Shirazi – The Ultimate Persian Rice Salad

Ghazaye Irani shegeft angiz ast! As someone who is Persian, I can tell you that the Persian rice salad (aka Shirazi) is one of the most diverse salads to exist on the planet. Although, implied to be just a standard regular salad, it is confusing and if made incorrectly, it can turn into a generic mess. Ghazaye morede alagheye shoma chistand? Ghazaye Irani shegeft angiz ast! Bayad be meile khodane ghazaye ra dashte bashi.

I have been eating this amazing, yet authentic and fluent cuisine since a child. Although, I am not a fan of cucumbers, I have learned to appreciate them for their unique flavor and contribution to this salad. As time proceeded, so did my interest in this salad, as I basically have been eating the Shirazi with every Persian cuisine that was prepared, hence why Persian Rice salad is authentic and based on the food origins of my culture. I decided one day, to come with the idea of creating more towards this authentic dish, by creating my own spin on the Shirazi by changing it to a certain extent. Of course, it’s an original cuisine that shouldn’t be “messed” with in that sense, so I didn’t change it extremely. On that note, I introduce to you…

Sarah’s Persian Rice Salad

2 cucumbers (diced)
2 tomatoes (a combination of diced and sliced)
2 red onions (sliced)
2 cup of plain feta cheese
2 cup of walnuts (chopped)
2 cup of lentils
1 cup of virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of mint leaves
2 tablespoons of parsley flakes
1 tablespoon of pepper

You want to use several bowls for overall preparation of the Shirazi, but it is extremely important to use a large bowl for the entire content, when completed. In Middle Eastern cuisine, my grandmother would use a clay bowl, but any bowl will work. Take about 1/4th of the virgin olive oil and place it into the large bowl only. As you continue, work on preparing your vegetables. You want to dice your cucumbers, tomatoes, as well as, slice some of the tomatoes and red onions. Place them all into one of the separate bowls, but do NOT mix.

As you continue this, you want to focus on chopping up your walnuts. After they are chopped, you want to grab another bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, followed by feta cheese, walnuts, and lentils. It is now time to prepare the “sauce” for the salad, which is considered to be an authentic Persian house dressing. Take the majority of your remaining olive oil (do NOT use all of it) and add the lemon juice, salt, mint leaves, parsley flakes, and pepper. Mix the sauce by stirring it regularly until most of the content is visibly dissolved.

Now you can focus on putting the salad together. Ghazaye Irani shegeft angiz ast! Add the contents to the bowl that consist of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions. Add some of the remaining virgin olive oil and combine all of the ingredients together. As you continue, add the feta cheese, walnuts, and lentils. Add some of the remaining virgin olive oil. Focus on mixing the salad by tossing it by hand or by using the appropriate utensil. Most of the salads are tossed by hand, but some individuals use utensils to do so. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, followed by the remaining olive oil. You are finished.

How does it feel to have learned to make authentic Persian salad (shirazi)? Ghazaye Irani shegeft angiz ast! Movaffagh Bahsheed!

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