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Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond: The 1st book from the bestselling author of Sirocco, Feasts, Bazaar and Simply Hardcover – 20 May 2014
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Sabrina Ghayour is a phenomenal Persian chef. -- Gizzi Erskine
Sabrina cooks the kind of food I love to eat: lots of flavours distilled out of love and generosity. In this book Sabrina demystifies the use of spices. The Eastern promise is definitely delivered in her book and it will have a place on the shelves of my kitchen. -- Bruno Loubet
This is Ottolenghi with rocket fuel -- William Sitwell ― The Times Published On: 2014-08-04
Loving Persiana. -- Nigella Lawson
The Golden Girl -- Shahesta Shaitly ― Observer Food Monthly
Completely dispels any notion that this style of cooking is long-winded and intimidating...brilliant for the novice, the time-poor and even the seasoned cook. -- Eve O’Sullivan ― Guardian
Will have you salivating with Pavlovian gusto on page after page. ― Independent
Worthy of becoming a kitchen shelf staple. ― Food & Travel
This book will delight fans of Ottolenghi-style food. ― Waitrose Kitchen
Tehran-born Ghayour can help you load your table with incredible feasts. ― Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Ghayour brings authentic recipes up to date using a handful of simple, easily acquired ingredients. ― Weight Watchers
"This wonderful Persian-born chef is a master of the Middle East and her book is sumptuous, thrilling, learned and downright brilliant. ― Mail on Sunday
Unlike other Middle Eastern cookbooks, this one is easy to decipher, packed with lots of flavour and recipes are surprisingly easy to pull off. ― Huffington Post
Ghayour helps the reader realise that the back of the store cupboard could be a magical haven for flavour... her love for each dish, whether it is steeped in Persian heritage or created in her own kitchen, shines through. You'll never look at a kebab in the same way again. -- Charlotte Jones ― Glam UK
A gorgeously produced ode to richly spiced, exotic food from the Middle East and beyond. ― A Little Bird
The latest doyenne of Persian food... there's a dashing Ghayour stamp on classic combos - think Persian saffron chicken or ras-el hanout chicken wraps. -- Chloe Scott ― Metro
Persiana stands alone as a brilliant work of creativity... a captivating work. ― John and Sally McKenna’s Guides
Sabrina... is on a mission to make the flavours of the Middle East accessible. -- Sally Hughes ― BBC Good Food
The loveliest cookbook I've seen in a very long time. ― Daily Mail (Ireland)
The most exciting debut cookbook of the year. ― Sunday Telegraph Stella
The most appetising book. I want to eat every page of it. -- Pierre Koffman
- ASIN : 184533910X
- Publisher : Mitchell Beazley; 1st edition (20 May 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781845339104
- ISBN-13 : 978-1845339104
- Dimensions : 19.4 x 2.8 x 24.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 5,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Excellent Middle Eastern cookbook with a focus on (but not exclusive to) modern Persian recipes. Instructions are clear & results are dependable.
I picked up Ms Ghayour's book in Kindle format after downloading the free sample and liking the available content. I'll admit that I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous photography, as I already have a fairly hefty collection of Middle Eastern cookery books, and several that are specific to Iranian food.
The Kindle version features interactive tables of content (so critical for a cookery book and yet often missing, especially from older Kindle books) arranged by course (ie appetisers, mains, desserts etc) and then individually broken down with links to each recipe contained within that section. The layout is simple to use across devices (tested on iPad, Win & Mac desktop, Android).
The photos which accompany each dish are compelling and bright, without being over-styled: in essence, getting your dish to look like the one pictured is actually attainable without a Michelin star to your name. Each recipe has a photo and the book doesn't contain excess 'ingredient' photos (you know the type; the macro shots of a lemon, scattered cloves, etc etc) which makes it very usable indeed.
To date, I've made the following:
Batinjan al Rahib, a (very!) garlicky eggplant dip that goes perfectly alongside rich/fatty meat dishes, with a nice play on texture between the soft eggplant and the crisp peppers;
Cacik, a Turkish staple, fantastically fresh with loads of herbs;
Spiced Lamb Kefta, which smell as amazing as they taste, with sweet notes from the currants (try these with the Cacik, as we did all three times we made them);
Butternut Squash with Pistachio Pesto & Feta, which makes a really gorgeous vegetarian main but is (as with any recipe, of course) very dependent on excellent butternut squash (the first time it was so-so, the second time fantastic) and very ripe, sweet pomegranate;
Karniyarik, stuffed eggplant, have become a staple in our home, the flavour combination is amazing and while they take a long time from start to finish, you can make a big batch and they keep very well in the fridge for several days; top with plenty of labneh or Greek yoghurt and try to convince yourself going back for thirds is a bad idea... (it isn't);
Spice-Perfumed Shoulder of Lamb is gorgeous and so, so simple; I did find I needed to turn down the oven slightly to cook for an extra hour at a lower temperature for fall-off-the-bone texture (while retaining moisture), but this of course is a commentary on my oven rather than the recipe;
Blood Orange and Radicchio salad, a beautiful flavour combination of sweet, tart & bitter; goes very well with the lamb shoulder and would stand up well to any robust meat dish, with the hint of fresh dill really elevating it above a simple salad (do yourself a favour and track down a good pomegranate molasses with only 'pomegranates' listed in the ingredients, as often the syrups available are too sweet).
I would honestly happily pay the price of the book for just the karniyarik recipe, but I'm really pleased with this purchase, and look forward to trying many more dishes. This really is a fantastic, accessible cookery book and should appeal to a broad range of palates. As evident by the answers, comments & other reviews, Ms Ghayour is very responsive to questions that may crop up; while I've not asked any myself, I always find it reassuring when an author (or publisher) makes an effort to provide assistance.
Persiana is truly inspirational - with foods such as soups, mezze, breads, soups, tagines, grills and salads. Her puddings are also a triumph. She tends to provide a modern twist on some classic and also becomes your go to recipe for standards such as hummus and jewelled rice. You will find that Perisana recipes make their way into your regular repertoire - delicious food for daily fare of for dinner parties and feasts alike.
There were a few recipes I would have liked to try but not enough to justify the price
All of the ingredients are easily bough in a good supermarket.
I don't know how authentic the recipes are, but the ones I have cooked taste great.
One thing I find that most cooks get wrong are the bread recipes. There are two in this book. They will work. However if making the 'Eastern-Style Focaccia' the dough will be a little too dry, just work a little water in if you need to.