Fresh lime drink (sharbat)

In Iran, a hugely popular summer drink is “sharbat” often made from extracts of aromatic flowers and herbs (called aragh) or fruit juice. Sharbat is usually slightly sweetened, sometimes diluted with water, and always mixed with ice cubes. In a hot summer day when you visit a friend or family the first thing they would do is hand you a refreshing nice glass of sharbat – one type of or another.

Fresh lime juice sharbat is among the most popular in Iran, because unlike flower extracts, lime is easily found throughout the country. It is popular also because lime has an amazing quality to quench your thirst in addition to having so many health benefits. Here is how you prepare it (quite similar to lemonade except you use lime instead of lemon):

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Doogh is a popular, yogurt-based drink in many parts of the Middle East. It is made at home simply by beating plain (ideally over 2% fat) yogurt until soft and then diluting it with flat or carbonated water.

We Iranians often add a pinch of salt, black pepper and powdered dried mint. Some say doogh has a rejuvenating effect especially when taken with ice – a popular summer hit, while others believe drinking too much doogh makes you drowsy – pleasantly so, I would add! In any case, doogh has great nutritious values and it best goes with rice and meat kebab- be it barg or koobideh type.

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Breakfast smoothie

This is a thick, mildly sweet, simple and tasty smoothie made in 3-5 minutes. I have tried many recipes and LOVE this one!

Ingredients (for two) Read the rest of this entry »

Tea rules & rituals (Iranian Style)

Tea is the national beverage in Iran! It is an essential part of the breakfast and any type of gathering. As such, there are certain nonnegotiable rules about the preparation and the drinking of tea.

Here are some: 1. Real tea is black tea. Green, white, yellow and oolong teas are to be experimented with, but must never replace black tea. 2. Preparing tea involves the steeping and simmering (dam kardan or steaming) of loose, processed tea leaves. Teabags are quick fixes, and good only when you are feeling too down to treat yourself properly, or when you are obligated to serve an unwanted visitor. 3. One should sip tea from small, delicate glasses called estekan that allow one to see its translucent mahogany color while relishing its flavor. Read the rest of this entry »

Hot whisky

Hot whisky made as follows, does wonders relieving the symptoms of common cold , as it is a mixture of pain killing (from cloves), calming (from alcohol), soothing (hot water and honey) and a bit of vitamin C (from lemon) substances.

Ingredients: Any brand of whisky, ¼ cup. Hot water, ¼ cup. Lime or lemon, 1 slice. Cloves, 6-7. Sugar, or honey, 2 tea spoon. Read the rest of this entry »