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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and useful
Pomegranates and Roses is an exceptionally beautiful book. It is superficially similar in design to several that are in the market now but the attention to detail with the finish, the backgrounds, delicate and intricate illustrations by Alice Chadwick, the props in the photography (shot by Lisa Linder), Farsi calligraphy and the overall layout means that it manages to...
Published on 16 April 2012 by Sally Prosser

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This is a most beautifully presented book with interesting, unusual and exciting combinations of ingredients. It has nice narrative relating to the recipes, if you like reading and not only cooking. It is a bit difficult to navigate it and it would also benefit from a list of suppliers, but if you live near a Middle Eastern shop as I do, you will not have any problems...
Published on 28 Sep 2012 by juli


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and useful, 16 April 2012
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
Pomegranates and Roses is an exceptionally beautiful book. It is superficially similar in design to several that are in the market now but the attention to detail with the finish, the backgrounds, delicate and intricate illustrations by Alice Chadwick, the props in the photography (shot by Lisa Linder), Farsi calligraphy and the overall layout means that it manages to stand out and would be worth the money just to decorate your coffee table. However, it is not just highly decorative - as a very precise guide to Persian cooking it is excellent. Ariana Bundy has used her chef's training to translate 'a bit of this and a bit of that' family recipes into ones that are easy to follow and work really well. Also all of the methods are manageable - she's retained authenticity with an eye towards today's modern families and kitchens.

Most ingredients are easily obtainable and I would recommend the effort of getting barbarries by mail order just to make Zereshk Polo - a classic subtley, saffron-scented chicken dish - which is beautiful served with Mast o Khiar - a combination of yoghurt, cucumber, raisins, walnuts, mint and spring onions.

I had never understood the unani principle of serving hot and cold foods - not temperature but humours or categories - until I read this book. It also puts Iranian food in context of it's influences and influencers in the region as well as being a family memoir.
One of the most interesting and useful books on another cuisine that I have bought in a long, long time.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic and unusual recipes, 14 April 2012
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
The culinary memoir seems to be a growing sub-genre in a saturated cookbook market - works describing the author's wonderful better-than-yours-could-ever-have-been childhood in far off exotic lands, with a few recipes thrown in here or there. As an avid collector of Middle Easter cookbooks, I had feared from the publicity that this new release would be firmly within that camp. However the family history part is in fact relatively unobtrusive and the food comes to the fore. Despite the subtitle "My Persian family recipes", the recipes here go beyond author Ariana Bundy's own family with ones which are regional or are Jewish for example (Ms Bundy confesses in the introduction to "gathering recipes by email, phone and travelling").

There are many classic dishes in here to be found in most if not all Iranian cookbooks - khoresht-e fesenjan, tas kebab, shirin polow, and zereshk polow for example. There are however plenty of recipes here dissimilar to what I have seen before despite my large collection - to name a few, zeytoon parvardeh (olives in pomegranate molasses and crushed walnuts), haroset (a Jewish-Iranian sweet involving fruits, nuts and spices), morabayeh bademjoon (an aubergine preserve flavoured with cardamom and rose water), faloudeh (rice noodle granita with lime and rose water), belderchineh too por (quails stuffed with rose petals), and gheymeh nessar (lamb with barberries, tomatoes and rose water).

The book is arranged by categorisation into fruit, nuts and pulses, vegetables, grains, dairy, meat, fish, herbs, and spices. Some recipes find themselves in odd places to my mind though - similar rice dishes will find themselves categorised according to a particular ingredient therein rather than coming gathered together under the grains section.

Recipes for the most part steer clear of hard to find ingredients, though there are still a few here and there which will be easier to find if you live down the Edgeware Road rather than in deepest Devon like myself. Many dishes are accompanied by an excellent photograph of the end result, though sometimes when there is a photo it is just of one or more of the ingredients. As someone who eats with eyes as well as mouth, I do like to see what the finished article ought to look like, and I would have liked more of this.

