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Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & beyond Paperback – Import, 1 November 2020
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The most appetising book. I want to eat every page of it. Pierre Koffman, 3 Michelin star chef Persiana...is Sabrina Ghayour's first book and it s crammed full of wonderfully cookable recipes...I d like to cook and eat everything in it...They re very much geared to a modern lifestyle,...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 The arrival of her first book, Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond, is a boon to those who long to serve their guests bountiful dishes of exotic, glamorous, unfamiliar food with a casual I-just-threw-this-together ...They ll be clamouring for more. And this book, unlike some others, has photographs that show the food clearly. The Independent Sabrina, a self-taught cook, food writer and supper club host, is on a mission to make the flavours of the Middle East accessible. Her recipes are essentially Persian but with influences from Turkish, Arab and Armenian cuisines. BBC Good Food Magazine 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, food writer and broadcaster, Mail on Sunday Persiana stands alone as a brilliant work of creativity... a captivating work. --John and Sally McKenna's Guides
Middle Eastern food is all the rage, so this book is timely. Khayour brings authentic recipes up to date using a handful of simple, easily acquired ingredients. Plenty of inspiration. Weight Watchers The self-taught cook s first tome helps demystify traditional Persian cuisine...Despite her no-nonsense nature, Ghayour demonstrates that [with] ease...it s possible to create exquisitely colorful dishes, with big, bold flavors, even when your budget is tight and you re forced to raid your store cupboard...Ghayour s Persian guide has no airs or graces. It s full of the cook s own passion; 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. --Glam UK --Gizzi Erskine A quiet gem One of the current generation of uncategorizable European "food creatives," London-based Sabrina Ghayour writes, teaches and hosts supper clubs, all the while staunchly advocating for the Persian cuisine she had to teach herself despite growing up surrounded by it. Fortunately for those on the hunt for dried black limes, Persian food has been at the crest of a rising tide of Middle Eastern books these past few years. Ghayour interpets the many species of rice dishes and long-simmered stews in a way that's more approachable than what you'll find in traditional Persian cookbooks; when she ventures elsewhere in the Mediterranean (bastillas, kebabs, baklava, tabbouleh) she paves the way with smart substitutions and thoughtful headnotes. And she remains true to her palette pomegranate, dates, barberries, saffron, pistachio, dill even when experimenting with Western forms (as in pistachio-rose-raspberry madeleines). All in all, Persiana stands out as a quiet gem amid many more widely recognized but ultimately less useful Middle Eastern cookbooks released this year. --NPR Best Cookbooks of 2014 I ve come down with a strange disease for which their may be no cure. Call it a case of the creeping Ottolenghis. Ever since I started cooking from British chef and cookbook writer Yotam Ottolenghi s phenomenal Plenty a couple of years ago, I ve found my tastes shifting gradually eastward. I'm reaching for feta and mint instead of mozzarella and basil. Rice and whole grains are taking the place of dried pasta. And I m buying tahineh and yogurt in what seems like industrial quantities. Still, even as my dinners are becoming progressively lighter, brighter and more herbaceous, I find myself wanting to push even further into the cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Fortunately, it seems the Ottolenghi effect has not escaped the notice of the publishing industry either here or in Britain. Four cookbooks have crossed my desk recently that go beyond the yogurt curtain. Any of them would make a terrific gift for anyone on your list who has been similarly infected. When I interviewed Ottolenghi for a Live Talks L.A. program this fall, he singled out Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour as one book he was especially excited about. Selected as the best cookbook of 2014 by Observer Food Monthly, it has just been published in the U.S. by Interlink Books. It s easy to see why Ottolenghi is so excited about it. Ghayour s food is both sophisticated and approachable a tough line to tread, particularly with cuisines and ingredients that might be unfamiliar. But consider a dish like her tagine of lamb, butternut squash, prune and tamarind it's just 11 ingredients including spices, but the flavors jump off the page. Even simpler and maybe even more compelling shrimp sauteed after a quick marination in sumac, cilantro, lemon and garlic. ----Russ Parsons, LA Times
About the Author
Sabrina Ghayour is one of the strongest voices in Middle Eastern food today. This chef, food writer, cooking teacher, and author of four bestselling cookbooks is the charismatic Persian-born host of the popular London supper clubs specializing in Persian and Middle Eastern flavors. With regular appearances on the BBC Good Food Show, Taste London and more, her work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, Delicious magazine, and BBC Good Food magazine.
