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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning, but a coffee table book, 9 Nov 2012
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia (Paperback)
Following on from their earlier Saha and Turquoise, Greg and Lucy Malouf turn their attentions to Iran. In the same vein as those earlier books, it is mostly a travelogue and photograph album, and almost secondarily it seems a recipe book. 'Turquoise' I thought had too many photos of old blokes sitting around smoking tabs and kids mucking around in grubby back streets of Istanbul. 'Saha' was a bit better in that respect as the photographs were generally more food related and added to the 'food atmosphere'. This new book falls somewhere between those two stools, but having said that, this is probably a prime contender for the most visually stunning cookbook I have seen, with a riot of colour and patterns depicted in the country's art and architecture.

As to the recipes themselves, there are plenty of classics such as shirin polow, zereshk polow (here with rose petals), morasa polow (jewelled rice, here sadly somewhat understated compared to other cookbooks) and a version of duck fesenjan. However there's also a reasonable selection of items I haven't come across before despite having a sizeable collection of cookbooks of Persian and Middle Eastern cooking, from simple street food such as grilled corn on the cob but enlivened with sumaq and lime zest and juice, to koofteh Tabrizi, giant meatballs stuffed with fruit and nuts. I can't wait to have a go at the cardamom and pistachio fudge which undoubtedly tastes as amazing as it looks in the photograph (albeit in the photo it also contains rose petals which are not mentioned in the text - don't you just hate it when they do that in cookbooks?).

Would I recommend it? Well yes and no. As a lover of Middle Eastern food in general and Iranian food in particular, I can count myself content to include this in my collection. If you are happy to have essentially a coffee table book, fine. I'm not sure a book like this is something you would want to let anywhere near the kitchen lest it get splattered with your pomegranate molasses. If you want something more practical and potentially expendable, then for starters I would suggest The Legendary Cuisine of Persia or A Taste of Persia instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia (Paperback)
very pleased with the quality of this book not only a brilliant selection of food but a very interesting journey through Iran
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful present for anyone who loves cooking OR wants to know about Iran, 2 Jun 2014
By 
B. Alai (CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia (Paperback)
Frankly after reading this book I can't see any point in anyone writing a Persian cookbook ever again!
The recipes are easy to follow, and though modern, are rooted firmly in traditional Persian cooking. As an Iranian cook used to the traditional flavours, I love the new take. The photos and travelogue provide a colourful and beautiful picture of Iran around 2010. The book itself is beautifully produced and would grace any coffee table. The only problem for me is that this book is so beautiful that I don't want to ruin it by using it in the kitchen! I tend to leave it in the next room and look at the recipes there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautifil book, 14 April 2013
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This review is from: Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia (Paperback)
Stunning photography in this book wonderfully written and the recipes are a real treat. Overall a nice cultural insight really
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Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia
Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia by Lucy Malouf (Paperback - 1 Nov 2012)
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