By Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra
• Iran’s cuisine is diverse: each province has dishes and culinary traditions that are distinct to the region.
• Iranian food has a distinct flavour, but not spicy.
• Most meals consist of a large serving of seasoned rice and an accompanying course. It typically consists of meat, poultry, or fish.
• Popular Iranian dishes include Chelo Kebab, which is beef or lamb on a bed of rice, Fesenjoon, a slightly sweet dish of meat and rice with pomegranate sauce, and Maahi, a seafood dish.
• Herbs are used frequently.
• Onions and garlic are normally used in the preparation of the main course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form.
• Iranian cuisine is noted for sensitivity of seasonings.
• Onions and garlic are used only with discretion, but cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, saffron, paprika, nutmeg, turmeric and dill are used creatively – to enhance main ingredients.
• To balance the natural sweetness of fresh and dried fruits in cooking, the sour juice of unripe grapes, lemon or lime juice, strips of dried limes, dried tangerine peel or tamarind is used.
– with a file from Fram Dinshaw