Dizi date backs to more than thousand years ago. It is one of the most traditional food in Iran. The name of this food comes from a small black stony pot which used for cooking Dizi. Recently this pots are made from various material like metal and dried clay. Fortunately some restaurants still use this dishes for cooking Dizi. Recipes of this delicious food are different from each other in different parts of Iran. For example, people in north of Iran add garlic to Dizi, and In Kerman Province dizi served by caraway. It is interesting to know that the main ingredients are meat and beans in all recipes.
Stone Dizi or broth
Broth, or Dizi is one of our favorite Iranian dishes. A kind of food that brings together all the family members. In some areas it is also called Pitti. Dizi is one of those foods that should be eaten on Fridays or holidays. After eating, sitting on one side and drinking sugar tea. Dizi cooked and served in different dishes with different styles. However, the roast cooked in a stone pot has a different flavor. Dizi has become one of the most fascinating Iran traditional foods even among foreign tourists coming to Iran. They will learn the special customs of eating Dizi and broth.
What is broth or Dizi?
A diluted nutriment made from mutton, onion, potatoes and beans make the broth. In many Dizi shops and especially on weekends you can see many customers waiting for their special Dizi. If you go to Mashhad and its recreational areas, such as Shandiz or Torqaba, they will bring you Dizi in crafted dishes. Some restaurants use pottery or aluminum utensils for baking Dizi.
History of Broth and Dizi
Although we know broth from authentic Iranian foods, in fact, this type of food as it served today has no long history in Iran. Broth was originally a diet eaten by wealthy families and kings, and the general public did not know it. It was also food cooked by nomadic tribes after they had settled in a place and sacrificed sheep. Famine in Iran came once, and people of Iran mostly ranchers, set up large boilers to feed people. They only could feed the population by adding beans such as chickpeas, beans, and water. Gradually, the first shops were opened to cook broth, and it became popular among the public as well as kings. Tomatoes came to Iran only during the Qajar period and were added to the broth.
Dizi or broth in Persian books
Perhaps the first person to write about Dizi and broth was Nader Mirza in Qajar period. Nader Mirza has detailed and written a recipe for cooking all kinds of broths throughout Iran in his “Feed Letter”.
This book says:
“Now let’s talk about broth which is the great food of the Iranian stew, and this stew which is the most strengthening edible is always used by Tazi and Persian and they cook it easy and quick. This is enough for the whole country and rural feed, if they find meat. It is said, “Broth is the best stew and there is no one in the world who does not like it or cook it, unless it was more simple.” Boroujerd chickpea is famous all over Iran and other cities. Anyone who has eaten it knows that I am right and no one wishes for other flavors when there is broth.”
How to cook broth in different cities of Iran
Dizi cooked in different styles and with various materials in different provinces and cities of Iran. Meat, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, beans, and Amani lemons are the same in all stews. It will be different in spices and flavors. Some people use a green pepper to make Dizi a little bit spicy. Some people add aromatic vegetables like parsley and dried tarragon. Kerman people add plum and yellow apricot, and dried (or pickled) ingredients to the broth.
Ingredients of Dizi
500 g bone-in lamb (shank, shoulder, or short ribs), cut into medium-size pieces
½ cup chickpeas, pre-soaked overnight
½ cup white beans, pre-soaked overnight
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 medium tomatoes, halved
2 medium potato, cut into four pieces
4 dried lime
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. turmeric powder
2 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
Dried mint leaves, for seasoning (optional)
Salt, black pepper powder, and lime juice, to the taste
Dried tarragon leaves and fresh mint leaves, for garnishing
Instructions of cooking Dizi
Put chopped onion, garlic, white bean, chickpeas and lamb (don’t remove its fat) in a pot and add turmeric and pepper powder.Then pour water in it and let it boils.
While it is boiling remove the foam from its top. Then cover the pot and let it cook for 2 hour over medium heat till beans and meat becomes soft.
After 2 hours uncover the pot and add dried limes( make some wholes in it by a fork), potato, tomatoes, tomato pate, and sour grape in it, stir it by a spoon and cover the pot. this time let it simmers for 30 minuets.
After 30 minutes it is time to add salt to it. Let it boils for 15 minuets.
Now your food is ready to serve.
How to Serve
Sepreate water of Dizi from other ingredients and pot them in two bowls. Remove bones from ingredients and mash them all to paste. You can design your dish by seasonal herbs. You must follow the rules and regulations for serving broth. If you go to the restaurant you should also follow some steps. Pour Dizi water into the bowl and keep all other ingredients including chickpeas and beans, potatoes, onions, onions and tomatoes in Dizi dish. Then start to mix them with wooden meat-masher. In the water they add Barbari bread. Dizi generally known with Barbarian bread which is so tasty. However you can use any type of bread you like. Shredded meat is one of the exciting parts of Dizi bowl that has many fans. You can serve broth and minced meat with a variety of pickles, raw onions, veggies and, of course, drinks such as yogurt (Doogh) or soda.
If you are using a stone container for baking Dizi, be sure to use a flame spreader. Also remember that the broth water in the stone pot should not be dried at all. Otherwise it breaks the pot. If you cook your own Dizi with crafted dishes, though, it will take longer (about an hour more), but you will get a tasty and more delicious flavor. Other things to keep in mind when baking Fizi are the time to add salt. Always add the salt at the end of the baking dish and after the meat is fully cooked. Otherwise, salt will not allow the meat to cook well. Like other traditional Iranian dishes, broth requires a long cooking time too. The longer baking time of Dizi, the more dense and well-colored it becomes. And last thing: try to put peas and beans in the water the night before. Before cooking, drain the peas and beans and add to the broth.
How to eat
you should make small pieces of bread and add them to the water. Eat soaked breads by spoon. About the mixed ingredients, you can eat with bread. We wish you enjoy the taste of unforgettable Iranian food, Dizi!!