Salad Shirazi ~ Persian Salad from City of Shiraz

by My Persian Kitchen on January 22, 2010

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I have a girl friend who I met through an Iranian charity organization that I belong to. Her name is Homeyra. She is the happiest person on earth. She is always in a good mood, smiling, and spreading her happiness to those around her. Her joviality is simply infectious, I swear, she walks into a room and completely elevates the mood of those around her.  She is very likable and personable,  Persian adjective that best defines her is khodemooni.

A couple of months ago we were sitting next to each other at a fundraiser event and had the opportunity to chat and giggle together while she greeted the attendees and took their tickets while I sold raffle tickets. Low and behold she is from Shiraz and you wouldn’t believe the excitement when I wooed her with my fine Shirazi dialect skills! In fact she was so impressed with me that now she wants to be my best friend! NOT! ;) I only know a couple of things and the first thing that comes to mind is you say “haa” instead of “yes.” I have no fine Shirazi skills, none! I only like sour food!

Moving right along, during my fun conversation with Homeyra she offered to give me some Shirazi recipes and I nearly fell off my chair from the excitement. So I called her a couple of nights ago and she gave me two recipes.  I nearly died when she actually told me how much of each ingredient should be used as opposed to how I am usually given recipes. OH. MY. GOD. I. LOVE. HER!

The first one is the ever so famous Salad Shirazi. This is a delicious and healthy salad that is also easy to make.

Now, allow me to be a food snob for just a few seconds. I have seen people get wild with Salad Shiazi and given that I have had Salad Shirazi all my life made by those from Shiraz, I can say with my head up high in the sky that no other herb is used in this salad other than mint. Amen!

With this said, I present to you Homeyra Khanoom’s authentic Salad Shirazi!

Ingredients

5 Persian cucumbers (or 2 English cucumbers, the idea is to use seedless cucumbers)

4 round tomatoes

1 medium red onion

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1 tbsp dry mint

1 tbsp oil (optional)

salt & pepper


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These three veggies are all you need for this salad! Here is the thing though, you have to small dice ALL of them and they have to be, give or take, the same size. Think of it as a Persian Pico de Gallo! Now let’s get choppin’!

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Small dice cucumbers. Depending on the thickness of the cucumbers they can either be divided into 6 or 8 slices.

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Dice onion…I didn’t use all of my onion as it was too much. You can see in the next picture the piece that I left out. You don’t want the onion to overpower the rest of the ingredients.

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Do the same with the tomatoes. I would suggest doing the tomatoes last so that you don’t have to whip your cutting board dry after chopping them.

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And Voila! Here they are all nice and chopped up!  Season with salt, pepper and add dried mint.

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Mix well, cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Make sure to taste the salad to make sure that there is enough salt.s

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In the mean time juice fresh lime.  Homeyra says that oil is optional for the dressing.

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If you would like to add oil, then add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

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Pour lime juice and olive oil over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

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Salad Shirazi can be served with any Persian meal. We had ours with Grilled Chicken Kabob. YUM!

What I learned from the way Homeyra makes her Salad Shirazi is that she lets it rest. She says that the more you let it sit the better it is. So if you are planning on having Salad Shirazi for dinner, make it in the afternoon. I have to say it definitely makes a huge difference. Also, you can add more lime juice and/or mint if you wish depending on your taste buds!

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Homeyra January 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Sanam joon:
Thank you for being so sweet and nice talking about me. I am happy to have a good friend who is also a very good cook too. I love the way you represent and decorate your food . They always look so yammey, Just by looking at them I ‘ll get hungry. I love your web site and I wish you happiness and success all through your life. Love you and hope to see you soon.

