Golpar | 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.)

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.’)



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Comments (30)

  • Elaine @ foodbod 4 years ago Reply

    So interesting, completely new to me, although I do have a recipe for advieh. I wonder if I can find some to try…xx

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    Dear Elaine, if you Google it, I’m positive you can find it online. I’d e curious to know what you make of it!

    Elaine @ foodbod 4 years ago

    I’ll have a look xx

    Elaine @ foodbod 4 years ago

    I found some! Ordered today 🙂

    Alice 2 years ago

    Do you have a site you’ve found to order some Golpar seeds? To send to US? I cannot find any!! Thank you so much!!

  • Connie 4 years ago Reply

    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!

  • Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    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.

  • I mix my own Advije….don’t know how to pronounce it correctly… with Angelica powder in it, is golpar anything I can get in Persian stores here? Love your post as always.

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    Cornelia joon, ground golpar is sold translated as “Angelica powder” and you should definitely be able ot find it in Persian stores.

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    ps also Cornelia joon, I’d love to know your advieh recipe (pronounced as “ad-we-yen” ! 🙂

  • Gather and Graze 4 years ago Reply

    Such unusual and quite beautiful little seed pods. As always dear Azita, it’s fascinating to learn something new about Persian cuisine and ingredients!

  • Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    Aren’t the seed pods pretty? Nature is amazing! And delighted you enjoyed the post dear Margot! <3

  • Carol 4 years ago Reply

    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.

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    Carol jan, first: so good to see you reading and commenting here! 🙂
    According to Wiki, the botanical name for golpar is: Heracleum persicum or the Persian Hogweed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_persicum
    The seed pods are really pretty. I’ll try to figure out a way to bring some for you.
    xo

  • Carol Rahbar 4 years ago Reply

    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

    >

  • apuginthekitchen 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve never heard of this spice, now I have to try it. I’ll find a place to buy online. It sounds great.

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    It’s mostly known as one of the advieh ingredients. I have the ground golpar at home. I’ll bring you some! 🙂

  • chef mimi 4 years ago Reply

    And this is why I read blogs! I’ve never heard of this spice. I’ll have to buy some just so I can smell it!

  • Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    What a wonderful comment, Chef Mimi! As mentioned, the smell is a hit or miss depending on your p.o.v and would love to know which category it falls under for you!

  • […] golpar (ground golpar as well as golpar seeds) […]

  • MarkWildfood 4 years ago Reply

    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.

    Fig & Quince 4 years ago Reply

    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!
    🙂

  • Saeed 3 years ago Reply

    It is best to grid it and then sprinkle it over pommogranite seeds.

  • Alice 2 years ago Reply

    I cannot find where to buy this gollpar or persian hogweed online!! Anyone have a helpful link please? Thank you!

    Fig & Quince 2 years ago Reply

    Dear Alice, did you try Sadaf.com? http://www.sadaf.com/sadaf-golpar-angelica-ground-07-0605/
    Hope this helps! This makes me think if I ever do a giveaway I should include Golpar for sure.
    🙂
    <3
    ps sorry for belated reply. I'm severely preoccupied these days.

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  • […] features, among its nine types, ras-el-hanout almond linzers (Owens blends the spices—including golpar, fenugreek, and anise—herself and sandwiches the cookies with homemade jam), Amarena cherry […]

  • […] features, among its nine types, ras-el-hanout almond linzers (Owens blends the spices—including golpar, fenugreek, and anise—herself and sandwiches the cookies with homemade jam), Amarena cherry […]

  • […] features, among its nine types, ras-el-hanout almond linzers (Owens blends the spices—including golpar, fenugreek, and anise—herself and sandwiches the cookies with homemade jam), Amarena cherry […]

  • […] still widely used, as a flavouring for lentil soup and broad bean dishes according to the website Fig and Quince. I often use hogweed seeds in a similar way for savoury dishes with pulses, this was the first time […]

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