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Culture - Food



  • Typical meal schedule for breakfast is usually 6-9 AM although different hotels may have different schedule (check with your hotel). A typical breakfast for Iranian is hot tea, bread, and feta cheese. Almost every household has this simple breakfast. Milk, butter, jam, honey, eggs (hard, soft, or scrambled), fruits, and walnut may also be available.
  • A typical Iranian breakfast for us may include pita bread or other kinds of Iranian bread, feta cheese, fresh basil, mint, tomatoes and cucumber from our garden, walnut, and fresh fruit. All of these items can be purchased from a regular grocery store. If you are in the mood, you can purchase special Iranian bread (i.e... lavash, barbari, sangak) from Iranian grocery stores.
  • Midmorning snack may include a piece of fruit. For example, in winter, midmorning snack may consist of pomegranate or orange and in summer, summer fruit.

Khoresht Taster (ghormeh sabzi, fesenjoon, gheimeh bademjan), chello (white rice) with saffron.*

  • Lunch is typically served 12-2 PM (may vary at hotels). Lunch is usually bigger meal (may resemble western size dinner in quantity). Lunch is usually consisted of rice and khoresht (a curry made of meat or chicken in a thick sauce plus vegetables or fruits, or nuts or legumes with Iranian spices and herbs).

  • In place of Khoresht, fish, chicken kebab, lamb kebab or kobideh (ground meat kebab) may be served.

  • Soups, salad, appetizer, yogurt, seasonal fruit may also be a part of lunch meal.

Meal accompanied with lavash bread, sabzi khordan and paneer (herbs such as basil, tarragon, mint, plus radish and feta cheese) . The white beverage is doogh (a yogurt drink).*

  • Some people may eat leftovers from lunch for dinner but usually in most households a dinner meal is a lighter meal and is served later at night (typically 9-10 PM or even 12 midnight). Restaurant and hotels schedule may be different.

  • Leftovers, salad, soup or stew, yogurt and seasonal fruit may include dinner meal.

  • In mid-afternoon (4-5 PM), tea is usually served. In some households and in hotels, tea is available throughout the day. Tea is traditionally served in small glasses and drunk with cubed sugar. Cubed sugar is held between teeth so it dissolves slowly. In the summer on a hot day in an Iranian home, most definitely you will be served a cold, sweet, fruit flavored beverage called sharbat (or sherbet, a drink made of fruit and sugar served with ice and water) or sekanjebin (a drink made of mint, vinegar and sugar served with ice and water). Sharbat-e sekanjebin or sharbat-e albaloo (sour cherry syrup) are the two cold beverages that are available in most homes, at least we offerred it to our guests in our household.

  • For trying Iranian cuisine look for restaurants in your area or make some dishes yourself, many are quite easy, you can purchase cookbooks here.

* (photos courtesy of Hatam Restaurant & Grocery, 821 B St, San Rafael CA (415) 454-8888 - lunch, dinner, and catering - highly recommended).