Most international foods are found in the deluxe hotels, but the local food, lightly seasoned, is excellent and should be sampled as often as possible. Try some regional specialties: nougat in Isfahan, pistachios in Rafsanjan, dates in Bam and bergamot jam in Shiraz and northern Iran.
Rice is a national staple and is cooked superbly. Local dishes include tasty shrimp, lamb and chicken dishes (most meat is grilled), fruit, vegetables, yogurt and desserts. Sample of delicious Iranian foods are: shirin polo (chicken and rice), fesenjan (made with chicken or duck) and ab-gusht (meat stew). If you get a chance, try the caviar (Iranian caviar, considered some of the world’s best, is mostly exported). There are four more popular kinds of breads: taftoon (fresh, flat lunch bread), barbary (chewy breakfast bread), lavash (crispy and thin) and sangak (baked on hot pebbles). Iranian ice cream is also excellent.
Polo, often called pilaf in the west, is the name applied to rice with which other ingredients are mixed in the cooking process. There is an amazing variety of polo, the most popular of which are : Baghali – polo , rice cooked with lima beans and dill , and served with large pieces of mutton or chicken .
Kebab is skewered meat or chicken grilled over charcoal. It has three main varieties (From top to bottom): Kubideh (ground meat), Jujeh – Kebab (chicken), and barg (chopped mutton). All three are often served with barbequed tomatoes.
Khoresht is a sort of stew with meat, vegetables, and other ingredients; both Kebab and khoresht are served with chelo, plain rice.
Khoresht Qeimeh a delicious stew with meat, split– peas and dried limes .often served with fried potatoes, aubergine, and tomatoes.
Khoresht Fesenjan , a sweet –sour stew made with chicken or meatballs , walnuts and sweet pomegranate paste .
Qormeh – sabzi, a stew made with various herbs, meat and red beans.
Dizi( Abgusht ):
is the most traditional Iranian dish. It contains meat, potatoes, peas, beans, onions and dried limes, and is spiced with turmeric. Abgusht is both the first and the main course. Eating abgusht requires some skill. First, its liquid is poured in to a bowl and eaten with bread .Then the meat and vegetables are mashed and eaten with fresh herbs and pickles.