My Persian Kitchen January 23, 2010 at 12:17 am

Aww you are so so so sweet Homeyra joon! :) Looking forward to seeing you soon!

lena israelsson January 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

In a few days I will go to Shiraz, I hope I will get the opportunity to taste this wonderful salad Shirazi. I´m so exited about this visit, but a bit worried that there are no vegetables in the gardens of Shiraz. But in that case I will take a bus to the southern part of the country. I must have loads of sabzi. Thanks for your wonderful blog. It always makes me hungry!
lena/Sweden

My Persian Kitchen January 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Lena,

I am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear all about your adventure. I doubt they have Faloodeh right now as it is cold, but if available, make sure you have some in Shiraz, it is the best I ever tasted! :)

Maninas January 24, 2010 at 5:37 am

Love the combination of mint and lime in the dressing.
I know it’s totally sacrilegious, but how about basil and lime, too? Just for fun!

My Persian Kitchen January 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

Maninas, Basil and lime sound really good too, but then it wouldn’t be Salad Shirazi! :) Or Tarragon and lime! Oh yeah! :)

Azita January 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm

this is one of the best salads in the world! it will complement any meal. delicious!

My Persian Kitchen January 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Agreed Azita Jan!

Mehrdad January 26, 2010 at 2:40 am

Someone suggested that it’s better to peel the cucumber!
Here is a video of my friend making Salad Shirazi with unpeeled cucumber! I prefer your Salad Shirazi any time!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk_fGSS6YgQ

My Persian Kitchen January 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Mehrdad, actually Homeyra did tell me to peel the cucumbers but I totally forgot about it. oooopppsssyy!!!

shayma January 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

what a beautiful, gorgeous salad. i wish i knew more about food from Shiraz. my grandmother’s family was from Sabzevar and since they migrated to Pakistan, i didnt get to know enough about her heritage, i wish i had come to know more. my grandmother’s grandfather was a Sufi Saint who traveled from sabzevar to Pakistan to spread the Sufi word. i want to know so much more about Persian cuisine than what i have learnt from my grandmother, she left us when i was just 16- but thanks to you lovely girls- you and Azita, i learn more every time i read your blog. we make a similar salad in Pakistan, but we add green chili and fresh cilantro. the last two ingredients are optional, but it is basically a salad of onion, cucumber, tomato and lemon juice. similar to the one from shiraz :)
xo shayma

shayma January 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

btw please tell us more about Shirazi cuisine- do they like sour foods? x

My Persian Kitchen January 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Shayma,

thank you for your wonderful comment. What a wonderfully rich family history you have! The Pakistani salad sounds delicious too, how can you go wrong with green chili and cilantro??!! I will be posting more recipes from Shiraz, so stay tuned! xoxo

Cassie January 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I just made it a little while ago and am letting it “rest,” as you suggested, until our dinner tonight. This is one of my favorite Persian dishes—so tangy. Kheyli khoshmaze!

I’m so grateful for your wonderful blog. I’m just learning the fine art of Persian cooking, and am attempting to make something from your blog at least once a week.

Kheyli mamnoon and keep up the great work!

My Persian Kitchen January 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Cassie, thank you for sweet words. I am so humbled by the fact that so many people enjoy my blog. It is fun to write and I am also learning so much myself in the process. Your comment about making something from my blog once a week brought happy tears to my eyes. THANK YOU!!! Keep cooking!!!!! :)

Shenya April 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

tamoom, tamoom

Al May 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I love Salad Shirazi and I agree with Azita,it makes ANY food delicious.You know what any food from persia is gooooooooood.

Shaheen July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am

I have seen some recipes call for fresh mint instead of dry mint. Which is better to use?

My Persian Kitchen July 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Shaheen, I think it’s good both ways. But using dry mint is just much more simple because you don’t have to deal with the chopping of one extra ingredient.

Elvira May 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

Well, I don’t know if this website is still active. I found it while looking for Shirazi salad recipe. And I’m planning to make the salad today. I only wanted to add that you can also serve this salad with yogurt spread on top. That is SO tasty too. And that’s how my husband and I actually prefer it :)

Coleman October 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm

My mouth is watering just looking at it. Thank you for this recipe!!!

Garth October 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Hi
Great Recipe. I would like to use a different herb.

