Razavi Khorasan is one of the most important religious provinces in Iran because of the existence of Imam Reza Shrine (Peace be upon him) and has a rich cultural background in all fields including foods. The people in this region cook some traditional foods exclusive of a given ceremony or event with excellent taste and smell. Shole Mashhadi is one of the most popular and delicious traditional foods of Mashhad, dates back to the Qajar era and called Shole in the city As a kind of Ash, Mashhad inhabitants cook Shole in religious ceremonies, at the end of Moharram and Safar (names of two months in the Lunar calendar), mourning or happiness events and every other event they want to hold in traditional form.
Shole is a heavy and highly popular food which may be served as a main course. Shole Mashhadi is usually spicy and thick with an elastic appearance like Haleem but including different ingredients. The ingredients of Shole are beef and boneless lamb meat, tail fat, onion, Bulgur wheat, rice, white bean, pinto bean, peas, abundant spices such as nutmeg Hindi powder, ginger powder and cardamom powder, black pepper and salt; however, the main stuff of Haleem is wheat. This food is so expensive and need a long time for cooking; therefore it is not considered as a routine meal cooking at home. This local and traditional food is also cooked with different methods in other cities of Razavi Khorasan province. In original form, it usually serves a long with a little Gheimeh and Sangak bread, cheese and vegetable.