The rich, complex flavors found in Persian cuisine require a well-stocked pantry. We’ve collected ten indispensable dry goods, from rose petals to spices, that will allow you to cook classic Iranian dishes in your own home. For more on Persian cooking, see Andy Baraghani’s article on The Persian Pantry.
We came by the alu bukhara_ by mail order. These dried Persian golden plums impart fruity acidity to the meatballs with tomato sauce (Kufteh). Todd Coleman Kashk, a yogurtlike by-product of butter-making, is drizzled into dishes such as Ash-e Reshteh, a Persian noodle soup, for creamy richness. Todd Coleman Unripe grapes called ghureh come fresh, pickled (as pictured, in which case they’re called torshi-e ghureh), dried (gard-e ghureh), or juiced (ab-e ghureh). Their sour edge cuts the richness of dishes like slow-cooked eggplant stews. Todd Coleman _Reshteh_, linguine-like wheat noodles, are added to soups. Todd Coleman Brick-red somagh, the ground fruit of the sumac bush, lends lemony brightness to kebabs and other grilled foods. Todd Coleman Siah daneh, the tiny black seeds of the nigella plant**, bring a nutty-peppery note to red onion and herb torshi (pickle). Todd Coleman Rab-e anar, or pomegranate molasses, a syrup made by boiling the fruit’s juice, provides sweet-tart flavor in dishes like khoresht-e fesenjan, the classic chicken and walnut stew. Todd Coleman Zereshk (dried barberries) give their bright flavor and color to dishes like tah chin (baked rice with barberries); sauteeing them with butter and sugar mellows their acidity. Todd Coleman Limu Omani (dried black limes), whole fruits boiled in brine and dried, infuse dishes such as veal and kidney bean stew (ghormeh sabzi), with citrusy, musky flavor. Todd Coleman Fragrant gole-e sorkh (dried rose petals) flavor beverages and desserts, and garnish dishes such as yogurt and cucumber dip (Mast-o Khiar). Todd Coleman