Persian Food 23 Jun 2018 BY Arash Morshed

Top 17 Iranian Seafood Cuisine

When you travel to Iran, you will understand that seafood is the main cuisine in the coastal cities of Iran in the both north and the south area.

However, it is not very popular in the central part of the country only on one important occasion; New Year’s Eve when most people eat "Sabzi Polow Va Mahi" (A mixture of fresh herbs with rice and fried fish) for lunch or dinner on the first day of the year.

In this article, we are going to introduce the most common seafood dishes in Iran. So, grab a pen and a note to write down the name of the one you most liked.


Top 17 Iranian Seafood Cuisine

  1. Sabzi Polow Mahi
  2. Mahi Doodi
  3. Mahi Gerdepich
  4. Ghalieh Mahi
  5. Ghalieh Meigoo
  6. Mahi Kabab
  7. Meygoo Kabab
  8. Baghala Ghatogh
  9. Anar-Shirin
  10. Mahi Sabbour
  11. Singu
  12. Dupiyazeh Meygoo
  13. Ankas
  14. Dami Lakh-Lakh
  15. Puddini Koose
  16. Hawari
  17. Malabij


1) Sabzi Polow Mahi (Fresh herbs with rice and fried fish)

Sabzi Polow Mahi

This cuisine is the most popular one all over the country. The rice is cooked with a mixture of fresh herbs and is usually served with fried fish (usually Caspian kutum or Rutilus kutum or Caspian white fish). It is the custom in Iran that people have Sabzi Polow Mahi for lunch or dinner on the first day of the new year, however, you can find it also in most Iranian restaurants.


2) Mahi Doodi (Smoked Whitefish)

Mahi Doodi

This cuisine is very popular in the northern part of the country, in the coastal cities of the Caspian Sea. The fish is smoky and very salty, served with plain cooked rice. Usually, it is consumed with garlic pickle as it says in Farsi “Sir-Torshi”.


3) Mahi Gerdepich (Roasted Filled-In Fish)

Mahi Gerdepich

The same as Mahi Doodi, this cuisine is also popular in the northern part of the country. The fish is filled in with fresh herbs (coriander, and blue eryngo), walnut and pomegranate sauce. It is cooked in a big metal pot in a rounded shape. The fish is usually served with cooked rice, garlic pickle, and fresh herbs.

| Read more: Best dishes in Iran for vegetarians


4) Ghalieh Mahi (Spicy Fish with Fresh Herbs)

Ghalieh Mahi

This cuisine is mostly cooked in the southern part of the country, especially in Khuzestan province. The main ingredients to marinate the fish are cilantro, fenugreek, tamarind pulp or Tamarins paste. Traditionally, this stew-like cuisine is cooked with Sangsar (Trumpeter), Hamoor (Rankin cod), and Shooride (Long Tooth Salmon).


5) Ghalieh Meigoo (Spicy Shrimp with Fresh Herbs)

Ghalieh Meigoo

The same as Ghalieh Mahi, it is mainly cooked in the southern part of the country, especially in Khuzestan province. The main ingredients to marinate the shrimp are cilantro, fenugreek, tamarind pulp or Tamarins paste.


6) Mahi Kabab (Fish Kebab)

Mahi Kabab

Imagine tender pieces of fish, marinated with flavorful spices and grilled to perfection on skewers. This dish hails from the northern coastal areas of Iran, where the Caspian Sea provides an abundance of fresh fish. The fish is typically seasoned with a mix of herbs, lemon juice, and sometimes saffron for an extra touch of luxury. Grilled over open flames, the Mahi Kabab captures the essence of the sea and the northern culinary traditions.


7) Meygoo Kabab (Shrimp Kebab)

Meygoo Kabab

Get ready for a succulent delight! Shrimp Kabab is a dish that celebrates the southern coastline of Iran, where the Persian Gulf's bounty shines. Plump and juicy shrimp are marinated with a blend of aromatic spices, garlic, and lime juice. These marinated shrimp are then threaded onto skewers and grilled until they turn a delicious golden hue. The contrast between the smoky flavor from the grill and the freshness of the seafood creates an unforgettable taste experience.


8) Baghala Ghatogh

Baghala Ghatogh

Moving to the northern part of Iran, specifically the lush Gilan province, we find Baghala Ghatogh. This dish is a hearty and creamy stew made from lima beans and dill. It might not be seafood, but it's still a popular dish from the region. The lima beans are cooked with garlic, turmeric, and dried fenugreek leaves, creating a rich and comforting flavor. Some variations include adding eggs, creating a creamy texture that's perfect with rice.


