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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 (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101 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

299 of 306 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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29 of 30 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Roberts on 10 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Having done the set menu which was published in Good Food Mag some months ago by Sabrina (and it being a great success), I was really excited when she published this book. The day she was on Saturday Kitchen I was lucky enough to pick this up in supermarket for £9.99. What a beautiful book. It is laid out in such a manner that it is very easy to plan a meal. From the book this is what I cooked Cacik (well prepared really), Smoked aubergines with garlic, Lamb & pistachio patties, Prawn with sumac, coriander, lemon & garlic and Tomatos salad with pomegranate molasses. I finished with Cinnamon & citrus almond pastry cigars. It went down a treat. From the Good Food mag (and the recipes are in this book) I cooked Chicken, walnut and pomegranate stew with Persian basmati rice and Shirazi salad. For desert I did Spiced carrot, pistachio & almond cake. Everyone of the dishes I cooked have been fab. Takes a bit of preparation but the effort is worth it and the carrot, pistachio & almond cake to to die for (with cream) and gets better day after day.
This book really is beautiful. It has become my new favourite and I look forward to cooking more of the wonderful dishes.
If, like me, you have not been brought up around this culture and food, but you love good food and trying different things, you will not be disappointing by purchasing this book and trying the dishes therein, it really is a great cook book and one I am sure you will love.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Sima on 21 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous cook book: dishes are thoughtfully chosen, explanations are clear, pictures are terrific, and results impressive. It makes you rush to the kitchen and cook. As an Iranian I find Sabrina's take on many traditional dishes very refreshing -- the wink and tease I mentioned have to do with the unexpected little touches Sabrina adds that wake up traditional taste buds and make them do a little flip. I love it!

BTW the reviewer who said the recipes are stolen from others is just not informed about Middle Eastern cooking. Of course Sabrina's recipes resemble others'; most of them are takes on well-known dishes carrying ID cards with traditional names. That's the whole point. She has turned sometimes fussy and sometimes too grandmotherly dishes into snappy little modern numbers without sacrificing authenticity. As an Iranian citizen of the world I feel this cook book represents me. I've already given two as presents!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover
I was given this as a present and feel awful for writing a negative review but other than the pictures I really can't find a positive!
Most recipes are far too seasoned (compared to other Persian recipe books) and if you half the salt content in the majority of recipes then it is still too much. (the aubergine chermoula on the contrary was far too sweet and nothing like typical chermoula flavours!) We usually enjoy Middle Eastern food but this is way too salty and aggressive!
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