The Persian Pantry

Here are some pantry essentials for Persian cooking. Many of these items are available at regular supermarkets but the rest can all be purchased from Iranian specialty food stores.

  • Basmati Rice (Preferably Indian)
  • Turmeric
  • Saffron (Although its expensive a very little bit goes a LONG way)
  • Ground Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried Persian Limes*
  • Dried Yellow Split Peas
  • Dried Green Lentils
  • Kidney Beans (Dried or Canned)
  • Chick Peas (Dried or Canned)
  • Rosewater*
  • Unripened Grape Juice*
  • Persian Lime Juice* (or use fresh lime juice)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Pomegranate Concentrate
  • Dried Barberries (Zereshk)*
  • Sumac*
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios (Iranian ones are the best!)
  • Dried Mint
  • Chicken Stock (many Iranian cooks don’t use Chicken stock in their stews but this is one of my mom’s secrets!)

These are not necessarily “Pantry” items but are essential to many Persian recipes:

  • Yogurt (2% or full fat)
  • Kashk (Whey)*
  • A variety of fresh herbs (Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Mint, Basil, Tarragon, Chives…..)

* Available at Persian Food Shops.


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