March 02, 2011

Preparing For Nowruz 1390 - Persian New Year 2011!

Here are some suggestions and links to help you prepare for the coming Persian New Year (Spring Equinox)! The following links are a compilation of Nowruz customs, rituals, food, desserts and anything Persian New Year-related that has been posted so far on my blog that might give you more information and insights into this ancient, joyful and extremely popular celebration! I hope that you'll find it useful!

On Sunday, March 20, 2011, Nowruz starts at 7:21 P.M. here in New York. To find out about the time of sal-e tahvil (start of  Nowruz) in your area please see this timetable, hopefully, your town is listed!

The first thing to do is to get started on a good and thorough khaneh tekani (spring cleaning) a few weeks before the New Year. The above link is my recent post about spring cleaning and serving fruits.

Many things on the haft seen table may be bought up to the last minute but if you are planning to grow your own sabzeh and make your own samanoo you'll need to start soon in order to have everything ready by sal-e tahvil. Otherwise, these days everything that one might need is readily available in Persian supermarkets.

Sabzeh - Growing Seeds
 I usually start my sabzeh two weeks before Nowruz. It may not get to be that tall on the haft seen table but since I like to keep it till the 13th of Farvardin, I don't want it to rot too quickly. If you would like to have a full-grown and long sabzeh you may want to start now!

If you are making samanoo (wheat pudding), start  the seed germination now!

Main Dishes

In our home, there were two ways to make fish for Nowruz. One was frying the fish in a skillet and the other was to serve smoked fish. Our smoked fish back home in Iran was different than the ones I get here. Ours was tastier and somewhat salty. I like to season the fish with the mixture I make with the following ingredients: salt, pepper, mashed fresh garlic, olive oil, and the juice of fresh lemon.  I would spread a thin layer of the sauce on the inside of the fish before placing it in the 300 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 20-30 minutes.
Side Dishes




Rosewater is used in many of our sweet recipes for flavoring and aroma.  I like it so much that I cannot write a dessert recipe without mentioning the use of rose water. For those of you who don't like the aroma, you can use vanilla extract or perhaps orange blossom extract instead.

Enjoy! Peace and Blessings!!


  1. I think this is the year I need to make Persian rice!! Spring's a-coming!

  2. I'm not Persian, but I certainly love to celebrate Nowruz. This spread looks amazing

  3. My mouth is watering. Can't wait to go home for Nowruz with my family! I'm sure my mom is already starting the sprouts. :)

  4. Very nice round up of dishes. The tea cup holder is interesting, you see a lot of that also in former Soviet states

  5. what a beautiful presentation,Azita. I will come back to check your recipes again since I feel like to throw a new party for my husband and friends :)

  6. Looks SO LOVELY,appetizing.
    I heard about a tradition,the New year's eve you can cook green lintels (Adassi)which it will bring financially a good year for the family!
    Please,add an article with beautiful photos about Char-Shanbeh-Soori too.You always do it just right.

  7. Thanks a lot! This is my first Norooz alone, so I don't want to miss the rituals :D

  8. @Belinda,I think so too! Happy Spring!
    @Oyster Culture, Thank you! Hope you enjoy your Persian New Year celebration!
    @ModaresiBeal, Hope you have a wonderful Nowruz celebration with your family!
    @Three-Cookies, Thank you! The shape of this kind of tea cups are very common in that region.
    @Mom's the Little one, Thank you so much, Fitri! Enjoy your New Year celebration! Have a Happy Nowruz!
    @Anonymous, Thank you for your kind words! Nowruz Mobarak!
    @Linus, wouldn't want you to miss the rituals either! Happy Nowruz!

  9. Such a lovely idea to celebrate New Year. Wish you have a great and wonderful one.

  10. Thank you very much. I like it. My mum will spoil me this time. But I promise to start learning from next time.

  11. this last shot of the mountain with the poppy seeds is so beautiful!

  12. Beautiful and brilliant.I love this celebration- especially the spring cleaning part. I'm so ready for that :)

  13. I'm gonna take a stab at the sabzi polo this weekend-- wish me luck! :)

  14. Thank you so much for this beautiful website. Our family has celebrated Nowruz for the past three years. I have fallen in love with all things Persian and will refer to this website again and again to explore these recipes and to cruise these exquisite photos. Thank you. Our feast this year was heavenly thanks to several of your recipes.

  15. I love your blog, though I am yet to try one of your recipes, but the presentation and food looks PERFECT!! Your beautiful presentation reminds me of my mom's cooking, she used to make such elaborate meals and loved to decorate with herbs and spices :) Thanks such a beautiful visual feast!