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Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond Hardcover – 6 May 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (6 May 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 184533910X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845339104
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 2.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A lovingly-written homage to the enchanting dishes of the Middle East. Sabrina Ghayour takes the reader on her magic carpet to the ancient and beautiful lands of rose-scented sherbets...and to a table of abundant feasts, and of honeyed and spiced delights. What a fantastic treasure trove of good food! Within these pages, the cook will find recipes for tagines, soups, stews, salads and plenty of sweet treats. Through the pages of Persiana, Sabrina delivers the Eastern promise in its delicious, gastronomic form. If you want to eat like an Arabian Knight, then start here...but be sure to stock up on cinnamon, cumin and coriander... (Raymond Blanc)

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)

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. (Tom Parker-Bowles 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)

Book Description

Persiana is a celebration of the food and flavours from the regions near the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, with over 100 recipes for modern and accessible Middle Eastern dishes, including Lamb & Sour Cherry Meatballs; Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Olive Tagine; Blood Orange & Radicchio Salad; Persian Flatbread; and Spiced Carrot, Pistachio & Coconut Cake with Rosewater Cream.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Kate Preston on 31 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book with high hopes (on flicking through, all the recipes sound staggeringly good), but with a few reservations. The one review I'd read (in a magazine) had tested a recipe and found a mistake in the ingredients, so I was a little wary. The first thing I made was hummus - absolutely delicious (although a VAST quantity for the suggested six servings) until I added the recommended 2tbsp of sea salt, which made it completely inedible. It went into the bin.

Next I made the Pistachio, Honey and Orange Flower Water Ice Cream. Very doubtfully I added the 200ml of orange flower water (three bottles of the stuff, costing £12 alone), since I'd only ever used it in teaspoon quantities in recipes before. I know ice cream always tastes completely different once it is frozen, so I trusted the recipe. It left a disgusting bitter taste that overshadowed the entire recipe, as though I'd added a pint of Mr Muscle to it!

Please read on, as not all is lost!

I was pretty annoyed about ruining these recipes, when I knew I'd followed them to the letter. I found Sabrina Ghayour's email address online and sent her my complaints. Amazingly, this lovely lady wrote back to me within a couple of hours with answers to my concerns. If you use these recipes, please bear the following in mind, and I'm sure your food will taste utterly divine:

1. Check the ingredients of orange flower water before you buy it (this is used in many of the book's recipes). I unfortunately used the Nielsen Massey orange flower water from Waitrose. This contains alcohol, and is nowhere near authentic (let's not even think about how they can manufacture an ingredient that's 40% alcohol for recipes that are mainly from Muslim countries).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Peck on 22 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have had 'Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond' by Sabrina Ghayour since January and since then I have done about 15 recipes. It is truly an amazing book. I am now using ingredients that I had never heard of before and creating dishes that I would have been too scared to try before. My favourite is the lamb tagine and I have made that about four times so far. Becoming an old hand! I would recommend this book highly. Get it now and buy it in bulk as a Christmas present for all your friends and family. I am also a social media friend of Sabrina's (we have never actually met in real life!) - and she is totally lovely to chat to on Twitter and seems a thoroughly decent person too!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Williams on 19 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a cracking cookery book. The broad bean,garlic and dill dish is worth the price of the book alone. Really, congratulations on such a good book. The recipes work also when I've been substituting vegetables grown in the garden (I am avoiding the shops as much as possible, and using stuff from the freezer) with the recipes, so for instance the lamb tagine with turnips and onions, I used some local beef , courgettes, potatoes and onions from the garden, but the spicing is spot on and the meal delicious. The recipes are not too complex and therefore approachable on a weekday night.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jemmypops on 22 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very rarely write Amazon reviews but I just want to shout from the rooftops about what a great buy this is! Often I'll buy a recipe book and only find a few recipes inside that I want to (or have the means to) try, but I predict that every dish in Persiana will be making its way through my kitchen in the next couple of months. The recipes are simple; some only have a handful of ingredients. I've already made the chicken, walnut and pomegranate stew four times- it is that good. Sabrina has a really friendly tone of voice, and all of the little blurbs on the recipes are informative and easy to read. Most of the recipes include spices and herbs that are easy to get your hands on, although there are one or two exceptions like pomegranate molasses and dried limes although I'm sure a visit to your local Mediterranean supermarket to stock up won't take too much effort- and it's better than spending a fortune on the ingredients in Tesco/Waitrose/Lidl/Whatever.

I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a few more copies of this as Christmas gifts!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms Nicket on 24 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember watching Sabrina on Come Dine With Me and wanting to recreate some of the dishes at home. Since then I have seen her on Saturday Kitchen as well as other TV foodie programmes and finally bought the book. Visually it is absolutely stunning and I am keen to try and cook something from this at least weekly.

For me the ingredients are really accessible living in a major city and as luck would have it, an Iranian minimart on my High Street. I have had no problems with the many recipes I have already tried - my first attempts were ambitious - but I pulled off a tapas/mezze style dinner and each dish was delicious and worth the extra shopping for ingredients and planning time. I do not believe any of Sabrina's recipes are labour intensive, if anything I was surprised how easy the recipes were.

A tip - if you need to stock up on Iranian ingredients try local middle eastern shops, look on-line or even places like Sainsburys which is where I buy my Pomegranate Molasses, La Chinata smoked paprika as well as pul biber pepper at a fraction of the cost of Amazon.

I have also spotted this book on The Book People for £6.99 and have just ordered 6 cookbooks for Christmas for £25.93 rather than £70+ on here. Each one (new releases) on here is typically £17 and I paid less than £5 for each one. Having been fairly faithful to Amazon especially on books I have learnt my lesson - always shop around.
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