Rice is the staple food and the Iranians cook it in style, eating it with wheat bread, yoghurt, lamb and aubergines. Typical Persian flavours are subtle, with cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, cardamom and saffron all delicately blended.
Garlic and lime also feature heavily. Many Iranians make their own yoghurt, which can be used as an ingredient in many dishes or as a cool and refreshing drink. Kebabs, served either in oven-fresh bread or with rice, tend to dominate menus, but there’s plenty more besides. Vegetarianism is uncommon, but visitors will often find meat-free options.
Chelokhoresh: Rice topped with vegetables and meat in a nut sauce.
Polo sabzi: Pilau rice cooked with fresh herbs.
Polo chirin: Sweet-sour saffron-coloured rice with raisins, almonds and orange.
Adas polo: Rice, lentils and meat.
Morgh polo: Chicken and pilau rice.
Chelokababs: Rice with skewered meats cooked over charcoal.
Kofte: Minced meat formed into meatballs.
Abgusht: Mutton and chickpea stew.
Fesenjan: Pomegranate walnut stew.
Bademjan: Aubergine and tomato stew.
Doogh: A cold drink made from yoghurt and mineral water.
In large hotels, a 10% to 15% service charge is added to the bill. In restaurants, it is usual to leave small change.