By MARIA SCINTO
Nowruz is the Persian New Year, and in addition to Iran, it is celebrated in countries like Afghanistan, Albania, India, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. As with any other major holiday, the best part is the food, and the food that decorates the Nowruz Haft Sin table serves a symbolic purpose.
Every Haft Sin table must include seven items, each beginning with the Farsi letter "S": sabzeh, senjed, sib, seer, samanu, serkeh, and sumac. While all seven items are must-haves on every Haft Sin table, the table may also contain other items of particular significance to each family, like a book of poetry, a Quran, or even a goldfish to symbolize new life.
While the seven items stay on the table, dishes like the Iranian sabzi polo mahi (smoked fish) and herbed rice are meant for consumption and enjoyment. Other popular Nowruz dishes include hekar polo (a type of sweet rice pilaf), olmeh barg (stuffed grape leaves), and reshteh polo (lamb with noodles and rice).