9) Anar-Shirin Mahi (Sweet Pomegranate Fish)

Anar-Shirin Mahi

It's time for a sweet interlude! Anar-Shirin is a delightful Persian dessert that beautifully combines sweet and sour flavors. This treat is often enjoyed in various regions of Iran. It consists of pomegranate seeds soaked in a fragrant rosewater and saffron syrup. The vibrant red pomegranate seeds offer a burst of freshness, while the syrup adds a touch of floral sweetness. This dessert is a symbol of joy and celebration.


10) Mahi Sabbour (Traditional Tandoori Fish)

Mahi Sabbour

Mahi Sabbour, a delightful tandoori dish, has its roots in traditional fire grilling. The fish's belly is stuffed with an enticing mix of coriander, fenugreek, Tambara, garlic, onion, salt, and black pepper. A touch of date juice is applied to the fish's skin to prevent burning while on the fire. This mouthwatering dish, a favorite among Southerners, is commonly enjoyed with bread or vegetables.


11) Singu (Flavorful Crab Delicacy)


Singu, a seafood specialty crafted from crab, is a culinary delight. First, the crab is gently cooked with a dash of salt and water. The succulent white meat is then carefully separated from different parts of the crab. This delectable meat is sautéed with onions, green peppers, spices, salt, and turmeric, creating a flavorful blend. The dish is elegantly served alongside rice, offering a wonderful taste experience.


12) Dopiyazeh Meygoo (Aromatic Shrimp Dish)

Dopiyazeh Meygoo

Dopiyazeh shrimp, a cherished dish of Bushehr locals, celebrates the union of onion and shrimp. To neutralize any unwanted odor, a medley of spices is employed, including tartar sauce, pepper sauce, onion juice, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and turmeric. The shrimp infused with double onion flavors is splendidly paired with bread or rice, often accompanied by pickled delights.


13) Ankas (Squid Delicacy)


Anchoring our culinary journey is Ankas, a squid-based dish prepared through two delectable methods: fried or grilled. Squid meat is cut into bite-sized cubes and simmered with dates and water until tender. Onions are then fried, and the cooked squid is added, creating a harmonious blend. Salt, pepper, turmeric, and tomato paste are introduced, marrying the flavors beautifully. With a splash of water and a brief settling period, this dish, a Southern Iranian delight, is a must-try.


14) Dami Lakh-Lakh (Flavorful Southern Fish Ensemble)

Dami Lakh-Lakh

Dami Lakhlakh, a beloved Southern dish, celebrates a variety of fish from the South Sea, including Sangsar, Grouper, Serkho, Qabad, and Sabiti. Fish fillets are pampered in a blend of salt, pepper, turmeric, saffron, and lemon juice for an appetizing touch. Onions are fried, accompanied by garlic, chopped veggies, spices, and Tambarindi. The seasoned fish joins the mixture, simmers with a hint of water, and is set aside. Soaked rice enters the picture, absorbing flavors as it cooks. The fish reclaims its position atop the rice, resulting in a delectable marriage of flavors.


15) Puddini Koose (Exquisite Shark Delight)

Puddini Koose

Puddini Kose, a prized gem in Southern Iranian cuisine, graces tables across the region. Crafting this shark delicacy begins with a gentle cooking of shark meat, seasoned with salt and turmeric. The pressed and prepared meat is then diced and fried alongside a symphony of garlic, onion, fragrant vegetables, tomatoes, lemon powder, and spices. Representing tradition in Qeshm, this dish embodies a harmonious blend of flavors.


16) Hawari (Fusion of Fish and Rice)


From Hormozgan comes Hawari, a fusion of fish and rice. This native delight sees onions and garlic sautéed before welcoming fenugreek, coriander, and dill into the mix. Chopped tomatoes join in, followed by boneless fish. After a brief initial cook, Tambarhindi takes the stage, infusing the dish with character for over 20 minutes. The grand finale involves soaked rice, which intertwines with the flavors for a truly satisfying outcome.


17) Malabij (Northern Traditional Cuisine)


In the north of Iran, a treasure trove of uniquely seasoned seafood dishes awaits. Among them stands Malabij, a cherished delight in Gilan and Mazandaran. Whitefish, aromatic vegetables, walnut kernels, and pomegranate paste collaborate in its creation. Traditionally cooked over fire or charcoal, modern ovens have simplified the process. A male white fish's belly becomes a canvas for pomegranate paste, vegetables, and walnuts, culminating in a sumptuous grilled feast.


Bottom Line

In the rich tapestry of Iranian cuisine, the seafood dishes stand as shimmering jewels, each capturing the essence of their unique regions. By indulging in these tantalizing tastes, you not only satisfy your taste buds but also connect with the heart of Iran. So, venture forth and experience the magic of Iranian seafood cuisine – a symphony of flavors that truly invites you to savor every moment.

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