Khouzestān province is located in the southwest of Iran at the coast of Persian Gulf with the centrality of Ahvaz and is considered to be the center of oil and gas production in Iran. In terms of having different subcultures, Khouzestān is the most diverse province. Bakhtiaris, native Arabs, Persians, Lurs etc. reside in Khouzestān. Khouzestān province is the cradle of civilizations such as Elamite civilization due to its ancient history.
About Khuzestan Province
The province of Khouzestān is one of the centers of ancient civilizations, dating back to 6,000 years in Shoush (Susa). In the 4th millennium BC the powerful Elamite government was founded in Susa, and was overthrown in the 1st millennium BC by the Assyrians. In the year 640 BC, Shoush came under the rule of the Assyrians and was divided into two parts. The northern segment named “Anzan” came under the rule of Parsees who had been the former settlers of this region, and the southern part was dominated by the Assyrians. In the year 538 BC Kourosh (Cyrus) the Achaemenian, sent his forces to Babylon and conquered the Elamite lands. The city of Susa was then proclaimed as one of the Achaemenian capitals. In the year 187 BC, due to weakness of Seleucid Dynasty, Pars and Khouzestān united and slipped out of their control. Mehrdad I, the Parthian (171-137 BC) gained victory over the Seleucid ruler in a war and appointed someone from the Parthian Dynasty as a ruler of Khouzestān. During the Sassanid Dynasty this area thrived tremendously and flourished, and this dynasty was responsible for the many constructions that were erected in Ahvāz, Shoushtar and the north of Andimeshk. After the Muslim Arabs conquered Iran, the Omavi and Abbassid Caliphates held the ropes in Khouzestān and ruled till the mid-9th century. On the decline of the latter, Yaqoub (Jacob) Lais, from the vicinity of Sistān, raised the flag of independence and ultimately gained control on Shoush and Shoushtar. In the 1730 Nader Shah Afshar entered Khouzestān. On the death of Karim Khan Zand, the area was witness to violations, and during the reign of Fath-ali Shah Qajar, Khouzestān was finally divided into two. After the Iran-Britain war in 1894, peace prevailed in Khouzestān for a period of 40 years. At this time the Arab tribes or clans had been divided into different groups, each being ruled by a Sheikh (or chief). In the past eighty years, except during Iran-Iraq war, the province of Khouzestān thrived and prospered, and today accounts for one of the regions in Iran that holds a strategic position.
The province of Khouzestān can be basically divided into two regions, the rolling hills and mountainous regions north of the Ahvaz Ridge, and the plains and marsh lands to its south. The area is irrigated by the Kāroun,Karkheh,Jarahi and Maroun rivers. The climate of Khouzestān is generally very hot and occasionally humid, particularly in the south, while winters are much more cold and dry. Summertime temperatures routinely exceed 45°C degrees Celsius and in the winter it can drop below freezing, with occasional snowfall, all the way south to Ahvaz. Khouzestān is possibly one of the hottest places on earth with maximum temperature in summer soaring up to 55 °C degrees Celsius.
Khouzestān is inhabited by many different ethnic groups; the population of Khouzestān consists of native Persians, Arabs, Bakhtiaris, Lurs, Turkish -speaking Qashqai people and Afshar tribe, and Armenians. Khouzestāni folk music is joyful and festive, and each native group has their own rich traditions and legacy in this area. The people of Khouzestān are predominantly Shia Muslims, with small Sunni Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Mandean minorities. Khouzestānis are also very well regarded for their hospitality and generosity.
Oil & Gas, Mining, Auto motive industry, Steel, Fishing, Energy Plants, Sea transportation & transit.
Shādegān is famous for its cloaks. The weaving of the Islamic and Arab veil is a dominant feature here. Bed Sheets of Shoushtar, waist wrappers of Dezfoul, Jajims (a loosely woven woolen material) of Shādegān are worth mentioning. Besides there are other handicrafts such as, carpet, a kind of chain stitch embroidery, Kilim weaving (a type of coarse carpet), Jajim weaving, mat and rush mat weaving, bedding wrappers, manufacture of silver etc., can be taken to account as the handicrafts of this province.
