Persian breakfast can be a combination of flatbread with feta cheese, jam, honey or butter, or can be a hot bowl of Halim, Adasi or Kaleh Pache. Persians also usually drink Persian tea with their breakfast.
When it comes to eating breakfast, Iranians take things to the next level. with the huge variety of breakfast options and dishes, every person with any taste can find a healthy and nutritious option to have to start a good morning.
Typical Persian bread in Iran
Bread plays a substantial role in a typical Iranian breakfast. From light bites with butter or cheese to heaviest meaty breakfasts, Persian bread is always a part of breakfast dishes in Iran.
bread (nān) is usually bought every morning. The most delightful way to eat a Persian breakfast is with a hot bread that is fresh from the baker’s oven.
Bakeries in Iran (nanvaii) are almost around every corner in a city and easy to find. Each nanvaii is usually dedicated to baking a certain type of bread that has a specific method of baking depending on what type of bread they are selling.
The most popular types of bread in Iran are:
- Nān-e Sangak a plain flatbread made with whole wheat flour and cooked over hot stones
- Nān-e barbari a thick flatbread with an airy and doughy texture
- Nān-e Taftoon a circular thin flatbread made with all-purpose flour
- Nān-e Lavash a thin flatbread baked on clay oven
A cup of freshly brewed Persian tea (chai) is almost essential in a Persian morning. Tea comes with almost all of the breakfasts listed below. Iranians usually have their breakfast tea sweet and with no milk.
It is important to keep in mind that in Iranian traditional breakfast, cheese (panir) is always eaten with bread. Persian cheese and bread is an easy breakfast to make and a suitable choice for when you need a quick and filling breakfast.
Iranians usually make small bites with bread and cheese. They spread cheese over a small piece of bread and top it with different types of ingredients. The most common ingredients that come with the cheese and bread small bites are:
- Fruits (mostly watermelon, grapes,…)
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced tomato
- A combination of fresh Herbs ( Sabzi khordan) such as basil, flat-leaf parsley, dill, radish, etc
Feta cheese is the most regularly used cheese in Persian breakfast.
Just like the small bites with cheese, in Iranian breakfast, there is a variety of sweet bites that are made with either butter or cream on bread topped with jam or honey.
There are a lot of different types of jam in Iran. Even though you can buy pretty much all those types from stores, most traditional Iranian families usually prefer the homemade ones and trust me, once you experience the heavenly aroma that comes from the pot of ingredients that are turning into the jam, you can not easily go back to store-bought ones. Persian moms can make anything turn into a mouth-watering jam, from rose petals to ginger!
The most traditional jams in Iran are:
- Carrot jam
- Sour cherry jam
- Quince jam
- Strawberry jam
- Citron jam
- Rose petal jam
- Cornelian cherry jam
- Bitter orange blossom jam
- Barberry jam
Halim ( Persian wheat and meat porridge )
Halim is a traditional Persian meal that includes wheat and shredded meat. This dish usually takes several hours to make but this healthy and tasty porridge worth the effort!
Not only halim with its thick texture is a substantial food, but it also provides a good source of energy throughout the day. This Persian breakfast is rich in nutrients such as fibre, iron and magnesium.
HalIm can be mixed with different ingredients such as milk, cream, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
You can easily buy Halim from Ash and Halim stores in Iran.
Adasi (Persian lentil soup)
Adasi is a quick meal to make and since lentil is its main ingredient, adasi is a good source of protein and iron. The next good thing about Adasi is that it is one of the vegetarian dishes in Iran.
Don’t forget to sprinkle a bit of Ground Angelica over the soup upon serving. Ground Angelica is believed to balance the cold nature and also, believe me, it would take the flavour to another level.
Kaleh pacheh is a soup made of sheep’s head ( with eyes, tongue and brain) and hooves. It is probably considered as a weird Persian food but the truth is that this food is probably one of the most popular breakfasts in Iran.
This dish is usually served early in the mornings in particular places called “Kaleh pazi” or “Tabakhi”.
Since this energetic dish is high in cholesterol, kaleh pacheh is not a meal to have daily.
If you are adventurous and like to taste new things, do not miss out this Iranian breakfast.
This high-protein food is cooked in several different ways in Iran. The most popular ones are:
- Nimroo (Fried egg)
- Asali ( Half boiled)
- Ab-paz ( Hard boiled)
Omelettes are a popular option for breakfast. The variety of Persian omelettes are shockingly high.
The most common Persian omelette is the Persian tomato omelette, which is usually made with either fresh tomato or tomato paste.
In addition to all delicious dishes mentioned above, each region of Iran has some unique dishes that people usually have for breakfast which, unfortunately, is impossible to mention in just one post. But here are some of the most famous breakfasts in different regions of Iran:
- Panir Boreshteh ( fried cheese, egg and dill)– Guilan
- Khagineh ( Iranian sweet omelette) – Tabriz
- Shapouri ( fried eggs with beans)– Guilan
- Ashe-e sabzi (Persian herb thick soup)– Shiraz and southern part of Iran
- Shireh-Ardeh (date syrup with sesame tahini)– Southern part of Iran
- Fereni (Persian rice flour dessert)– Different parts of Iran
- Shir-berenj (Persian rice pudding)– Different parts of Iran
Where to find a good Persian breakfast in Tehran?
here is a list of good places to have a good traditional breakfast:
- Malek Cafe and Restaurant
- Cafe Tehroon
- Baccara Cafe
- Agor cafe
- Brother’s kitchen
- Chai bar
- Kubaba restaurant
- Nikoo Sefat Ash
Photos by Niayesh Sadrzadeh