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Dinner at an Iranian Tea House in the Damavand Mountains

The Damavand mountains can only be seen from the north of Tehran. One night, we went up there for dinner at a traditional tea house.

Damavand Mountains in Iran
Damavand mountains

The tea house which is situated beside a river, is a place where they used to serve the flavoured tobacco used in hubbly bubbly or shisha. However, the government began stopping a lot of these traditional tea houses from serving them and that was the case with this one.

Tea House in Iran
Inside the tea house

On another night, we went with some of my wife’s friends to another tea house in the mountains that offered hubbly bubbly. At most restaurants/tea houses, the food they serve is Persian style kebabs.

Kebabs are made of minced meat, usually beef, but can also be lamb that is ground/mixed with finely grated onion (not chopped) and a Persian spice called Sumac. The mixture is then pressed around long flat metal skewers, cooked over a barbeque then served with rice and flat bread. While it’s not a bad dish, it does become a bit boring after the nth time.

They also do marinated chicken kebabs as well using chicken pieces. I’m not sure what’s used in the marinade for the chicken but I believe saffron is part of it. Saffron is also used in the rice by frying it lightly in olive oil/butter and then pouring the golden yellow sauce over the rice.

Dinner at tea house - Iran
Dinner at Tea House

The photo above shows the remnants of the dinner we had at the tea house. I forgot to take a photo of the food when it arrived as I was starving hungry. Iranians don’t like to eat early and quite often we found ourselves having dinner at 9, 10 and even 11 pm.

My advice to the uninitiated, take snacks in a back pack. I wish I had!

Next in Part 4: Tehran Photo Stories

Photographs are copyright Bryan Freeman – All rights reserved.

About the author

Bryan Freeman

Bryan is a Sydney-based photographer who loves to travel and capture architectural, landscape, still life/abstract photographs and images of people. Photography is the air he breathes. While he loves the quality film can bring to a scene, he also enjoys the creativity and versatility that digital imaging has brought to everyone. More on Bryan Freeman here