I have potted plants of parsley, lemon thyme and dill. (Brought them in and potted them last week for winter – I live in New England).
The dill is still young, since it is a volunteer seeding from plants that gave up the ghost in August

I suspect any of them, or a mix would work.

Regards
Garth

My Persian Kitchen October 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Garth, I would go with the parsley as a substitute.

Chynthia May 15, 2012 at 4:28 am

Hi! My Husband is from Shiraz and he loves his country food,but as i am from Latvia u don’t know how to cook Iranian food. I know few recipes from other websites,but i made this salad and we loved them,so i would like see more recipea here please!

Sharon August 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for this authentic salad-e-shirazi! It reminds me of my auntie, who would eat nothing but berenj (rice) and salad-e-shirazi for dinner most nights. :) I’ve often used yellow onion in a pinch, and it works just fine (although red onion is a little sweeter and nicer). My auntie never used mint, so I’ll probably just use parsley as that’s what I’m used to. Khalee-mamnoon!

Sharon August 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Ooops, forgot to say – thank you for making sure to say “Persian” cucumbers (or one English cucumber). Any old ordinary cucumber just doesn’t work, in my opinion. I’m personally biased toward Persian cucumbers because I find them to be tastier and sweeter. :)

Amanda January 15, 2013 at 10:37 am

My sister learned how to make this salad from the family of her best friend. (persian of course). They use olive oil, and lemons as well.

Kathleen February 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Please add to all your lovely recipes a suggestion as to how many servings each would make. Thanks.

JDLSKD June 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Hey there! Great recipe!!! What lettuce did you use in the pictures to serve the salad?? Thanks

My Persian Kitchen June 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm

JDLSKD, that’s a butter lettuce.

Peggy July 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

l also add Balsamic vinegar. It adds a little tang AWESOME!

Bill September 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

For years I have craved what I thought was tabbouleh from a Mediterranean place a half block from where I used to work. I have been disappointed every other place I ordered it. After another disappointment tonight, I did some research and finally figured out it was Salad Shirazi, not tabbouleh, but they added lentils which added to my confusion as I mistook it for bulgur wheat. I would feel silly but am now just too excited to try this with and without lentils very soon. Thank you.

Ron November 25, 2013 at 8:41 am

Great. I made this yesterday. It is all you said. Please post more fantastic recipes.

Anne B. January 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Hey there, I just found your site when I was googling for a Shirazi Salad recipe. I love your style and I wish we could meet for coffee sometime. In any event, one of my dearest girlfriends in the world is Persian and her name is Zoreh. Beginning in my teens (I am 50 now, gasp!), I discovered Mediterranean food and loved it. Zoreh introduced me to Persian food, which I absolutely adore. Even though I am Danish/German/Irish, I am convinced I was Persian in a previous life! We don’t have too many Persian restaurants in our area so I do most of the cooking myself. But recently I discovered a little take-out place about 20 miles away that is really good but expensive. My husband, who is Italian, loves their Shirazi salad. The amount that he likes to eat (3 large sides) costs about $12, so I figured I would find a recipe to make it for him. I found several that included Tarragon, Dill Weed, Cilantro, Chives, Balsamic Vinegar and other odd (at least to me) ingredients that I didn’t think were in the salad. But then I found yours. The ingredients are what I would have expected AND your attitude reminds me so much of Zoreh that I have to trust that your recipe will be fabulous! I will make my husband a big batch this weekend and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for all the effort you put into your site, I can that it is a labor of love!

My Persian Kitchen January 14, 2014 at 11:13 am

Anne B., thank you for your sweet words! This is a very simple salad and as I say in my post people sometimes like to get creative with it. All you really need is the three ingredients, lemon juice and the dried mint!!

Diane January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Thank you so much for the authentic recipe! I love the simple combination of fresh cucumber, tomato, onion, and mint in Salad Shirazi and plan to make it often!

elala January 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Hello! Can one use fresh mint rather than dried mint? I have fresh mint growing in the yard, so I have it on hand most months of the year.

Thanks!

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