The cuisine of Iran and its diaspora is more aromatic and rich than any I know. It pivots around the flavors of saffron, nigella seeds, cardamom, turmeric, dried raisins, and, my personal favorite, rosewater — in other words, the kinds of ingredients that inspire people to write about food.

Still, Iranian cuisine's pleasures strike me as too frequently unsung. The food of Iran, its history stretching back centuries and impressing itself on other cuisines across the globe ("Mughal" cuisine, served in so many Indian restaurants, is derivative of Persian cooking), is so much more textured than hearty kebabs and fluffy pilafs.

I suspect that, in the ensuing years, Iranian cuisine's champions will have to fight even harder to advocate for and preserve its beauty, as its very purpose — along with the culture of Iran, and the value of its history — comes under attack. Here are some of my favorite Iranian dishes we have in our archive.

Kuku sibzamini (Persian-style saffron and potato fritters)

(Shayma/Courtesy Food52)

Mast-o-khiar (Persian-style cucumber dip)

(Shayma/Courtesy Food52)

Yoghurt and spinach dip, 'borani esfanaaj', in the Persian manner

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Nan-e Barbari (Persian flatbread)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Fresh herb platter (sabzi khordan)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Yogurt and beet salad in the Persian manner

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Persian lamb in pomegranate quince sauce

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Iranian/Persian fesenjoon (walnut and pomegranate dish) with rice

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Parvin's tamarind-stuffed fish

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Beef kofte and Shirazi salad

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Eggplant and tomato stew with pomegranate molasses

(Courtesy Food52)

Lamb kebabs in pomegranate-walnut marinade

(Sara Remington/Courtesy Food52)

Persian New Year's noodle soup

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

Rice with favas and dill (Baghali polo)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Saffron-infused rice pudding (sholeh zard), in the Persian manner

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Ajil-e moshkel gosha (problem-solving nuts)

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

This story was originally published on Food52.com: 16 dishes that reveal the pleasures of Persian food