Country we are exploring:  Iran

Continent:  Asia

Capital:  Tehran

Population:  77.5 million

Official language(s):  Farsi

Suggestion for fun image:  Chef Koochooloo making a sand castle by the beach of the Caspian Sea.

Fun fact:  Iran looks like a cat on the world map.

English recipe name:  Persian Spiced Dark Hot Chocolate

Name of dish in native country:  Shir Cacaoo ba zafaran, hel, va darchin

Type of dish:  Drink

Recommended season or holiday:  Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day

Serving Size: 4 people

Ingredient spotlight:  Saffron

Saffron comes from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus and is especially prized by Middle Eastern, Greek, and Spanish cultures. From the Spanish Paella to Persian rice pudding, saffron’s versatility makes appearances worldwide.


  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Large spoon for stirring


  • 1.5 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground saffron
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed or powdered
  • 1 TBSP of coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 4-5 TBSP of coconut milk or full fat cream
  • 8-10 oz of hot water

Big Chef Duties:

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Once the water has come to a boil, pour a small amount (approximately 3-4 TBSP) into the mug and stir the dry mixture with the water until a thick paste is formed.
  3. Add the rest of the water while stirring constantly, to ensure a lump-free consistency.

Little Chef Duties:

  1. Measure out all of the ingredients.
  2. Pour water in a kettle to boil (depending on the little Chef).
  3. Help grind the spices (i.e. saffron and cardamom pods) in a mortar and pestle.
  4. Place all of the dry ingredients into your favorite mug.

Learn while you wait:  Our body needs food to provide it with energy, vitamins, and minerals.  However, in order for our body to use the food we eat, it must first break it down to smaller components that different organs and cells in our body can use. This is the job of our digestive system.

Dancing Raisins Experiment:

Fill 2 clear glasses with water – one glass with carbonated water and one glass with regular tap water. Give your child a handful of raisins. (In the classroom, you will want to put 2 glasses or cups on each table and give each child a handful of raisins. Have each child put one raisin in – they will inevitably want to eat the rest.) Take a few raisins and put some in each glass. What do  you see? Do the raisins in each glass do the same thing or different things? What do you think makes the raisins go up? Why do you think they go back down again?

Explanation: The tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide stick to the raisins at the bottom of the glass and carry them up to the surface. Once enough of the bubbles pop, the raisins sink down again, and then begin collecting more bubbles.

Presentation:  Let the drink cool down and enjoy!

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:  Nooshe jan

Did you know?  Tehran, the capital city of Iran, has a big problem with air pollution. Some days schools have to be closed and people are asked to stay inside their homes due to the poor air quality.

Conversation Igniters:  How can people help to improve the problem with air pollution?

Take Action: