Updated: Jan 25, 2022
If you have ever had Persian food, you definitely noticed that the food contain some ingredients which you haven't taste or seen in any other cuisine before. Ingredients that makes the Persian food so rich, complex, unique and tasty.
Main point of making this list is to introducing the ingredients, spices and snacks that are staple to Persian cuisine and culture.
Some of the one that I'm sharing with you are not 100% necessarily to have in your pantry or you Persian recipes would still taste great without them and/or might be just use as garnish(still edible though). Nevertheless each and every of them bring amazing aroma, flavor and color to your dish and that's all that matter!
You can usually find these ingredients in Persian grocery stores which luckily most of them has online ordering now a days too!
PS.I also have to mention that as we go forward this post will be updated and expand, this is just to start!
The spice originates from a flower commonly known as Saffron Crocus. Saffron is extremely fragrant with slightly sweet and bold taste. Just a pinch of it can bring lots of color, taste and aroma to the food. This spice takes a huge part in Iranian cuisine and the most common way to use it, is to make saffron rice or Tahchin with it.
Persian Hogweed گلپر
Persian Hogweed mostly known as Golpar is a flowering plant native to Iran and it grows in spring. This photo is the dried seed but it mostly sold in grounded form. Because of it's warm nature it goes great with pomegranate, baked Fava beans and fish. It can also be used in pickles!
Dried Rose Petal گل سرخ
Rose petals are one of my favorite things once it comes to the garnishes because of their eye-catching color and aroma. They retain most of their color, flavor and aroma when dried and they can be stored in the pantry for up to 6 months. They are common ingredients in pastries and tea blends or they can be used as garnishes and decoration.
Roasted Salted Pistachio پسته شور
From using it as a garnish, making sweets/pastries with it or snack it during the day, Pistachio is one of the most popular nuts in Iran. To make this snack, raw Pistachio getting roasted in the oven with a bit of lemon/lime juice, salt and saffron to gives it a tangy flavor with great aroma.
This snack is commonly serves during the Norouz (Persian new year), but you can find it any other time of the year too.
Persian Dried Lime Flakes پرک لیمو عمانی
If you are familiar with Persian food even a little bit, you've definitely heard/tasted dried lime already. Dried Lime Flakes is basically inside of the dried lime. It has a tangy citrusy taste and aroma, and it pass it's flavor to the food quicker than the whole dried lime. It can also be found as grounded with same taste and like whole dried lime, it can be used in stews.
Slivered Orange Peel خلال پرتغال
If you put Orange Peel Marmalade aside, there are still few dishes in Persian cuisine where this ingredient is used. It might looks more like a garnish, but Orange Peel actually takes a big part in Javaher Polo and Shirin Polo's flavor. They usually sold dried but soaking them in water for 30 minutes is all they need to get fresh again.
From whole seed to grounded, cumin is one of the spices which get uses a lot in Persian cuisine. It has a warm, smokey, uniq flavor and it uses in different cuisine such as Indian and Latin American too. One of the great ways to use whole cumin seed is to mix it with rice while it steams or sprinkle some on bottom of the pot while making Tahdig.