Society & Culture

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan’s nutritious traditional foods

Although the Zanjan province is known for its handcrafts such as knives, carpets, traditional sandals, and silver-made handcraft called Malileh, this Iranian northwest province enjoys a very diverse food culture. This diversity is so noticeable that it attracts many tourists to this region.

One of the most exciting parts of a trip to Zanjan is the experience of tasting the nutritious traditional and local foods of this province.

In fact, because Zanjan is considered a cold region, people prefer to prioritize natural and high-calorie foods to strengthen their bodies in the harsh weather of winter.

The following article makes you get acquainted with Zanjan’s traditional food and edible souvenirs.

Piazoo : 

Piazoo, a traditional yummy food usually made in the Iranian city of Zanjan, is a delicious dish that is worth trying.

It looks like broth and is one of the oldest and most delicious meals in Iran’s Zanjan province.

Years ago, local women cooked meals with onions, walnuts, tomatoes, lentils, dried apricots, and potatoes and served them when family members got together during the cold winter nights.

First, rinse the dried apricots and cherry plums in warm water and leave them for some time. Fry chopped onions in a little oil. Then add wheat flour or ground walnuts.

After that, add tomato paste, salt, and turmeric. Finally, add lentils. Add enough water and put the meal in the oven to boil.

Turn down the flame so that the lentils are cooked through. After the food is cooked, add the apricots and cherry plums. Their sour taste will give a special flavor to the food. Check that there is neither too little nor too much water. After the food is completely cooked, serve it and enjoy your meal.

Shesh Andaz:

Shesh Andaz is one of the traditional dishes that are prepared in Zanjan on the night of Chaharshanbeh Suri (the Iranian festival of the fire dance) celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar year.

This delicious dish is very similar to egg Khagina cooked with fried onion, walnuts, dates, and raisins. There are different types of Shesh Andaz in Iran and it is cooked in various ways in different provinces.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

First, pour the oil into the frying pan and leave it to heat well. Then put the already chopped onions in this oil. Add walnuts, dates, and raisins to the fried onion and finally add the eggs. Note that walnut should not be roasted for too long, as the original taste will be lost.

After 5 to 10 minutes when well heated, the food is set and ready to serve.


Kalehjoosh can be named one of the traditional dishes of Zanjan province, which is also cooked with different recipes in most parts of Iran. Kalehjoosh includes meat (optional), curd, green lentils, white beet, and chickpeas.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

First, grind the walnuts and leave them aside. Wash and peel the onion and dice it into little pieces and place a pot on the heat.

Then pour some oil in it and let it heat up a bit and pour the onion in it so that it becomes soft and clear then pour some salt and black pepper and turmeric on the onion and fry it well and then add the walnut and dry mint.

Now mix all the ingredients well so that the rawness of the walnut is removed. According to the thickness of the curd add water to it, and if the curd is too thick add more water.

At the end add 1 glass of boiled water to the ingredients and put the lid on so that it boils for 10 minutes.

Ash-e Torsh or Sour Ash

Enriched with several different nutritious items, Zajan’s delicious dish, Sour Ash, has got a particular cultural role in the society of the province. The broth is popular with tourists and visitors as well.

The traditional skill of cooking Zanjan’s Sour Ash has been registered on the country’s National List of Intangible Heritage.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

The ingredients include sour prunes, pulses, and dried apricots, among other things, and the food is served with walnuts, meatballs, grape syrup, and grape vinegar after it is cooked.

This traditional slow-cooked meal is typically made with a variety of ingredients but may include flat wheat noodles, turmeric, vegetables (, carrots, onion, celery, spinach), legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans), herbs (dill, mint, coriander, minced cilantro), and meatballs.

Jaghoor Baghoor

Jaghoor Baghoor is a delicious comfort food that originally belonged to Zanjan, but because of its delicious taste and high nutritional value, it has become popular all over Iran.

Jaghoor Baghoor is cooked with chopped meat of sheep or beef (heart, liver, and lungs), fried onion, tomatoes, spices, and salt.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

This traditional food has become quite popular recently and is even served in some restaurants.

Traditional handmade cookies

Like other Iranian provinces, Zanjan has its own traditional cookies and sweets as well. If you happen to travel to Zanjan, don’t forget to buy special sweets such as Shasti cookies, Ardak bread, and Chai Choragi.

 Ardak Bread

 Ardak bread is one of the food souvenirs of Zanjan province.

One of the most popular kinds of bread in Zanjan province is Ardak bread, which is made from flour, milk, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and oil. Sometimes, depending on the taste of the cook, cheese water is also used in its preparation.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

After the dough is made with the mentioned ingredients, it is fried in oil and then the bread is ready to eat.

This bread, which has a long history in Zanjan, was originally baked by women, but due to its popularity among the residents of this city and tourists, it is now also sold in confectioneries and pastry workshops.

Shasti Cookie

Shasti sweet is one of the edible souvenirs of Zanjan. If you travel to Zanjan during Nowruz, you will find this sweet in every house. Zanjan-i women make Shasti sweet in their homes.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

For making Shasti pastry, make a hole in the middle of the dough with your thumb, and fills it with honey or jam. You can also roll it in pistachio and almond kernels. This delicious sweet is one of the best-selling souvenirs of Zanjan, Iran.

Enjoy unique taste of Zanjan's nutritious traditional foods

Chai Choragi or Naan Chai 

Chai Choragi (tea bread in Persian) is considered one of the old and traditional souvenirs of Zanjan city. As the name suggests the sweet is usually served with tea.

During the holy month of Ramadan, buying Chai Choragi for the Iftar meal is a must in every house. This sweet is very popular during Ramadan month so that you can find it in every confectionary during the month.

Compiled by Marzieh Rahmani


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