Herbs and spices are an essential part of Persian cuisine and have been used in Persia for thousands of years. They are used to add flavor and depth to dishes. The most commonly used spices in Persian cooking are cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and Saffron.
Persian spices are used in both sweet and savory dishes. Cardamom is often used in rice dishes and desserts, while cumin is used in stews and soups.
Spices used in Cooking Iranian Foods
To properly use the spices of Iranian cuisine, it is better to familiarize yourself with their types and know their correct use in each dish. In this section, we will mention the most commonly used spices:
Cinnamon is a spice used for centuries in cooking and baking. It has a warm, sweet flavor that can be used in many dishes. Cinnamon is also believed to have health benefits, such as helping to control blood sugar levels and improving circulation.
Nutmeg is the dried seed of the Myristica fragrans tree. It is native to Indonesia but grows in India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. The word “nutmeg” comes from the Latin, meaning “nut,” and muscat, meaning “musky .”Nutmeg has a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of spice. It is used to flavor many dishes, including pies, cakes, cookies, and custards. Nutmeg can also be used to make tea or coffee more flavorful.
Contrary to its name, nutmeg is beneficial for cooking Iranian dishes. Consuming too much nutmeg causes fatigue and weakness. This spice can be used in dishes such as falafel, rice, ghee stew and grilled dinner.
One of the main spices of Iranian cuisine is turmeric. Turmeric balances the taste of food and gives it a special color and appearance. Turmeric has been used in India and Iran for thousands of years. It is a key ingredient in curry powder and is what gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric has many health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antifungal agent. It can also help improve digestion and reduce the risk of cancer.
Ginger has been used as a form of medicine for centuries and is still used today for various ailments. It can take many forms, including fresh ginger root, capsules, and candy.
Ginger is effective in treating nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness. It can also help relieve pain from menstrual cramps, arthritis, and migraines. Additionally, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural blood thinner. This spice is used for cooking all kinds of fish and chicken.
This aromatic spice has been used for centuries in dishes from Central and Eastern Europe. Caraway is known by a few other names, including Meridian fennel and Persian cumin. So, it is one of the spices that give a unique flavor to Iranian food.
Caraway seeds are tiny and brown, with a bitter taste and strong aroma. They are often used to flavor bread, cheeses, and sauerkraut.
Caraway has been used medicinally to treat digestive problems like gas and bloating. It is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Cardamom is an aromatic spice from the seed pods of certain plants in the ginger family. It has a warm, slightly sweet flavor used in sweet and savory dishes. Cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian and Persian cuisine but is also used in many other cuisines worldwide.
When using cardamom, it is essential to remember that a little goes a long way. This spice can be added to curries, rice dishes, desserts, and even tea.
Cardamom is used to prepare many desserts. Green cardamom is the most widely used among white, black and green cardamoms. This unique spice is used in many foods, bread, desserts, sweets and jams.
Saffron, a native of Greece and Persia, is a species of crocus. The plant has been cultivated for centuries for its stigmas, which are used as a spice and yellow dye. Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices by weight. It is also used in traditional medicine.
It blooms in the autumn and has purple flowers with three stigmas. These stigmas are what is harvested to make saffron spice. Each flower only produces a few hundred milligrams of dry stigma, and it takes around 150 flowers to produce just one gram of dry saffron threads. This makes Saffron one of the most expensive spices by weight.
If you want to know how to bloom Saffron read this article.
Garlic powder is a key ingredient in many dishes. It can be used to add flavor to food or mask other ingredients’ taste. Garlic powder is made from ground, dehydrated garlic and is typically finer than granulated garlic. It can be used in place of fresh garlic in most recipes and has a shelf life of up to two years.
Adding the necessary amount of garlic powder to seafood to improve its taste is very useful and practical. In addition to its high nutritional value, this spice also acts as a blood pressure regulator.
This type of spice is mixed spice whose ingredients are different in some regions. Curry spice is one of the delicious spices of Iranian food. The combination used in this type of spice includes cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, sweet pepper, coriander leaves, clover, chili powder and fennel. In addition to giving a good taste to food, curry spice also reduces the unpleasant smell of meat, chicken and fish.
List of Persian Spice Blends (Advieh)
Khoresh Spices: Ghormeh Sabzi
Among the Persian stews (Advieh Khoresh), Ghormeh Sabzi is one of the most famous Iranian stews. Usually, there is a fixed composition for cooking Ghormeh Sabzi. However, you can prepare a tasty dish by adding or subtracting other spices from it.
The main spices of Ghormeh Sabzi include the following:
- Coriander and parsley
- Dry fenugreek
- Lemon powder
- Fennel powder
- Spinach and leeks
- Black pepper and salt
It is better to use mixed Iranian spices to improve the taste and smell of different types of pilaf, such as bean pilaf and Kabuli pualo.
Some of the spices added to Persian rice include the following:
- cinnamon powder
- rose powder
- Black cumin powder
- ginger powder
- cardamom powder
- Clove powder
- Nutmeg powder
To cook seafood such as various types of fish and shrimps, you can use compounds that, in addition to making them tasty, also help to reduce their smell.
Spices include the following:
- Mustard powder
- Dried bell pepper
- Clove powder
- Hair leaf powder
- Cardamom and cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
Adding some specific spices to the pickle makes pickles more delicious.
The spices below are an excellent choice for lite pickles and mixed pickles:
- Dry mint
- Coriander seeds
- Black seeds
- Black and green cumin seeds
Eggplant pickled spices also include:
If you have more information about Persian Advieh, share it with us.