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Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies Hardcover – Illustrated, 18 August 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 821 ratings

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Product description

Review

"One of the most exciting cookbooks I've seen in a while I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Iran's glorious food culture." ----Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian

"A classic cookbook made even better...Gorgeous expanded edition." ----Russ Parsons,
Los Angeles Times

"Chefs across the country are at the forefront of Najmieh's fan base. They know what's good, and they are inspired by the ingredients and techniques she brings to the table." ----Bonnie S. Benwick,
The Washington Post

From the Back Cover

Cooking plays important roles in every culture, but Persian cuisine can claim a relationship to its native land that is uniquely deep and intricate. This book celebrates the central place of food in the life of Iran, a story extending back almost 4,000 years, when recipes were first recorded in a cuneiform script on clay tablets. At the same time, Food of Life--updated and expanded in this new edition--is designed to be used by today's cook. It provides a veritable treasury of recipes: 330 in all, presented in an easy to-follow format, along with standard variations and, in many cases, a vegetarian version. The title of the book comes from the words nush-e jan, literally "food of life"--a traditional wish in Iran that a dish will be enjoyed.

Along with daily gifts of pleasure, Persian cooking has figured intimately in numerous Iranian festivals and ceremonies. The menus and recipes associated with such events are described in Food of Life in detail, from the winter solstice celebration, Shab-e Yalda, or the "sun's birthday eve," to the rituals and symbolism involved in a modern Iranian marriage. Also woven through this book are many examples of how food has inspired artists, poets, and other luminaries of Persian culture. The book includes the miniatures of Mir Mosavvar and Aqa Mirak; excerpts from such classics as the fourth-century tale Khosrow and His Knight, the tenth-century Book of Kings, and the Thousand and One Nights; poems by Omar Khayyam, Rumi, and Sohrab Sepehri; and the humor of Mulla Nasruddin.

Even as it honors venerable traditions and centuries of artistic expression, Food of Life propels Persian cooking into the twenty-first century. Today, with most of the ingredients in this book's recipes readily available throughout the U.S., anyone can reproduce the refined tastes, textures, and beauty of this great cuisine-- ancient, and also timeless.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mage Publishers; 4th Edition (18 August 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 640 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 193382347X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1933823478
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 22.45 x 4.55 x 24.71 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 821 ratings

About the author

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Najmieh Batmanglij was born and raised in Iran. During her childhood, her mother wouldn't allow her in the kitchen. "Concentrate on your education," she would say. "There will be plenty of time for you to cook later in life."

Najmieh came to America in the 1960s to study at university and would cook Persian food with fresh local produce using recipes sent by her mother in letters. Her housemates loved the food she made and encouraged her to cook all the more. Little did she know that the American food revolution had just begun. Later, when Najmieh returned to Iran with her master's degree in education in hand, her mother welcomed her into the kitchen and started to work with her.

At the end of 1979, as the Iranian Revolution took a more fundamentalist turn, Najmieh and her husband fled to France, where their first son Zal was born.

It was in France that Najmieh decided to follow her passion for cooking. With the help of her friends and neighbors, she wrote her first cookbook, Ma Cuisine d'Iran.

In 1983 she and her husband emigrated to America, where she gave birth to their second son, Rostam, and wrote her first book in English, Food of Life.

Najmieh has spent the past 35 years cooking, traveling, and adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. She has been hailed as "the guru of Persian cuisine" by The Washington Post. Her Food of Life was called "the definitive book on Iranian cooking" by the Los Angeles Times. Her Silk Road Cooking was selected as one of the 10 best vegetarian cookbooks of 2004 by The New York Times; and her book From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table won the Gourmand Cookbook Award for the best wine history book of 2007.

Najmieh is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches Persian cooking, and consults with restaurants around the world.

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5.0 out of 5 stars This is it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 September 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go on threat yourself
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 November 2017
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The Doc
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for vegetarians as well as carnivores.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 October 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Iranian Cuisine in Print!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not so exciting really-
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 October 2021
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