Questions? Ask Christen!
A Tray of Seven Spices
A properly done Sofreh invariably has a standalone tray of seven Sofreh Aghd spices, arranged in seven distinct colors and placed on the wedding table. The spices protect the couple from the “Evil Eye” (the bad intentions of others who do not wish them well). They guard them from and drive away evil spirits and bad feelings generally. (They also taste good.)
These seven spices are: Khashkhash (poppy seeds), Berenj (wild rice), salt, Raziyane (Nigella seeds aka coriander or fennel), Cha’i (black tea leaves), Sabzi Khoshk (Angelica) and Kondor (Frankincense).
Salt and tea leaves, wild rice and poppy seeds, you know. But you should also know that seeds of the Persian spice Golpar, which grows wild in Iran, are often mislabeled as Angelica. Accept no substitutes. Golpar is certainly welcome at the table, but not if you want to drive away demons. Go with Angelica. ‘Nigella’ is sold in the United States as coriander or fennel. And while frankincense is most often used in perfumes and as incense, it’s easily commercially available. (And tasty.)
Christen Flack Behzadi, MD, is the author of the internationally selling book The Persian Wedding Book. She live in Houston, Texas, with her beloved husband, Dr. Pedram Behzadi, M.D.