Ariana Bundy has given us a welcome addition to the corpus of Iranian cookbooks, wonderfully presented and suitable for novices to the region's cuisine. If looking for a first Iranian cookbook however, it's also worth considering the possible alternatives; my recommendations would include for example New Persian Cooking: A Fresh Approach to the Classic Cuisine of Iran, plus the older and less glamorous but excellent The Legendary Cuisine of Persia (which is where I began with Iranian and indeed Middle Eastern cooking), A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cuisine and Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies. There is also the visually stunning but not necessarily so practical coffee-tablish Saraban: A chef's journey through Persia.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic! Excellent! Delicious!, 15 Jan 2013
By 
P. Vir "-p" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
Pomegranates and Roses is by far the most beautiful book I bought in 2012. I hesitate to call it a cook book or a recipe book because Ariana Bundy has filled it with so much more. The stories and the romance behind each recipe is a joy to read!

I bought this book - my first ever Persian purchase - to impress a boy. He is Persian and I organised a dinner party for him and his Persian friends. It seemed like a very good idea until I realised that I had absolutely no taste reference for any of the dishes I was about to embark upon. To make my life more difficult I inadvertently chose to make one of the more difficult dishes in the book - the Fassenjan.

Once I got over the long ingredient list I realised all I needed was to patiently follow Arian's detailed recipe. Through Twitter I was also able to contact her directly and she virtually held my hand through the recipe. Needless to say the dinner was a massive hit. The Persian boy is long gone but I am thrilled to have invested in this gorgeous book that is a friend for life. Thank you Ariana!
-p
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 28 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
This is a most beautifully presented book with interesting, unusual and exciting combinations of ingredients. It has nice narrative relating to the recipes, if you like reading and not only cooking. It is a bit difficult to navigate it and it would also benefit from a list of suppliers, but if you live near a Middle Eastern shop as I do, you will not have any problems finding the ingredients.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The delicious taste and aroma of "home", 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
As an expat Iranian I have lived in London most of my life, so Ariana Bundy's excellent book is a very welcome addition to my book collection. She has recreated the images and smells of Persia that magical land which when spoken of by our mothers and fathers made their eyes weepy and whatever they ate never quite tasted like back home. For example I learned that I was in the habit of over-seasoning my food. We are fortunate in that finally ALL the main ingredients are available over here too! Thank you Ariana, you are an incredibly creative and thoughtful lady. Best of luck in spreading the good cause! (P.S. This book makes a great gift too)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful present!, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
A lovely book to give to an Iranian friend, I loved the whole layout and text of this book. I am sure some interesting cookery will result from this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Recipes, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
I find this book really amazing and the recipes so easy to follow. The way it was written with the stories about Iran I would love to have visited there, and experienced the foods and culture for myself. Some of the recipes are familiar to me as I do a little Iranian cooking. Especially the fluffy rice one of my favourites. So I would recommend this book.

Misty
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cookbook., 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
Bought this for a friends birthday. His background is Persian. He loved it. The book is not just full of receipes but also some history behind the dishes and their modern uses. Great buy
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5.0 out of 5 stars most beautiful pictures and recipes, 12 Sep 2014
This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
Stunningly presented, most beautiful pictures and recipes. Personal anecdotes of love and sadness in many ways. So much gorgeousness in one little book, very much recommend.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Recipes could have been explained better, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes (Hardcover)
Written ostensibly for a non-Persian public, the recipes are nevertheless poorly explained and highly imprecise, bringing inevitably poor results. Often herbs come in huge quantities, without Mrs Bundy ever explaining why, as these dishes are so different from the Western ones.
I tried several recipes. Her Ghaliyeh mahi va mey goo was way too acid, due to the excessive use of tamarind; her Noon Nokhodchi were simply terrible, utterly uneatable (I toasted chickpeas flour according to her directions); Yakh dar Besesht, which she describes as a sort of solid pudding, is in reality a gooey cream and her Sholeh Zard is really too sweet: sugar 4 times as much as the rice quantity!!!!
I don't think Persian cuisine is as bad as it appears in this book, but I must say she hampered my enthusiasm a great deal.
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Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes
Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy (Hardcover - 12 April 2012)
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