I’m not much of a meat lover but when it comes to Dizi, I’m all over it. Top it off with some pickles and I’m swooning with delight with every bite. Dizi or Abgoosht, however you like to call it, is one of the oldest Iranian recipes out there served in the most traditional way and usually in a very typical atmosphere. Dizi Saras are a thing in Iran. Places where you get nothing but Dizi on the menu served in stone crocks and accompanied by Sangak bread.
While there are so many of these around the Iranian capital, I’ve found to relish it even more at Timche Akbarian, where tales of history and a pinch of nostalgia comes along with my tray of Dizi. Timche Akbarian dates back to almost 260 years from the Qajar era when its main purpose was for exchange and gold. Later it was developed into the first bank of Iran ran mainly by Jews who were the prominent residents of Oudlajan neighbourhood.
As of today, there’s no bank or money exchange but the place has been delicately restored into a Dizi sara and tea house where tea comes in thin waisted cups and along with sugar canes.
Dizi is a Mesopotomian stew usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric and dried lime. Everything is mixed and cooked together. Once brought to you in stone crocks, you must start with the mashing yourself. Don’t worry, metal meat tenderizers are provided to make the work easier. A bowl is usually given for you to separate the juice from your Dizi before you start with the mashing. It’s common to tear your Sangak bread into small pieces and let it soak in your meat juice before eating it like a soup. The rest of your meat should also be eaten with your bread. Onions or pickles are also served on the side.
Timche Akbarian is hardly known to those who are not local to the bazaar and its surroundings, however it’s been receiving some recognition since more people are exploring Tehran nowadays. I was first taken here by a friend and was totally blown away to find such a place in the middle of what seems nowhere! I know there are some really good places to eat close to the bazaar but I’d highly recommend here for Dizi or even an afternoon tea.
Finding the location in the narrow alley ways of Tehran can be a bit tricky even for myself, so I thought I would just pin it for you on the map instead. 😉
Make sure you give this place a shot if you’re in town!