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For me, Middle Eastern cuisine is the best on Earth, and Iranian the best of the Middle East. Despite already having an extensive collection of cookbooks of this region, any new or forthcoming publication is likely to go straight into my wishlist or even be purchased blind straightaway as with this new issue.

This bills itself as "a fresh approach", but I'm not sure that I can ascertain exactly what the fresh approach is here. The style is very much classic Iranian as in all my other volumes, including some famous dishes like fesenjan and zereshk polow and morasa polow, but then admittedly there are some variations I have not come across before. For instance, ash-e anar, herb and pomegranate soup (with a full 300ml of pomegranate molasses! That'll mek yer tabs laugh, as my mum used to say.); koresht-e seebzamini, lamb and potato stew with tamarind; barreh za'farani, saffron yoghurt lamb; and kofteh aloo, meatballs each individually stuffed with a prune, and served in a pomegranate sauce.

It's a beautifully presented book. The photography is excellent. The recipes are well described with extensive instructions, and there is a good introduction and section on ingredients. There are chapters on soups, stews, kebabs & meatballs, rice, salads & side dishes, desserts and drinks. But overall for the size of the book it feels like there are too few recipes. With the relatively large font and spacing plus photography, some recipes take up three entire pages (and personally I find it a little annoying if the instructions spill over onto an overleaf page), so really you are getting fewer dishes than you might think for a book of this size. This is particularly evident in that there is one sole recipe for a kookoo (a quasi-omelette dish which is very popular in Iran) in the entire book.

So overall I would recommend it, and it is certainly more than suitable for initiates into the region's cooking, but perhaps consider the available alternatives as well. I always direct beginners to Margaret Shaida's The Legendary Cuisine of Persia and Najmieh Batmanglij's A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cuisine, which are where I started with Iranian cuisine.
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on 8 December 2011
There are some cookery books that are so beautiful and informative that they make great bedtime reading as well as finding a home in your kitchen. This is one of those books.

Being new to Persian Cookery, the thought of embarking on a new cuisine can be a little daunting but this book takes you carefully though the stages to create some amazing dishes.
The photography is gorgeous and the detail of the methodology is just right to ensure success.

I was particularly grateful for the section on ingredients. When tackling a new cuisine it is not unusual to encounter new ingredients. This section provides a photographs and descriptions of typical Persian ingredients along with information on how and why the ingredients are used to develop your own knowledge. Perfect!

I love this book
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on 27 March 2012
I love flavours of the Middle East
From this book I have only prepared salads so far because they are so delicious
Imagine a finely chopped Red Onion with the seeds of a Pomegranite and a small Iranian cucumber cubed, sprinkled with a 1/2 tsp sugar, white wine veinegar (I used white balsamic) and olive oil. Mix, leave and the dressing seems to neutralise the onions so no nasty taste or smell the day after
I loved the beetroot,yoghurt and walnuts as well
No need to cook and wash messy pans when salads are this good :D
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on 2 February 2013
I am not Iranian but was given this book as a present. Even though I am not that well acquainted with Iranian food I have made several meals using the recipes in this book and they have all been delicious. My Iranian friends could not believe how authentic and wonderful tasting they were. Definitely recommend this book to novice and experienced cooks.
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on 24 May 2012
Really love this cook book, I borrowed it from my local library but had to buy it as I love Persian food and this is a great book with so many yummy recipies, easy to follow and are very authentic - I highly recommend
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on 4 September 2013
Lovely book, easy to follow for non native cooks . fabulous recipes and photos. A joy for anyone interested in food and cooking.
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on 11 December 2013
An excellent book with ingredients that are easy to source. Goog photography which is necessary for presentation for the table
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on 19 September 2014
The receipes are fantastic and I make many of them and the whole family loves them
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on 27 December 2012
Bought this for my son for Christmas. He really likes it. He loves to try new cuisines. The illustrations are inspiring and the recipes easy to follow. If you fancy a taste of the exotic this is a really good book.
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