Shiraz Traditional food
Shirazis just love having fun and they’re willing to spend money on it. They take their holidays seriously and don’t let weekends pass by indoors.
They’re the kind of people you want to be around, cause they just know damn well to have fun! read more in our website www.isftour.com
Which brings us to Shirazi food!
My recent trip to Shiraz was all about food and it went far beyond the well known Kalam Polow (cabbage rice). I was there to open the new Shiraz branch of Persian Food Tours and our guides were kind enough to show me all their favourite spots. And you know what? Unlike many other Iranian cities, it’s actually super easy to find local specialities served in restaurants in Shiraz. That’s if you know where to go and what to look for.
Kalam Polo (Cabbage rice)
Kalam Polow is Shiraz’s most famous dish. While in the rest of Iran, we might make the dish with normal cabbages, the authentic version of Kalam polo is actually with Kohlrabi. It’s basically a mixture of rice, diced kohlrabis, vegetables and the tiniest meatballs and it’s super easy to find in most restaurants in Shiraz.
Ash-e Sabzi (Vegetable Soup)
Shirazis have a huge variety of Ash! If you didn’t know, Ash is Iran’s national soup that has over a hundred recipes! Yup, that’s right!
Each city, town or village has its own kind and the Shirazis have quite a few of it. Ash-e Sabzi is a delicious veggie soup served for breakfast with bread.
Halva is a popular dessert in the Middle East with lots of variety. In Shiraz, the most famous Halva is known as Halva-ye Kaseh which is a rice flour Halva with lots of saffron. You can easily find it in the numerous pastry shops in town and restaurants in Shiraz.
Masghati is a dessert originally belonging to the city of Muscat in Oman. There was a time that a lot of Iranians from the Fars province (specifically Lar city) moved to Oman and worked in pastry shops. With their return, they brought back the well-loved Masghati recipe and gave it a local touch. And Masghati became the most well-known pastry of Shiraz.
Today you’ll find small diamond shaped Masghatis sold all over the city and served with tea.
Koofteh Sabzi (vegetable rice balls)
Koofteh is a term for all rice meatballs in Iran. Like both Ash and Halva, Koofteh has a huge variety from town to town. The difference in the variety of Koofteh is usually about the added ingredients to the rice and meat. The Koofteh Sabzi of Shiraz is all about the herbs. Chives, tarragon, parsley, savoury and dill along with split peas are mixed with the cooked rice and minced meat and the Koofteh gets has a green colour from all the herbs.
Youkheh is another typical pastry of Shiraz which was originally inspired by Kak from Kurdistan. Youkheh is layers of thin dough that have been cooked over a pre-heated stone. The layers are peppered with sugar powder and cinnamon before getting rolled up and cut into pieces.
Dampokhtak Adas-o Kalam (Rice with lentils and cabbages)
While the rest of us Iranians like our rice with separate grains, the Shirazis actually don’t mind the mushy rice. That’s where Dampokhtak comes from. Dampokhtak is basically rice cooked in a way that’s still a little wet and mushy. Different kinds of Dampokhtak have different added ingredients. This one, in particular, is cooked with lentils, cabbages and meat.
Tarhalva is another version of Shirazi halva. It’s pretty similar to Masghati except the added milk gives it a deep yellow colour instead of the transparent yellow of Masghati. This dessert is made from cornstarch, rice flour, milk, sugar, rosewater and saffron.
Koofteh Holoo literally translates to Peach Koofteh in Persian. However, there’s no sign of peach in the recipe. It was the peach-sized balls that determined its name. This Koofteh is a mixture of corn flour, rice, minced meat, eggs, carrots and raisins with added sugar which gives it a very sweet taste. It might not be your thing if you don’t like sweet stuff like me, but it definitely has a unique flavour.
Shekar Polow with Gheimeh (Sweet rice with split peas stew)
Shekar polo is Shiraz’s love or hate dish. A Shirazi friend of mine once said that if you’re to like Shekar polo, it’s because you’ve got some Shirazi genes in you. It’s the kind of dish none-Shirazis don’t really appreciate, simply because it’s very sweet. It’s basically a sugary rice served with Gheimeh – a well-known stew made from split peas, meat, potatoes and dried limes.
Dami Gojeh (Rice with tomatoes)
Dami Gojeh is an easy everyday meal typical in Shiraz. It’s the same mushy rice mixed with chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
Dopiazeh is usually served as an appetizer in restaurants in Shiraz. Dopiazeh means two onions! It takes its name from the main ingredient which is two onions for every potato! The two are mixed together with some tomato paste and make a super easy and healthy starter.
Ash-e Mast (Yoghurt soup)
Ash-e mast is unique in the way that’s strangely served cold. You’ll find it in Ash shops and also on the streets of Shiraz. The main ingredients are meat, rice, split peas, tarragon, dill, onions and of course thick yoghurt.
Kardeh is a special wild herb only found in Shiraz which makes the main ingredient of this Shirazi soup. This Ash is an absolute must-try as you won’t be able to find it anywhere else in Iran or the world. Don’t go looking for it in fancy restaurants of Shiraz. You’ll find this shop either on the street or specific Ash shops.