Our everyday life in Iran is filled with numbers of things that could be great examples of what we like or how we live. Therefore, it is not difficult to get in our shoes wherever you are; at home or wandering around the world.
Since a wise man once said “we are what we eat,” you need a pinch of exotic spices we use or nibble Iranian traditional snacks to know who we are. Hence, you want to get acquaintance with Iranian lifestyle, experience Iranian cuisine and share it with family or friends, it is recommended to find famous appetizing souvenirs from Iran which you can read about ajeel and advieh here.
Ajeel or Persian style trail mix has become part of Iranian culture by being used in ceremonies such as Yalda Night, Charshanbe suri, and Nowruz since centuries ago. It is a mix of crunchy sweet or salty ingredients consisted of several nuts, dried fruits, or seeds endemic to the country. No preparation needed and being a source of energy make it the best company for long trips.
Seeds (tokhmeh in Farsi) like watermelon, pumpkin or sunflower and nuts such as pistachios (pesteh), cashews (badam hendi), walnuts (gerdou), almonds (badam), hazelnuts (fandogh), peanuts (badam zamini) and else can be served when lightly toasted with salt or raw depending on your taste. And for whom with a sweet tooth, dried figs (anjeer), mulberries (toot), raisins (keshmesh), etc. can be the best answer to their craving.
If you get in an ajeel shop (ajeel foroushi), such as Tavazo, you can choose among seemingly endless varieties with fair prices in comparison with the prices in European or American countries.
The ingredients of Iranian cuisine are largely the same as the rest of the world, but there’s a structural difference; we add a varying range of spices and make the food our own and transform it somehow. To find what I’m talking about you should compare a food you have had in other countries with the same here.
Fruits, herbs, flowers, and ground roots are used in Iran to create a delicate aroma and a rich flavor as well as maintain a healthy body and mind.
On top of the traditional spices (advieh) list sits saffron (zaferan). Its aroma adds a magical touch to your dish and Persianize it since we are big fans of the so-called crimson gold because it costs more than gold. You may know Iran is the biggest exporter of saffron for thousands of years and produces more than %90 of the world. It is a staple of our local cuisine and traditional medicine. So, it may be expensive, but the taste is worth the price and if you are interested in buying Iran’s homegrown treasure as a souvenir it is worthy to know that you can find packs of it in every shop but do not forget it is originally a souvenir of Mashhad, therefore you can find numerous types there.
Here is the most of spices we use that you can find in every herb and spice shops (attari) around Iran (peppers, oregano, or basil are left out due to being general spices worldwide): turmeric (zard choubeh), curry powder (kari), cumin (zireh), cinnamon (darchin), garlic (seer), sumac (somaq), cardamom (hel), cloves (mikhak), dried rose petals (gol sorkh), ginger (zanjebil), golpar, coriander (geshneez), dried lime (limou amani), or sesame (konjed).
You can blend them to invent a recipe of your own or if you are interested in our taste, use available recipes on the web to have a blend for seafood or Persian rice spice (advieh poloyi).
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