Best Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad

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As a personal preference, I have always loved Asian Cuisine. Their spice content, the aromas, and the fact they are cooked in animal fat lend the meals an exotic flavor and they tend to fulfill the stomach. So whenever I make Asian Rice Pilaf or Turkish Kebobs, I always make this delicious and light Shirazi Salad. The freshness of cucumbers and tomatoes balances the spiciness and richness of the main meal. The Olive oil and sour grape juice, known as Aab Ghooreh make up the salad dressing.

Shirazi Salad was originated in Persia, where it is known as Salad-e-Shirazi. It is usually served with gravied dishes and rice cooked in chicken or meat stock. And while we all talk about its great taste and flavor, let me tell you that it is simple and even your children can help you prepare it too. Remember the Kidney Bean salad we recently made together? Yup! It’s just that but without kidney beans. Just a few cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions can fill your salad bowls with love, tang, and perfection!

Why would you like this Shirazi Salad?

  • The salad is completely Vegan, so you can make it for vegan potluck meals.
  • It comprises olive oil which is good for heart health and liver.
  • Shirazi Salad is a low-calorie dish that can be a good meal for weight loss diets.
  • It is keto-friendly, Gluten-free, and paleo.
  • You can serve it along with your daily meals, or aside hearty meals on special occasions like BBQ potluck parties, potluck dinners, etc.
  • It is very easy to make and requires no fancy ingredients.
  • Shirazi Salad can be served with a bowl of Lentil soup, Leg of Lamb, or Sabzi Polov (Persian Rice Dish).
Shirazi Salad Ingredients

Ingredients For Shirazi Salad

  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 3 medium-sized cucumbers
  • 1 small red onion
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ⅓ cup sour Grape juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ bunch of fresh mint
  • Salt up to taste
  • Black pepper or chili flakes (optional)

Ingredient Notes

  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers are abundantly found in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries, hence their inclusion in the salad. Do use Persian cucumbers because they have a crisp texture and do not have too much water. They are also thin-skinned so you do not need to peel them.
  • Tomatoes: Use red, medium-sized tomatoes which are firm upon pressing. Too soft tomatoes will make the salad mushy, and too hard ones have no taste.
  • Red Onion: Because of its strong flavor, I always use red onion as in the original recipe. Onion tends to balance the mildness of cucumbers and the tang of tomatoes.
  • Lemon Juice: It forms the salad dressing and also makes the flavor a bit tangy to go with many heavier main meals.
  • Sour Grape Juice: This is the star ingredient that makes the salad unique, and juicier and enhances the zing. It is called Aab-e-Ghooreh, but if it is difficult to find, you can stick to lemon juice instead.
  • Olive oil: As with all salad dressings, olive oil forms the base and holds all the ingredients together.
  • Mint: Mint is an essential ingredient in all tangy salads as it is believed to aid in digestion and make the mouth fresh.
  • Salt: Add salt up to taste.
  • Black pepper or chili flakes: Although the salad is complete without any pepper, you can add a bit of it to make it spicy if you like.

Tips to make the Best Shirazi Salad

  • Some recipes mention removing tomato seeds, but in fact, it is not required.
  • Use cucumbers that have soft skin and are seedless. They taste sweeter. Slicing cucumbers have thick skin and are bitter in flavor. If possible, go only for Persian Cucumbers because they have the thinnest skin and sweet flavor.
  • Chop onions very finely so that no large chunks remain. You can also use shallots which are less pungent.
  • Don’t add the dressing ingredients until you are ready to serve, or else the salad would become less crunchy.

How to make the Shirazi Salad?

Shirazi Salad veggies

Step one: Prepare the vegetables:

  • Dice tomatoes into fine cubes.
  • Chop cucumbers and onion in the same way and add to a salad bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Chop fresh mint and set aside

Step two: Prepare the dressing:

  • Mix olive oil, sour grape juice, and lemon juice.
  • Stir Vigorously to mix well.