Liz and Max are the photographic duo Haarala Hamilton specialising in capturing food, people and places. They are two people: Liz, the one with the funny name, is the Haarala; and Max, the one with the funny hair, is the Hamilton.
- Publisher : Interlink Books; Second edition (1 November 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1623718767
- ISBN-13 : 978-1623718763
- Item Weight : 794 g
- Dimensions : 19.05 x 2.54 x 24.13 cm
Best Sellers Rank:
#440,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #8,291 in Food, Drink & Entertaining (Books)
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Excellent Middle Eastern cookbook with a focus on (but not exclusive to) modern Persian recipes. Instructions are clear & results are dependable.
I picked up Ms Ghayour's book in Kindle format after downloading the free sample and liking the available content. I'll admit that I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous photography, as I already have a fairly hefty collection of Middle Eastern cookery books, and several that are specific to Iranian food.
The Kindle version features interactive tables of content (so critical for a cookery book and yet often missing, especially from older Kindle books) arranged by course (ie appetisers, mains, desserts etc) and then individually broken down with links to each recipe contained within that section. The layout is simple to use across devices (tested on iPad, Win & Mac desktop, Android).
The photos which accompany each dish are compelling and bright, without being over-styled: in essence, getting your dish to look like the one pictured is actually attainable without a Michelin star to your name. Each recipe has a photo and the book doesn't contain excess 'ingredient' photos (you know the type; the macro shots of a lemon, scattered cloves, etc etc) which makes it very usable indeed.
To date, I've made the following:
Batinjan al Rahib, a (very!) garlicky eggplant dip that goes perfectly alongside rich/fatty meat dishes, with a nice play on texture between the soft eggplant and the crisp peppers;
Cacik, a Turkish staple, fantastically fresh with loads of herbs;
Spiced Lamb Kefta, which smell as amazing as they taste, with sweet notes from the currants (try these with the Cacik, as we did all three times we made them);
Butternut Squash with Pistachio Pesto & Feta, which makes a really gorgeous vegetarian main but is (as with any recipe, of course) very dependent on excellent butternut squash (the first time it was so-so, the second time fantastic) and very ripe, sweet pomegranate;
Karniyarik, stuffed eggplant, have become a staple in our home, the flavour combination is amazing and while they take a long time from start to finish, you can make a big batch and they keep very well in the fridge for several days; top with plenty of labneh or Greek yoghurt and try to convince yourself going back for thirds is a bad idea... (it isn't);
Spice-Perfumed Shoulder of Lamb is gorgeous and so, so simple; I did find I needed to turn down the oven slightly to cook for an extra hour at a lower temperature for fall-off-the-bone texture (while retaining moisture), but this of course is a commentary on my oven rather than the recipe;
Blood Orange and Radicchio salad, a beautiful flavour combination of sweet, tart & bitter; goes very well with the lamb shoulder and would stand up well to any robust meat dish, with the hint of fresh dill really elevating it above a simple salad (do yourself a favour and track down a good pomegranate molasses with only 'pomegranates' listed in the ingredients, as often the syrups available are too sweet).
I would honestly happily pay the price of the book for just the karniyarik recipe, but I'm really pleased with this purchase, and look forward to trying many more dishes. This really is a fantastic, accessible cookery book and should appeal to a broad range of palates. As evident by the answers, comments & other reviews, Ms Ghayour is very responsive to questions that may crop up; while I've not asked any myself, I always find it reassuring when an author (or publisher) makes an effort to provide assistance.
Persiana is truly inspirational - with foods such as soups, mezze, breads, soups, tagines, grills and salads. Her puddings are also a triumph. She tends to provide a modern twist on some classic and also becomes your go to recipe for standards such as hummus and jewelled rice. You will find that Perisana recipes make their way into your regular repertoire - delicious food for daily fare of for dinner parties and feasts alike.
There were a few recipes I would have liked to try but not enough to justify the price
All of the ingredients are easily bough in a good supermarket.
I don't know how authentic the recipes are, but the ones I have cooked taste great.
One thing I find that most cooks get wrong are the bread recipes. There are two in this book. They will work. However if making the 'Eastern-Style Focaccia' the dough will be a little too dry, just work a little water in if you need to.