Golpar | A Persian Spice

Angelica (seed of Persian spice plant known as Golpar) | FigandQuince.com (Persian Cooking & culture blog)

Golpar (aka Persian Hogweed) Seed pods | A Persian Spice

Golpar (گلپر ‎) or Persian Hogweed (botanical name: Heracleum persicum) is a flowering spice plant, native to Iran, growing wild in its mountainous regions. (Linguistic fun: “gol” means “flower” in Farsi, and “par” can mean either “wing” or “feather” so theoretically golpar can be translated into flower-feather. For fun and giggles, I just did a domain search and shockingly, flowerfeather.com is available! Hurry and grab it!)

Golpar seedpods bear a unique smell one may call either pungent or aromatic depending on one’s point of view. For yours truly, a deep inhale takes me back to the deep recesses of spice enclaves in the Grand Bazaar of Tehran, and for that, I’m fond of the smell. Golpar seedpods contain seeds that are ground into a powder form and used as a spice. (Much like cardamom seeds inside the cardamom pods.)

Ground Angelica (seed of Persian spice plant known as Golpar) | FigandQuince.com (Persian Cooking & culture blog)

Golpar koobideh (ground golpar)

In Persian cooking, golpar powder (golpar koobideh as it’s called)  is used in advieh (spice mixture) to flavor rice dishes. For those so inclined, a bit of golpar may also be added to soups – a little bit of it does go quite well with lentil soup.

One of the most popular uses of this particularly Persian spice is to sprinkle golpar over baghali pokhteh, or cooked fava beans. Serving a bowl of pomegranate arils with a dusting of golpar sprinkle is an equally charming and popular use of this aromatic spice.

Another charming use of golpar seed pods is that you can often find it mixed with esfand seeds (اسپند) in the ancient Persian tradition of burning esfand (اسپند دود دادن) to avert the evil eye.

And that my friends, is the tale of a Persian spice called golpar. (“A Persian spice that is often erroneously sold as ‘Angelica Seeds.’)

Ground Angelica (seed of Persian spice plant known as Golpar) | FigandQuince.com (Persian Cooking & culture blog)

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22 thoughts on “Golpar | A Persian Spice

  1. I was in Iran in March and bought saffron, dried limes, nigella, dried mixed herbs and rose petals to bring home. Now I wish I had bought some golpar! I think I will need a suitcase dedicated to food items to bring home on my next trip!

  2. Hi dear Connie! What a charming haul of goods you brought with you from Iran! Do grab some golpar and also musir next trip but as I mentioned to Elaine above, you can find ground golpar easily enough online.

  3. I learned something interesting today! I was unaware that golpar is from seed pods. I thought, like advieh (a combination of spices that is called allspice in America), it comprised several ingredients. The seed pods are beautiful. I must find its botanical name.

  4. Hi, Azita Jon!
    I sent a comment on your goal par post but I do not see any indication that it was sent.
    Hugs,
    Carol

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. Pingback: Khaleh Fuzzy’s Famous & Fabulous Mixed Veggie TorshI | Fig & Quince

  6. Hi, What a lovely article. I teach about foraging for wild plants and fungi in Scotland and an Iranian lady who was on one of my guided walks recently sent me a ink to it. Why? Because a very closely related plant is widely available for free across the UK. I teach about it on my walks. We call it hogweed and its binomial name is heracleum sphondyllium. Its my favourite plant – the young shoots are wonderful fried in butter (a bit like asparagus only nicer) and the seeds, which look identical to those pictured here, are sensational – just the same flavour profile you describe here. I use them to make pickles (when green) or as a spice in cakes or an infusion in gin or cocktail bitters. A lot of the chefs and barmen I work with are getting very excited about it. I’m now really excited to explore how it has been used in Persian cuisine.
    If you’d like to know more about it, i’ve written a guide to it on my website here: http://www.gallowaywildfoods.com/?page_id=948.
    If you don’t mind, i’ll put a link in my article to this post to show the exciting uses for this amazing plant in other cuisines.
    Best wishes,
    Mark.

    • Hi Mark! So glad to hear from you and I can’t wait to click on the link and check out your guide. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!
      🙂

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