Advieh Spices used in Persian Cooking

If you ask anyone who has never eaten Persian food before they always imagine  that it’s  heavily spiced, a lot like Indian food! And then they’re always surprised to learn it isn’t!

Persian cooking  is made with a delicate balance of sweet and sour, hot and cold and the flavours are subtle and memorable. Quite unlike most other middle eastern food, Persian cuisine has a flavour all of its own. Often we take a recipe and ‘Persianise’ it, like Spaghetti ! We add what we think it lacks to create a better balance, or a taste that we prefer.

The ingredients of Persian food are largely the same ingredients that food all over the world is made from  and yet when we  add spice to a recipe,  it literally transforms it.  In Persian cooking we use fruits, herbs, flowers and ground roots to create a delicate aroma and a rich flavour. Each spice has a purpose and is helpful in maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul.

Here I’ve put together a list of the spices used in Persian cooking. Food is always created with the intention of making  a hot or cold meal and we use spices to help create healthy and delicious food.


  • Persian advieh is a blend of 5  or more different spices.  Although similar to Gharam Masala, the emphasise is less on a  hot flavour. Advieh can be bought from Iranian (and Indian)  grocery stores already made up but it’s great to make it yourself to your own individual taste.  There are different blends of Advieh depending on what you’re cooking, where you come from in Iran and personal taste . There’s one for rice dishes, which tends to be more fragrant and is sprinkled on the rice just before serving,  another for khoreshts, which would usually include limu amani and zaafaran  and another for pickles which would consist of spicy and sour flavours.  The first five on the list are the usual spices used but if you want a spicier flavour add black pepper and cloves. Anything goes really ! For an Advieh basic recipe  use equal parts of the following, try using one teaspoon to start with.
  • Cardamom seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried rose petals
  • Star of Anise
  • Nutmeg
  • Limu amani
  • Angelica
  • Black pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • sesame seeds
  • Zaafaran
  • Pistachio

Simply take your spices of choice, grind with a pestle and mortar and store in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.


14 thoughts on “Advieh Spices used in Persian Cooking

  1. Salam.
    webloge besiar mofidi darid. man mikhastam yek seri etelahat dar rabete ba zereshk begiram chon zereshk vase injayiha kheili asrar amize, aval inke aya esme khasi be English dare? va inke joz estefade dar zereshk polo ba morgh dige kojaha estefade mishe?
    mamnon az lotfeton

    1. salam Arsalan jan zereshk is barbarry in english and you can make many things check through the recipe section and look for ‘jewelled rice’ and ‘ ‘khoreshte khalal’. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. I had a meal in Oslo for my 50th birthday and though I have been cooking Indian for years and feel I have got to know it due to the fact that I lived in Southall, London for eight years, I was simply blown away by the wonderful new flavours that came out of familiar dishes. I am now searching the net for Persian recipes and trying now to find out how it all works to cook at home. Your site is on my study list. Thanks for this. I am a total beginner again! All the best.

  3. Salaam Khanum jon! Man yek Filipini hastam montaha dar Iran zendege kardam kheile vakht pish. Mikhaham befanam zarchu-e chemishe va English? Also, modar-shoharam hamishi yek dish dari mipaze kheile dust daram bud, esme “Fesenjon”. By any chance, do you know the recipe of this dish? Kheile mamnun dast-i-shoma dart nakon!

  4. Salam.
    I have just returned from a visit to beautiful Iran. I loved the food, although I am a vegetarian, I am now on the hunt for recipes. Your site has given me inspiration, thank you

  5. Hi! a friend of mine wanted to buy cinnamon in his holidays in Iran but he realised it was not cinnamon once he was back in Spain. We do not know what is such a spice that he bought! I think that maybe is a kind of coffee because it smells very similar to coffee… the color is similar to cinnamon… Could you help us with this clues? Many thanks!!

      1. Oh no…. nothing was written on the packaging…
        We think is coffee but it quite clear and it the smell is not strong enough to be coffee…
        We will try it and I will let you know!
        Many thanks!!

  6. @Nerea: Could it be that your mystery spice is Urfa biber? One website says it is “often described as raisins meets coffee.” Another suggests it is like “Mexican ancho chile but earthier, with some hints of chocolate and coffee.”

    I don’t think so !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s