Step three: Assembling:

  • Add chopped mint to the salad bowl along with salt. Mix well.
  • Just before serving, pour the prepared salad dressing over the salad and mix well.
  • If you like the flavors strong, you can pour the dressing and then refrigerate the salad so that the dressing flavors meld together.
persian shiraz salad

How to store Shirazi Salad?

  • I don’t recommend leaving the salad at room temperature, especially during hot weather. The vegetables tend to get soft and mushy, and the salad will lose its texture.
  • If you have any leftovers, you can put them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. It will keep good for 3-4 days.
  • If you want to make the salad ahead of time, simply prepare the vegetables and dressing separately, and refrigerate. When you need to serve, Assemble the two and your salad will be ready.

How to freeze the salad?

  • Nope! Don’t! Freezing the salad and then thawing it will result in a watery, mushy salad which is of no good use.

Alternative ingredients you may try for Variation:

  • Try adding a few red and green bell peppers. This won’t only add to the color and aesthetic appeal, but will also enhance flavor and load the salad with antioxidants.
  • If you do not have mint or do not want to add it, try adding freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, or a combination of two. This will make the salad extra herby.
  • Try adding spring onions for a mellow flavor instead of red onions.
  • Use apple cider vinegar if you do not have sour grape juice. You can also alternate it with lime juice.
  • Consider adding Sumac, which is a Persian red spice. This enhances the flavor of the salad and makes it a bit spicier.

Dressing Variations For Shirazi Salad

The traditional dressing for Shirazi salad consists of olive oil, lemon juice seasoned with sour grape juice, black paper, and salt. Dried and fresh mint powder are two basic parts of its dressing.

However, You can use yogurt-based dressing with olive oil, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Tahini dressing is also an excellent choice for this salad. It includes tahini, lemon juice, water, minced garlic, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix these ingredients, make a smooth paste, and use it for Shirazi salad dressing.

Another option for dressing is chili lime. You’ll need chopped fresh chili, olive oil, and salt. Whisk them to combine and use them as dressing for Shirazi salad.

What to Serve with Salade Shirazi?

Shirazi salad is one of the most common dishes in Middle Eastern serves as a side dish with different dishes, including:

  • Mediterranean Falafel Wrap
  • Basbousa
  • Traditional Greek Galaktoboureko
  • Instant Pot Butter Chicken
  • Hummus with Pita Bread
  • Moutabal Chicken Kabobs

Recipe Alternatives:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the famous Iranian Salad?

Shirazi Salad is the most popular Iranian Salad. It originated from Shiraz, a famous city in Southern Iran. The recipe is very simple and comprises fresh green cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. The salad dressing consists of Sour grape juice known as Aab-e-Ghooreh, which gives the salad a refreshing tang and zesty flavor. Mint and other herbs like dill and parsley bring out the freshness and flavors of other ingredients. Shirazi Salad is served with Persian Rice dishes, meat gravies, or kabobs.

Do you have to peel Persian Cucumbers before eating?

No, you do not! Persian cucumbers have very thin skin that does not need to be removed. They are also seedless and sweet in flavor and do not have a high water content. This is why they are most preferred in salads they do not get soggy and do not make the salads watery. Add in tomatoes and onions to make the cucumber salad versatile and more flavorful.

Is it okay to eat a day-old salad?

That depends on how the salad was stored. If it has been left out at room temperature, check for signs of mold or decay before consuming it because vegetables rot very soon. However, if you have refrigerated the leftovers, it remains good for 3 to 4 days and can be consumed safely. Refrigeration, however, may make the salad soggy and watery. Drain excess liquid before eating.

Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad (Authentic Persian Style)

Adalynn Ward
Serve your chicken kabobs or Turkish meatballs along with this tangy Shirazi salad! Onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all that you need for this tantalizing side.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4 persons

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 3 medium-sized cucumbers
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 Juice of 2 lemons
  • cup sour Grape juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Salt up to taste
  • Black pepper or chili flakes (optional)

How to Make?

  • Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions into small fine cubes. Add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, sour grape juice, and salt. Mix well.
  • Add olive oil and stir until all the ingredients are coated well.
  • Add black pepper or red chili flakes if desired.
  • Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 4.5gProtein: 1gFat: 1.9gSodium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
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Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!