Celebrate Persian New Year in style

Did you know that the Persian New Year (or Nowruz) falls around the spring equinox? It’s a time of new starts – so what better time to sample some food from the region and find out a little about Iranian cookery?

So, what should you expect? As in all Middle Eastern cookery, you can expect to find generous helpings of lamb and yoghurt, as well as familiar items such as kebabs, koftas and koresht. Chicken is a favourite, almost always accompanied by rice dishes which are delicately seasoned and enlivened with additions like onions, raisins and dates. And sweet foods certainly get a look-in with pastries and dishes featuring nuts like pistachios and walnuts.

Here are some links that will help you read around the subject and find great recipes:

  • IranMania: Persian recipes – a chance to get an insight into the kind of food that is served in Iranian homes.
  • FarhangSara: Iranian food culture – learn about everything from the use of meat and vegetables to sweets and side dishes and meal etiquette and customs – and get recipes too from this Iranian cultural website.
  • New Food of Life – Najmieh Batmanglij’s book of this title features 250 classical and regional Iranian recipes, sumptuous photographs and extensive cultural insights. Sample a little of it on the Asia Food website….
  • RecipeSource: Persian recipes – including soups, stews, relishes and sweet dishes.
  • Google Directory: Persian cookery – find your way to a host of links on the subject.