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Ring in 1395 with a Feast from Our Test Kitchen

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It's T-minus 4 days to Norooz, the Persian New Year, which means that you've got just a few days left in the year 1394—just enough time to begin planning the feast and setting the table.

Norooz marks both the beginning of a new year and the beginning of spring for Iranian families and others all over the world; thirteen days of celebrations follow, filled with lots of visiting of family members and friends, spring cleaning, good luck-wishing, and eating.

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Though not a food-centered holiday, fragrant rice, sticky baklava, roasted fish, and bright herbs fill feast tables—including the one that our test kitchen duo, Sara Jenkins and Josh Cohen dreamed up with the help of Louisa Shafia, Persian cooking expert and author of the Piglet-winning The New Persian Kitchen, and Food52 community member shayma.

The Norooz table, set with some of the Haft Seen (Seven "S"s).
The Norooz table, set with some of the Haft Seen (Seven "S"s). Photo by James Ransom

Celebrate with us! Read about our Advertising Coordinator Zoe's favorite Norooz traditions, make a big pan of rosewater-slicked baklava, and eat very well with your favorite people (out of doors, if springy weather has arrived in your neighborhood).

How many of the seven "S"s of Norooz can you find in the menu below?

Need a refresher? Those are sofreh (a dining cloth), sabzeh (wheat, barley, or herbs) for rebirth, samanu (a sweet pudding) for affluence, senjed (oleaster) for love, sir (garlic) for medicine, sib (apple) for health, somaq (sumac) for patience or the red of the sunrise, and serkeh (vinegar) for satisfaction or fortitude.

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Nan-e Barbari (Persian Flatbread)
Nan-e Barbari (Persian Flatbread)
Fresh Herb Platter (Sabzi Khordan)
Fresh Herb Platter (Sabzi Khordan)
Rice with Favas and Dill (Baghali Polo)
Rice with Favas and Dill (Baghali Polo)
Yogurt and Beet Salad in the Persian Manner
Yogurt and Beet Salad in the Persian Manner
Split Pea "Meatballs" with Pistachio Yogurt
Split Pea "Meatballs" with Pistachio Yogurt
Parvin’s Tamarind-Stuffed Fish
Parvin’s Tamarind-Stuffed Fish
Saffron-Infused Rice Pudding (Sholeh Zard), in the Persian Manner
Saffron-Infused Rice Pudding (Sholeh Zard), in the Persian Manner

Are you celebrating Norooz? Share your traditions (and menu!) in the comments!


Our magical menu genie will plan your holiay feast for you.

Tags: norooz, persian new year, iranian new year, test kitchen