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on 20 January 2004
Being of persian origin, I found something was missing because I didn't know how to cook persian.My husband and my children were resenting it a bit because they used to eat persian food at other people's home and they missed not having it at home. Then thanks to my darling niece,(she offered me this book), I discovered "a taste of Persian" I was thrilled the first time I tried the recipes. Mrs Batmanglij explains very simply and clearly and if you follow step by step what she writes, at the end you have the perfect dish. For me suddenly it was the perfume of my childhood that filled my kitchen.
What I appreciate also is that she makes life easy: she gives you a large choice of ingredients. For each recipe, you can use different types of meat, and if you don't have a certain ingredient, you can use another one. You don't have one particular spice that you will never use any more. You can find almost all the ingredients at your local supermarket without having to run all around town to find them.
Persian cuisine is so satisfying and fulfilling, because of all the scents, and aromas. And also it is so healthy because you have everything, the protein, the rice and the vegetables.
After a meal like that you feel satisfied.
I am really thankful to Mrs Batmanglij, because she made me rediscover this beautiful cuisine and most of all she made it easy.
And last but not least, the book is full of commentaries on the history of persian cuisine, how it started and also full of her childhood memories.
So instead of having a dry cook book, I felt like I was cooking with a friend, a warm and happy friend who gave me back "the taste of Persia"
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on 22 March 2010
The only fault I can find with this book is that none of the adverts for it on Amazon tell you that it is intended for the US market, so the section on suppliers is irrelevant to UK cooks.The section on measurement is, however, very clear.The section on ingredients is quite good but is vague on alternatives for the rarer ingredients and makes no allowances for the use of pomegranate molasses.
The book is attractive, well printed, easy to read and clearly laid out, very much in the DK style. One curios omission is that there is no section for either breads or baking although a couple of cake and biscuit recipes appear in the deserts section.
This sets out to be an introduction to Iranian cookery and does that well for a reasonable price.
11 comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is probably the best "all-rounder" out of the range of Iranian cookery books I have, a fine balance of the range, complexity and taste of recipes and of presentation, ease of use and cost.

There are plenty of recipes here to delight. Try the "tas kebab", a casserole with layered onions, lamb, quince (or apple), eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, prunes, apricots and flavoured with rose petals, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, verjuice and lime powder or sumac. Or how about the "koresh-e fesenjan", a stew with duck in a sauce of pomegranate and walnuts, and flavoured with cinnamon and saffron.

The same author has also written a more comprehensive volume, New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies, which I recommend if you want to splash out a bit more. I also recommend Margaret Shaida's The Legendary Cuisine of Persia, whose recipes tend to be considerably simpler than Batmanglij's but is good for information on ingredients and techniques.
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on 11 July 2011
I brought this book hoping to learn some tasty dishes to make for my Iranian husband. I guess there will always be different variations of dishes but according to my husband and sister in law - both of whom are great cooks - many of these recipes have garlick as an extra and unnecesary ingredient. So although the book has a good range of recipes and lovely photos if you are cooking for Iranian friends they might not agree with the author's tastebuds. I have a sneaky suspicious the author's husband runs a garlick shop so she is trying to increase his sales by adding to every recipe :-)

I can't tell you what to buy as an alternative - I am just adapting these recipes according to the feedback of my family.....The cultural introduction is great.
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on 27 October 2009
I am Iranian and I can tell you that this book contains the most popular Iranian recipes and it is well written and, to my mind, correct. Enjoy!
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on 27 July 2014
This book was recommended to me by my brother who has mastered the art of Persian cooking and delights a large circle of his friends with fabulous meals at home. I purchased the Kindle book just a week ago and have not had an opportunity to cook many of the recipes yet but am very excited by them. Just reading the recipes has rekindled my desire to learn the unique art of Persian cooking. The book is well written with interesting insight into a whole range of recipes and what Persian hospitality is like. I particularly look forward to making the many of the seventeen appetizers, and the unique Baklava (sweet flakey pastry filled with chopped nuts and topped with sugar syrup), not to mention the chicken, meat, and fish dishes/kababs. So far I have mastered the art of cooking saffron steamed plain rice (to perfection!), and progressed to Shirin polow (Sweet Orange Peel rice served with Chicken) - there are some fourteen recipes included for cooking different rice dishes alone (some with herbs, vegetables, sour cherries, or lentils and dates, to name but a few) and I look forward to cooking all of them. I purchased a good heavy 12" non stick pan, which I feel is essential for getting the *tadig out in one piece; presentation is all important in Persian Cooking. (*crispy rice at the bottom of the pan when cooking rice). The lid should have a small "steam escape hole" to eliminates the need to wrap a cloth round the lid to prevent condensation dripping on to the rice when steaming it. This size pan should be adequate in size for cooking rice dishes for 4-8 people. Persian speciality food stores and restaurants in or near major metropolitan areas are listed at the back of the book, together with websites(sad to note the restaurants are in America). Let's get cooking!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is probably the best "all-rounder" out of the range of Iranian cookery books I have, a fine balance of the range, complexity and taste of recipes and of presentation, ease of use and cost.

There are plenty of recipes here to delight. Try the "tas kebab", a casserole with layered onions, lamb, quince (or apple), eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, prunes, apricots and flavoured with rose petals, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, verjuice and lime powder or sumac. Or how about the "koresh-e fesenjan", a stew with duck in a sauce of pomegranate and walnuts, and flavoured with cinnamon and saffron.

The same author has also written a more comprehensive volume, New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies, which I recommend if you want to splash out a bit more. I also recommend Margaret Shaida's The Legendary Cuisine of Persia, whose recipes tend to be considerably simpler than Batmanglij's but is good for information on ingredients and techniques.
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on 12 December 2013
Very good intro to Persian cooking, great variety of recipes and interesting use of vegetables. Has a detailed section on cooking Persian rice as it would be in the home, but isn't seen in restaurants in my experience.It does use American cup measures though.
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on 13 August 2005
A very good introduction to persian cooking, even for a novice chef, the recepies are consice and easy to follow and are usually accompanied by a photo of the end result so you know how it is supposed to look like.
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on 2 September 2009
I got two of her books and I love all the recipes
Very easy to follow and amazing pictures
I would recommend this to anyone
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