Created At: Saturday 2020-08-08 22:22:24
Updated At: Tuesday 2021-03-16 23:32:00
Time To Read: 12 Minutes
According to native Iranian opinions, north of Iran consists of Mazandaran Province, Gilan Province, and Golestan Province, which are on the south side of Caspian Sea and north side of Alborz Mountains. Despite their opinions, Khorasan, Ardabil, and the two Azebaijan provinces are geographically in the north. But here we only study the cuisine of Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan Provinces.
Every city’s food and cuisine somehow demonstrates the city’s identity. In Iran, the cuisine of every city, while very different, has some unity. In the past, every city had its special food but now you can find the same food in almost every city in the country.
Everything in the north of Iran is made of rice, even Traditional Sweets. For food, rice is cooked in the form of “Polo (pilaf)”, “Chelo”, and “Kateh”. (you want to know how to cook different kinds of Persian rice? Click here.) In the not-so-distant past, bread was a sign of wealth on the table of the northerners. it was only served at official ceremonies and gatherings while in other parts of Iran, bread was more common; and it’s been only a few decades since rice has found its way into the daily table of the people.
One of the main ingredients of northerners’ meals is garlic. In fact, garlic is present inside or next to every lunch and dinner. The good news is, in the north garlic loses its bad smell quickly after eating due to high humidity and is not annoying at all. In other regions, on the other hand, you have to chew gum or cinnamon to fight its odor.
Northerners love sour flavors so if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, be careful what foods you choose to eat. They also love fish and they can cook it in hundred different ways. If you’re a fan, do not miss it.
Gilan, Golestan, or Mazandaran?
Gilan Province, with its humid climate, has the perfect lands for rice and citrus cultivation as well as tea cultivation. You can see the intangible elements not only through their food but also through lifestyle, culture, customs, etc. Undoubtedly, Gilan cuisine is one of the most interesting and, of course, the most different topics in the Iranian culinary school. Gilan has the highest rank in terms of food diversity in the country. Currently, more than 170 types of local food are cooked in Gilan, many of which are registered as cultural heritage and many are waiting to be registered. What is certain is that the combination of good climate and culinary arts of Shomalia (northerners) have led to the creation of one of the most productive local cuisines in the north.
Golestan Province is very rich in terms of culinary culture. For example, in Golestan province, different types of bread are baked, and the baking methods of some of these bread are registered as an intangible cultural heritage of the country.
Mazandaran Province can be considered as one of the most beautiful provinces with a pleasant climate in the North. In addition to the clean climate and pristine nature, this province has colorful, nutrient-rich, and delicious foods that make it an amazing destination for foodies.
Now let’s take a yummy trip through some of the most famous and most delicious Iran northern cities food.
Mirza Ghasemi (Persian eggplant dip)
Mirza Ghasemi was invented by Mohammad Ghasem Khan, who was the governor of Rasht (Gilan) during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and was named after him. Mirza Ghassemi is the most delicious Iranian appetizer in the north and is made of grilled eggplant, tomato, garlic, and egg (the egg is optional you can ask the chef to remove it so that it can be a fully vegan food).
Unlike its name, the food does not have any meat in it! This dish is a combination of eggplant, walnuts, garlic, pomegranate, and local herb called Chochagh. Cooking this delicious food is similar to Mirza Ghasemi. It’s a delicious choice for vegetarian travelers.
This food is cooked in abundance in this area and is also very popular among tourists. The main ingredients of Baghala Ghatogh, the most popular food among the people of Gilan, are local beans, garlic, eggs, and dill.
Sir (garlic) Vavij is another popular northern cities food among Iranian cuisine which is often served with rice and salted fish. It is cooked mostly in winter because the garlic leaves that are used in the food grow in winter. The main ingredients of this food are garlic leaves, spices, and eggs. A vegetarian-lover food in the north of Iran.
Kebab Torsh (sour kebab) is the most popular food of Gilan and it is not very difficult to cook, but if you have never cooked this food before, I suggest you make it with a professional. If you neglect to cook this food; You will have a raw, semi-cooked, or burnt meat. Be sure to use mutton or beef to cook this delicious dish and pomegranate juice to flavor the kebab. We suggest eating this dish with Kateh (rice) and salad. You will experience a memorable taste.
The first thing that attracts everyone is its color and then the taste of fresh local vegetables. It’s a really sour flavor and must be cooked with fresh vegetables otherwise, it will not taste great. The ingredients are Eggs, garlic, spinach, and a variety of vegetables such as coriander, parsley, mint, and dill. Finally, some orange juice is added to this food.
It is very similar to the famous Persian food Fesenjoon. the only difference is that it is made of beef rather than poultry. It other ingredients are pomegranate, shredded vegetables, walnut, and special spices that have a great taste. It is mostly cooked in special occasions like Yalda (longest night of the year) when people gather together and celebrate with their loved ones.
When traveling north, try Malabij if you like seafood. Malabij is cooked in both Mazandaran and Gilan. Malabij is a white fish that is filled with pomegranate paste, vegetables, and walnuts. This stuffed fish can be grilled on charcoal or in the oven.
It is originally from Rudbar (a city in Gilan). Northerners combine minced meat with fragrant vegetables and cook it with tomatoes and oil. This delicious dish along with northern rice is very tasty.