Iranian traditional pickles are among the popular side dishes served along with Iranian food. These side dishes are left to ferment and served in specific manners across different cities of Iran. In general, pickles are widely used in West Asia.
Basically, all variants of pickled food are prepared by submerging different vegetables, eggs and even meat in vinegar or salt water. The shelf life of foodstuff is increased exponentially after preserving them in vinegar or salt water.
Medical experts recommend consuming different pickles along with meat dishes since they help ease the digestion of meat. In addition, these attractive side dishes are great appetizers and make rather bland dishes more attractive.
The Most Famous Iranian Traditional Pickles
The most famous and popular Iranian traditional pickles include:
Torshi Makhloot (Pickle Mix)
Torshi Makhloot (mixed pickles) is one of the most famous pickles in Iran, and its basic ingredients are the same in all Iranian cities. The basic ingredients of this traditional pickle include carrot, cauliflower, cucumber and sometimes celery. Different mixes of spices are also added to the Torshi Makhloot, which vary in different regions of the country.
Torshi Bademjan (Pickled Eggplants)
Torshi Bademjan or Torshi Bademjoon is one of the popular Iranian traditional pickles that has a solid fanbase. Most people who dislike eggplants in food have no problem eating pickled eggplants.
Serving pickled eggplants along with popular traditional dishes such as “Zereshk Polo” and other famous Iranian foods leads to a very pleasant mixture of flavors. The use of Golpar or Persian Hogweed in this pickle gives it an antiseptic effect, and also prevents mold growth in the pickle jar.
Liteh pickle is one of the most popular fermented pickles in Iran. To prepare this pickle, you should grind a mix of vegetables such as eggplant, carrot and aromatic herbs and put them in vinegar for one to two weeks to ferment.
There are many unique Torshi Liteh recipes in different regions of Iran. For example, in the north, grilled eggplant is used to prepare this pickle, and the result is called “Naz Khatun”. Pickles in the south of Iran are usually more spicy and one of the common ingredients is chili pepper.
Seer Torshi (Pickled Garlics)
As you know, garlic has many medicinal properties and its use is highly recommended in Iranian traditional medicine. However, eating raw garlic isn’t easy because of its strong aroma. That is why many people in the world prepare pickled garlic and add honey to eliminate the unpleasant smell of garlic to a certain extent.
Pickled garlic is one of the Iranian traditional pickles with medicinal effects such as preventing heart attacks. In addition, this pickle is rich in essential nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium and can even rejuvenate the skin. The phosphorus in this pickle is a great supplement for improving memory. It also contains vitamins from the B and C family, and vitamin B is very effective for improving gastrointestinal function.
Torshi Felfel Sabz (Picked Green Pepper)
Green chili pepper pickle is great for people who crave spicy side dishes. But Torshi Felfel Sabz is not always spicy, especially if you use sweet green peppers. This type of pickle goes great with seafood, such as Sabzi Polo ba Mahi, taking you to flavortown. The use of green pepper pickles, one of the Iranian traditional pickles, is highly recommended in traditional medicine for boosting the body’s immune system.
Chili green pepper is rich in vitamin C, which has an antioxidant effect in the body. Also, this type of pepper stimulates the absorption of collagen and proteins in the body. As you know, collagen is a polymer protein that is essential for the regeneration of skin cells, bones, and blood vessels.
Torshi Kalam Ghermez (Pickled Red Cabbage)
Pickled red cabbage is a popular Iranian side dish that is served along with all kinds of kebabs and other traditional Iranian cuisine. Iranians mostly use pickled red cabbage as a side dish and to garnish traditional Iranian dishes. Its attractive red color and unique flavor make this pickle an adornment on Iranian tables.
Of course, pickled red cabbage, as one of Iranian traditional pickles, is not just for decoration. This pickle is very nutritious, being rich in substances such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances are effective in eye care and protect the retina from harmful ultraviolet rays. In addition, red cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K, making it a great supplement for having strong, healthy bones.
Torshi Haft-e Bijar
This pickle is called Haft-e Bijar because it is native to Bijar city in Kurdistan province, where it is prepared using 7 vegetables and 7 aromatic herbs. Haft Bijar is one of the traditional Iranian pickles present on Iranians tables since the distant past. The use of cauliflower, potato, green beans, hot green pepper, eggplant and cucumber makes for a very pleasant flavor in this pickle. The mesmerizing aroma is a product of the mixture of aromatic herbs such as tarragon, Marzeh (Satureja), mint, parsley and coriander.
Experience Authentic Iranian Traditional Pickles
Iranian traditional pickles are side dish appetizers served with traditional Iranian food that decorate Iranian tables. Consuming pickles is not recommended for people suffering from certain diseases, but they have many medicinal properties according to Iranian traditional medicine. Pickled vegetables are part of the intangible cultural heritage of Iran that pique the interest of many foreign travelers.
If you are planning to visit Iran on an Iran tour package or by yourself, make sure to experience the unique flavor of Iranian traditional pickles. Destination Iran aims to introduce Iranian tourist attractions, and invites you to learn more about all kinds of Iranian foods, including traditional Iranian pickles.