Learn about the Persian spice Golpar, Persian Hogwood. Includes recipes featuring this exotic spice, including a simple dish of pomegranate with golpar. Find more of my pomegranate recipes.
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There are some things in Farsi that easy to translate into English. Then you find these Persian proverbs and sayings and they completely lose their meaning in English.
Then there are the Persian words that have absolutely no English equivalent. But, I suppose most languages have this problem with English. And today I’m going to talk about one of those words: golpar
What is golpar?
For example, “pomegranate” in Farsi is anar (a-naar). That’s easy. And many Persians enjoy their pomegranate with the spice, golpar. But what is golpar? Most spice companies list golpar as “angelica powder.”
Wikipedia and other sources say this is not correct, that golpar is really ground seeds from Persian Hogweed (Heracleum persicum). What I do know is that Americans just don’t use this stuff.
What does golpar taste like?
Golpar is extremely aromatic and slightly bitter. I am personally not a fan of bitter, but my husband loves this stuff.
Substitutes for golpar
Unfortunately, golpar is such a unique spice that there really isn’t a substitute for it. If you can’t find it in stores, you can find golpar here on Amazon.
How to store golpar
Store golpar in a glass jar, as it can totally overwhelm your pantry if kept in a resealable bag. And like most other spices, keep in a cool dark place.
Culinary uses of golpar
Persians like to sprinkle golpar over fava beans and torshi (pickled vegetables). My husband sprinkles it in his mashed potatoes.
For those of you who have found golpar, here are some other recipes featuring this very magical spice:
- Lentil Salad (Salad-eh Adas) by My Persian Kitchen
- Persian Mixed Vegetable Pickle (Torshi Makhloot) by Turmeric and Saffron
- Olive, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad by Najmieh Batmanglij
- Salt & Golpar (Golpar Namak) by My Persian Feast
- Persian Style Lentils (Adasi) by The Pomegranate Diaries
- Cooked Fava Beans (Baghali Pokhteh) by Fig and Quince
- Spiced Labneh by Veggiestan
Learn how to seed a pomegranate here.
Pomegranate with Golpar
This simple snack of pomegranate with golpar, Persian Hogwood, is a Persian favorite mixing in sweet and sour together.
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 teaspoon golpar
- Seed the pomegranate using these directions.
- Divide pomegranate arils into two bowls.
- Top pomegranate in each bowl with ½ teaspoon golpar and serve.
Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g
guys this is the same plant more or less as cow parsnip a common wild plant in the US
I have never heard of cow parsnip. Thanks for the update! – Laura
Thanks for the link to my blog, but cucumber pomegranate salad with golpar is not my recipe. It also is Najmieh Batmanglij’s recipe. I get my golpar in Toronto in the Iranian neighbourhood with all the Iranian bakeries and markets.
I love Najmieh’s cookbooks. Thank you for the clarification.
Where can I buy hogweed?
You can find Golpar at middle eastern markets or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NOA1ZJI/?tag=wwwfamilyspic-20
Now I’m really curious about it. Also curious if I’ll see it used in the Persian cookbook I bought earlier this year (Food of Life). Guess I’ll have to order golpar now. 🙂
Such an exotic spice. Need to hunt some down, soon 😉
I’ve read about golpar but didn’t have a clue what it was (pretty typical for me, some might say). Now I do! And it’s always pomegranate season in your house!
Ah, how I love things exotic… thank you for sharing this information. So interesting!
That must have been the spice that my wonderful Iranian friend Mehri used that I couldn’t figure out. She didn’t know what it was “in American”, she said. I’m going to try to find it here.