Food & Drink
Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the neighboring cultures impact, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. vegetables are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes. Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form. Iranian best foods include:
Kebab is one of the popular and special foods of Iran, usually made from pieces of meat or grinded meat with spices. Iranian use a unique method to prepare Kebab. Iranian kebab has different varieties such as Barg Kebab, Koobideh Kebab, chicken Kebab (Joojeh Kebab), Shishlik Kebab, Bonab Kebab, Chenjeh Kebab and Soltani Kebab. The most popular one is Koobideh Kebab (grinded meat with spices).
Qeymeh consists split pea, meat and dried lime, and is served with rice. It is usually prepared as votive dish (Nazri) at many religious occasions.
Abgoosht or Dizi is one of the traditional Iranian dishes consists of lamb meat, tomatoes and peas. When it is cooked in stoneware crocks (Dizi), it is called Dizi Sangi. Abgoosht is in varieties such as Bozbash Abgoosht, Whey Abgoosht, Wheat Abgoosht and Bulgur Abgoosht, etc. It is usually eaten with Sangak bread, vegetables, dough and onion.
This original Iranian stew is one of the most delicious cuisines in Iran. Qormeh Sabzi has a unique flavor and consists of red beans, sour vegetables, meat and dried lime, and is served with Iranian rice
Pulau or cooked rice is the most important Iranian food at ceremonies, occasions and parties, served as Kateh or steamed rice. This food can be served with a variety of stews and cooked with meat, vegetable or various kinds of beans as well. Saffron and barberry are also used to decorate the rice. Various types of Persian pulau include: Zereshk Polo (barberry and rice), Baghali Polo (broad bean and rice), Loobia Polo (beans and rice), Sabzi Polo (vegetable and rice), Albaloo Polo (sour cherry and rice), Shirin Polo (sweet rice), Adas Polo (lentils and rice), Reshteh Polo (noodles and rice) and Kalam Polo Shirazi (shredded cabbage and rice).
Various pottages (Ash) are cooked in each region of Iran using its own dish. In the meantime, Ash-e Reshteh is the most well-known, which is prepared by various beans, especial vegetables, noodle (Reshteh) and whey.
This iconic stew, an essential part of every Persian wedding menu. Khoresht-e fesenjan traditionally made with duck, this dish also works well with chicken or lamb. In the north of Iran it is sometimes made with fish. It is a relatively easy khoresht to make, but it must be cooked slowly to allow the flavours to develop in the sauce. The consistency should be thick and creamy and the colour almost black. The distinctive flavour combines the nutty taste of ground walnuts with the sweet and sour flavour of pomegranate syrup.
What is it: An herbed rice pilaf complimented with white fishes (either Caspian kutum or halibut). Sabzi means vegetables, polo means steamed rice and mahi denotes fish. Iranian people serve this dish on their new year’s day, Nowruz.
What does it taste like: The delicious green rice will leave you spellbound with a rich taste of herbs. This dish offers a complete package of tastes to make you drool over it.
What is it: An herb-based frittata. This cake like preparation is cut and served into pieces. Based on its ingredients there are two different types of kuku namely, kuku sib zamini and kuku sabzi.
What does it taste like: A beautiful amalgamation of spinach, coriander, scallions, and herbs along with eggs makes this preparation a delicious one.
What is it: Chicken, yogurt, and egg based rice cake.
What does it taste like: This authentic Iranian dish has a strong flavor of saffron. The topping known as tahdig is opulent with chicken, but sometimes fish and other vegetables are used. The lower or base part is purely made of white rice.
A fish dish that is prepared with heavy spices, onions and cilantro. The fish used in the dish is locally known as mahi soboor (shad fish), a species of fish found in the Persian Gulf. Other provincial specialties include Ghalyeh Meygu (shrimp casserole), Ash-e Mohshala (Khorram-Shahri breakfast stew), Sar shir ( Dezfuli breakfast of heavy cream).
Falāfel & Sambouseh is a Lebanese dish, which tastes much better when cooked in Abādān and Ahvaz. Samboseh is also a delicious meal used as a favorite snack. Lashgar-Abad, near Kāroun River, has lots of shops offering Khouzestāni foods and sweets including zoolbia and bamieh, fried eggplant, samboseh and falafel at reasonable prices.