If you are a vegetarian…
Normally if you just walk into a regular restaurant, you won’t have much luck in finding a vegetarian dish there.
Nowadays there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants opened in Tehran and you can find them with a simple search on google maps. You can also get lucky in some high-end restaurants in major cities or to find street food like Falafel sandwich (slightly different from Lebanese Falafel) or Sambuseh (similar to Aloo Samosa of India).
But except when you are traveling in the province of Gilan and especially city of Rasht (which is Food Heaven of Iran!!) your only chance of tasting a delicious vegetarian dish is at Iranian homes.
POPULAR VEGETARIAN DISHES
Falafel is the archetypically Middle Eastern dish. Made from ground fava (broad) beans, chickpeas or a mixture of the two, these deep-fried balls are a staple of Levantine cuisine. Whether eaten alone as a quick snack, or served in a pitta with salad and tahini-based sauces, they are a common sight at food stalls and restaurants from Aden to Istanbul, and from Baghdad to Benghazi. But if you ask where falafel actually comes from, you’ll never get the same answer twice.
- Kashk-e Bademjan (eggplant with whey sauce dip)
Boorani Bademjan (eggplant with yoghurt sauce dip)
- Yatimcheh (eggplant with tomato sauce)
- Naz Khatoon (eggplant and herbs dip with slightly sour taste)
- Kookoo is a category of food similar to Spanish Tortilla or Omelette, that is cooked with different vegetables.
- Kookoo Sibzamini (with potato)
- Kookoo Sabzi (with mixed herbs, walnut and barberry)
- Kookoo Kadoo sabz (with zucchini)
- kookoo loobia (with green beans)
- Omelette in Iran is only one kind: a tomato omelette which has more tomatoes than eggs
- Khagineh (with yoghurt, could be made sweet or savoury)
- Nargesi (with spinach and onions)
- Dampokhte baghala and Baghali polo (rice with broad beans and dill)
- Dampokhte Gojeh (rice with tomato and sometimes potato)
- Estanboli (dampokhte gojeh with green beans or in some regions with potatoes)
- Dampokhte Mash (rice with mung beans)
- Adas polo (rice with lentils and raisins)
- Havij Polo (rice with carrots and walnut)
- Loobia polo (in different parts of the country loobia polo can refer to dampokht with pinto beans or estanboli with green beans)
- Do Piazeh Aloo (potatos and onions and tomato paste)
- Eshkeneh (potato and egg soup-like dish with herbs)
- Kale Joosh (whey sauce, walnut and herbs)
- Khorak Loobia (Pinto beans and tomato sauce thick soup)
- Adasi (lentils)
- Daal adas (Daal in tomato sauce along with onions and potato)
- Ash is a category of old dishes in Iran which are more like thick soups. There are many varieties of Ash in Iran and each region has a special Ash of their own.
- Ash Reshteh (legumes, herbs, noodles, served with whey sauce)
- Ash Gandom (legumes and wheat with herbs)
- Ash Jo (legumes and barley)
- Ash Balghour
- Ash Doogh (Yogurt based Ash)
- Ash Anar (rice, lentils and Pomegranate sauce)
Cold dishes are mainly for hot summer days and usually have yoghurt because of its cool nature
- Ab Doogh Khiar (Yogurt, cucumber, walnut and dried mint)
- Boorani Esfenaj (Spinach and yoghurt)
- Mast o Khiar (Yogurt and cucumber)
VEGETARIAN GILANI DISHES THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY!
- Mirza Ghasemi (eggplant with tomato, garlic and eggs) you probably find it in other parts of the country as well.
- Baghala Ghatogh (Rashti fava beans, eggs and dill)
- Torshi Tareh (Herbs stew with eggs and sour taste)
- Paneer boroshteh (cheese, eggs and dill)
- Kaal Kabab (Eggplant and pomegranate jouice)
- Sir Vavij or Sir Ghelieh (green garlic and eggs)
- Shish Andaz (Eggplant, walnut and pomegranate paste)
- Bagnala Khoshkabij (Broad beans with eggs)
- Kooyee khoresh (butternut squash with lentils and walnuts)