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

462 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (6 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • 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 (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311 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

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

427 of 440 people found the following review helpful By Kate Preston TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Farlsborough on 3 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Bought this on special offer. I've got so many cookbooks that I'm pretty selective now, and am not above taking the odd sneaky picture of single recipes in books otherwise crammed with impractical stuff. However, as I flicked through this book I realised I'd be there all day - I wanted to try out the majority of the dishes.

I think this is a really well-pitched book because it introduces the flavours of persian cuisine without being overly complicated or snobby. Inevitably you need to source some particular ingredients; sumac, lime powder, pomegranate molasses etc. but thankfully we have a good Iranian shop nearby.

Other than the exotic ingredients which you can't really avoid, the actual methods are sensibly adapted to Western kitchens; for instance, she describes how she cooks a particular type of kebab-style dish without insisting you build yourself a charcoal oven!

Other favourite things about it; it has lots of recipes for different salad dishes, ideal for summer and for healthier eating in general. And it has a minimal dessert section, to my memory only about five dishes. I hate picking up a promising cookery book only to find it is half puddings - who makes them so often?! A small, varied selection is ideal.

If you like the flavours of persian cuisine and want a practical, attractive introduction with recipes you will definitely use, do get hold of this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Being male and over 40 it seemed to me rather unlikely that I would ever find myself deeply engrossed in kitchen activities, yet since purchasing this book last Christmas I have prepared some 25 dishes, all of which have been eminently edible. Last Sunday I was busy for nearly four hours making two seperate meals with four seperate dishes, well it is winter-time right now so the motorbike has remained motionless in the garage and instead I spent my time in the warmest room of the house, which I figured to be a fair exchange...

I'm guessing this book is really a general introduction to Levantine cooking, judging by the glossy photos, but for a beginner such as I these are of real practical assistance - firstly as I lack the understanding and experience to have any clue what the end result might actually look like and secondly to experience the sensation of slight incredularity that has occured when I noticed that my finished product looked just like the real thing (well actually sometimes mine looks a little better, but I can't help pretending to be nonchalently modest here). So these are a useful motivation and confidence booster.

There are a variety of regionally seperate styles included, Persian/Morrocan/Turkish/Lebanse etc. and the author clearly states that some of the dishes are of her own composition, thus the overall feel is relaxed and encourages flexibility. Some of the ingredients quite naturally are a little more time consuming to get hold of - I'm still struggling to find Fenugreek leaves and edible Rose Petals for example, however if one spends a little time contemplating the receipes that initially appeal including taking a careful note of the required ingredients this should not present much of a hindrance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By steven mills on 26 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I own about 60-70 cookbooks and most of them are used sporadically, at best. On the other hand, Persiana has never left my kitchen. My biggest bug-bear about cookbooks is bafflingly long and complex ingredients lists but what makes Persiana such a success is the fact the recipes are made using ingredients which can be sourced from most well-stocked supermarkets. I really wish other chefs and writers would follow suit!

I'm still working my way through the cookbook but the aubergine chermoula and the ras-al-hanout wraps are part of my regular repertoire these days. Haven't ventured into the cakes and desserts but I am keen to do some in due course. :)
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