From the Land of Nightingales & Roses

Obviously, I am in a Persian state of mind today, earlier I published a promotion for Bottom of the Pot and this afternoon I have From the Land of Nightingales and Roses: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen by Maryam Sinaiee to share with you. Perhaps my escaping to Persian cuisine has to do with the bomb cycle blizzard we experienced in Colorado yesterday. But, more likely it is that I am drawn to books that bring the other side of the world to my kitchen.

In From the Land of Nightingales and Roses, Iranian food blogger and home cook, Maryam Sinaiee, takes us through a full year in the Persian kitchen. Each seasonal chapter offers up delicious recipes alongside insights into the festivals, traditions and rituals that color day-to-day life in this region. From spring through to winter, Maryam offers the reader a true taste of real Persian cooking.

Do we need another Persian cookbook? Yes, we do. Each book in my library that pertains to this area of the world is uniquely special as it delivers that author's voice and recipes. Some of those recipes have been handed down through the generations. Often, the authors write that they learned to cook at an early age with a group of women that consists of both family and friends. I love that aspect of their story. And often times, there are plenty of dishes that are new to me. For instance, Ghōttāb, almond turnovers, is included in this title and not in another Persian cookbook on my bookshelf. 

The photography in From the Land of Nightingales and Roses is stunning, the recipes interesting and approachable, and we have the bonus of measurements being given in both weight and volume. Special thanks to Interlink Books for sharing the recipe below with our members and for providing two copies of this title in our giveaway found at the end of this article. 

Eshkaneh-ye Keshteh
Apricot and Poached Egg Soup
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You will find variations of this quick, rustic soup being made all over Iran. In the old days in winter there was very little fresh produce available, so nuts and dried fruits such as apricots, peaches, plums, raisins, and dates featured heavily in soups and stews.

This soup is generally either thickened or finished with eggs, but feel free to make yours without; it will still be delicious. It's best to use lavāsh for the "croutons" in this soup, but broken matzo or even Sicilian carta di musica make excellent substitutes. Add the torn or broken bread to the soup in small amounts so it doesn't get too soggy.

SERVES 4

  • 12 dried apricots
  • 3½ tablespoons (1¾ oz/50 g) butter
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 cups (1½ liters) water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 small eggs
  • Pinch of sugar, to taste (optional)
  • A few mint leaves, to garnish
  • Flatbread, to serve

Put the apricots in a bowl, cover with hot water, and leave to soak for about an hour until soft. If your apricots are already quite soft you can skip this stage.

Melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions until lightly browned. Add the turmeric, flour, and dried mint and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the water and the drained apricots and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the onions and apricots are very soft and the soup has thickened a little. Season well with salt and pepper.

Lower the heat as much as you can so the soup is no longer bubbling. Break one egg into a cup and gently slide it into the soup. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. Simmer without stirring until the eggs are almost set, then cover the saucepan and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are cooked through.

Place an egg in each serving bowl and cover with the broth. Garnish with a few mint leaves and serve with some torn flatbread on top and plenty of sabzī khordan (page 98 - greens and herbs).

Recipe from From the Land of Nightingales & Roses, published by Interlink Books, recipe copyright © Maryam Sinaiee, 2018

 

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option - the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries.

Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on May 3rd, 2019.

38 Comments

  • Dewnie  on  3/14/2019 at 6:51 PM

    Rice with lamb and pomegranate

  • sarahawker  on  3/14/2019 at 6:59 PM

    Chicken in orange and saffron sauce

  • amyz218  on  3/14/2019 at 7:38 PM

    Sweet and sour stuffed meatballs (Holū kabāb)

  • jmay42066  on  3/14/2019 at 7:47 PM

    Chopped tomato and cucumber salad (Sālād Shīrāzī)

  • braabpro  on  3/14/2019 at 7:52 PM

    Stuffed vine leaves

  • lauriesk  on  3/14/2019 at 8:19 PM

    Rice with lamb and green beans.

  • DarcyVaughn  on  3/14/2019 at 8:32 PM

    Northern-style stuffed fish (Māhī shekam por)

  • riley  on  3/14/2019 at 8:37 PM

    Chicken in orange and saffron sauce

  • tennyogirl  on  3/14/2019 at 11:20 PM

    Noodle, legume, and herb soup (Āsh reshteh)

  • Roxy12  on  3/15/2019 at 12:37 AM

    I would like to try the saffron and lemon poussin.

  • Lem9579  on  3/15/2019 at 6:54 AM

    Lamb and yellow lentil stew

  • vickster  on  3/15/2019 at 7:55 AM

    Lamb and rhubarb stew

  • Jglo  on  3/15/2019 at 10:08 AM

    I’d love to try the Ash Reshte

  • lpatterson412  on  3/15/2019 at 11:11 AM

    Kurdish Scallion bread with garlic butter!

  • lpatterson412  on  3/15/2019 at 11:13 AM

    Kurdish Scallion bread with garlic butter!

  • lean1  on  3/15/2019 at 12:46 PM

    rice with barberries

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  3/15/2019 at 1:28 PM

    Almond turnovers

  • parnassus  on  3/15/2019 at 1:36 PM

    honestly even the apricot and poached egg soup sounds so good

  • Ledlund  on  3/15/2019 at 2:22 PM

    Dumpling soup

  • kmn4  on  3/15/2019 at 3:33 PM

    Saffron rice pudding (Sholeh zard)

  • MarciK  on  3/15/2019 at 4:14 PM

    Beef and Peach Stew So many sound delicious and interesting.

  • LaurenE  on  3/15/2019 at 9:29 PM

    Rice with lamb and green beans

  • t.t  on  3/15/2019 at 11:33 PM

    Walnut cookies (Shīrnī gerdūyī)

  • nyprairiedog  on  3/15/2019 at 11:39 PM

    The noodle, legume and herb soup is one I would love to try

  • annieski  on  3/16/2019 at 4:39 AM

    Savory ginger loaves

  • Dannausc  on  3/16/2019 at 6:26 AM

    Beef and walnut fritters

  • CollageArtist  on  3/16/2019 at 7:01 AM

    Noodle, legume, and herb soup (Āsh reshteh)

  • mpdeb98  on  3/16/2019 at 9:35 AM

    Almond turnovers

  • Jnamdar  on  3/16/2019 at 12:42 PM

    Ghottab (almond-turnovers)

  • stigard  on  3/16/2019 at 3:34 PM

    Almond turnovers

  • matag  on  3/16/2019 at 5:19 PM

    Beef and walnut fritters

  • SusanMargaret  on  3/16/2019 at 11:13 PM

    Eggplant pomegranate and ealnut stew!

  • edyenicole  on  3/17/2019 at 9:19 AM

    almond turnovers!!!!

  • LeilaD  on  3/17/2019 at 9:58 AM

    Jeweled sweet and sour lamb!

  • ravensfan  on  3/17/2019 at 6:27 PM

    Layered baklava

  • thecharlah  on  3/17/2019 at 7:49 PM

    Kurdish scallion bread with brown butter (Kalāneh)

  • leilx  on  3/20/2019 at 9:27 AM

    Eggplant and yogurt salad and also peach pickle

  • NaomiH  on  3/21/2019 at 2:39 PM

    Persian Jewish chicken dumplings (Gondī)

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