those horrible hot icky summer days that we’re having a lot of here in the States.
The prep for this dish really couldn’t get any easier. You throw all the ingredients into a bowl, stir, chill, and serve. You can find a great recipe at AllRecipes.com.
2. Shirin Polo شیرین پلو
Known as jeweled rice, this is a traditional Iranian sweet rice dish that is bright in colour and is cooked with raisins. Usually served at Nowruz (Persian New Year), weddings, and basically any other special occasion, this is a staple in Iranian cuisine.
It’s a little too sweet for me to have as a main dish, but it goes great as a side.
Shirin Polo is traditionally made with butter (#NotVegan), but simply replace the butter in this recipe from Persian Mama with margarine, and you’ll be good to go.
3. Ashe Reshteh آش رشته
Oh. My. Ashe Reshteh is an Iranian noodle soup and so freakin’ good. I have had dreams about this soup. Made with a variety of beans, noodles, and herbs this soup is hearty, filling, and comforting.
Most recipes call for beef or chicken broth, and yogurt as a garnish, but this vegetarian recipe from ThePersianPot.com can be made vegan by omitting the sour cream.
4. Dal Adas دال عدس
Lentils, anyone? Dal adas is a lentil stew-type dish hailing from southern Iran. I love lentils; I could do a whole post about my favourite lentil dishes. Dal adas features red lentils, tamarind, potatoes, shallots, turmeric, and cardamom. Serve over rice.
The Persian Mama strikes again with another great recipe.
5. Khoresh Bademjan خورش بادمجان
I’m not a huge fan of eggplant, but this dish of eggplant tomato stew is actually really good. Simply omit the yogurt sauce, and this dish is vegan. One of my favourite things about khoresh bademjan is that you can cook it in a crockpot as long as you do the onions and eggplant in a pan first.
This recipe is available over at TheSpruceEats.com.
Featured image: Milad Tower in Tehran.