Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond by Sabrina Ghayour

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    • Categories: Egg dishes; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: garlic; broad beans; turmeric; dill; eggs
    • Accompaniments: Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)
    • Categories: Spice / herb blends & rubs; Small plates - tapas, meze; North African; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: aubergines; onions; garlic; ground cumin; ground cinnamon; sweet paprika; red peppers; golden raisins; canned tomatoes; caster sugar; honey
    • Accompaniments: Eastern-style focaccia
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  • Marinated feta
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: feta cheese; olive oil; garlic oil; lemons; banana shallots; pickled chillies; coriander leaves
    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: aubergines; garlic; turmeric; tomatoes; tomato paste; caster sugar; walnuts
    • Accompaniments: Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: cucumbers; dried mint; golden raisins; Greek yogurt
    • Categories: Salads; Small plates - tapas, meze; Middle Eastern; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: aubergines; red peppers; green peppers; lemons; parsley
    • Accompaniments: Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)
  • Persian herb frittata (Kuku sabzi)
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: parsley; coriander leaves; dill; chives; spring onions; turmeric; eggs; Greek yogurt; dried barberries; walnuts
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Middle Eastern; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: canned chickpeas; garlic oil; lemons; tahini; paprika
  • Spicy tomato and pepper dip (Ezme)
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Turkish; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatoes; onions; red peppers; green peppers; red chillies; parsley; sumac; pomegranate molasses
    • Accompaniments: Yogurt with cucumber, garlic and dill (Cacik)
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Small plates - tapas, meze; Turkish; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: feta cheese; dried mint; Greek yoghurt; filo pastry; nigella seeds
    • Categories: Fried doughs; Small plates - tapas, meze; Snacks; Iranian; Persian
    • Ingredients: salt cod; mashed potatoes; parsley; dill; red chillies; spring onions; garlic; limes; turmeric; ground ginger; vegetable oil
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Small plates - tapas, meze; Turkish; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: pistachio nuts; feta cheese; dill; coriander leaves; red chillies; Greek yoghurt; lemons
    • Accompaniments: Eastern-style focaccia
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian
    • Ingredients: minced beef; turmeric; ground cumin; paprika; ground cinnamon; nutmeg; dried rose petals; red onions; parsley; puff pastry
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Sauces, general; Breakfast / brunch; Small plates - tapas, meze; Suppers; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: garlic; red onions; turmeric; ground coriander; ground cumin; ground cinnamon; harissa paste; tomatoes; coriander leaves; feta cheese; eggs
    • Accompaniments: Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)
    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian
    • Ingredients: breadcrumbs; minced beef; cooked potatoes; onions; coriander leaves; garlic granules; ground cumin; turmeric; ground cinnamon
    • Accompaniments: Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)
    • Categories: Pizza & calzones; Small plates - tapas, meze; Turkish
    • Ingredients: caster sugar; fast-action dried yeast; strong white bread flour; Greek yoghurt; lemons; minced lamb; tomatoes; onions; parsley; Turkish chilli flakes
    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Middle Eastern
    • Ingredients: minced lamb; onions; turmeric; ground cinnamon; ground cumin; pine nuts; currants; parsley
    • Categories: Fried doughs; Small plates - tapas, meze; Iranian; Persian
    • Ingredients: vegetable oil; baby squid; ground cumin; ground coriander; turmeric; sea salt
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Middle Eastern
    • Ingredients: sour cream; caster sugar; fast-action dried yeast; strong white bread flour; cumin seeds; ground coriander; dried mint; dried red chillies; thyme; nigella seeds; sumac
    • Accompaniments: Aubergine chermoula; Pistachio and feta dip
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Main course; Side dish; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: basmati rice; coriander leaves; parsley; chives; spring onions; butter; dill
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Main course; Side dish; Entertaining & parties; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: basmati rice; butter; slivered pistachio nuts; sliced almonds; dried barberries; dried orange peel; caster sugar
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Side dish; Iranian; Persian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: basmati rice; butter
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Main course; Side dish; Middle Eastern; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: vegetable oil; onions; green lentils; cumin seeds; basmati rice; ground coriander; ground cumin; ground cinnamon; turmeric

Notes about this book

  • robm on September 19, 2019

    Amazing book! Every recipe in it begs to be cooked right away, and the illustrations of each dish are so alluring you just want to lick the page! Most of the recipes are vegetarian and can easily be adapted to be vegan. Even the meat recipes would be easy to adapt in most cases.

  • kitchen_chick on June 29, 2016

    3) Herbs are listed very oddly. For example 2 x 3/4oz packages of dill. Where I live, herbs are usually sold in large bundles. Yes, you can buy the tiny packages, but that’s really expensive. I have a digital scale, so it's no problem weighing them out, but I find the assumption in packaging odd for produce. 4) A pantry section that explains the difference between pomegranate molasses and pomegranate syrup, the different bulgur wheat textures (the recipes never say whether to use fine, medium, or coarse grain), etc. would have been nice addition for novice cooks or those new to the cuisine.

  • kitchen_chick on June 29, 2016

    I love this cookbook. I've cooked about 40% of the recipes in it. I turn to this book frequently, especially for potluck dishes. That said, there are flaws that could have been fixed with better editing and testing, but fortunately they are easy to work around. 1) Salt amounts can be way off. She often calls for flaked sea salt. If you use kosher or regular salt, you will have to adjust the amount downward. Sometimes by quite a bit. For example, the herb frittata recipe called for two (? I don’t have the book at hand) tablespoons of sea salt. I reduced the salt to 1/3 of the amount and it was still way too much. 2) There are inconsistencies across the recipes. One recipe will tell you how to cook the quinoa, and another says "cook according to package instructions". If you buy your quinoa bulk, this is a problem. (I just find the other recipe with the actual cooking instructions and use those.)

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Hummus

    • Breadcrumbs on March 01, 2015

      p. 28 – First use of this book and I was disappointed. Here’s why: I was surprised to see the recipe called for canned chickpeas vs dried. It doesn’t seem that it was the author’s intent to create a shortcut book. Next, I was surprised the recipe called for 3 cans of chickpeas and claims to serve 8. Perhaps if the hummus was the only item on the menu but otherwise one can should suffice to feed 8 as an appetizer and I adjusted the recipe accordingly. The author also calls for the use of the liquid in the can…yuk! I didn’t use it. Finally, it only called for 4tbsp of tahini for 1200g of chickpeas. I upped the ante. What I did like about this recipe was the lack of any spice. Normally I would add cumin and this simpler version was really nice for a change of pace. Finally, I found it odd to top the dish with paprika vs sumac. I hope this recipe isn’t a barometer for what the rest of the book holds. Photo here:

    • kitchen_chick on June 29, 2016

      I start with dried chickpeas. I don't stock garlic oil in my pantry, so I add just a touch of garlic. (I don't want the garlic to overpower the dip.) I guess I use it more as a guideline rather than following it strictly, and based on that I get a nice creamy hummus. It does make A LOT of hummus.

    • ihavetwofeet on January 26, 2016

      I made this recipe as directed, but found the use of garlic oil a bit too overpowering. Next time I would just add extra tahini, skip the oil, and add a clove of fresh garlic.

  • Salad olivieh

    • vinochic on May 02, 2015

      This was just average. A bit bland...

    • mondraussie on September 08, 2021

      A bit lacking in flavour, I have other chicken salad recipes that I like better (especially the one in salt fat acid heat).

  • Saffron and lemon chicken (Joojeh kabab)

    • Cati on May 25, 2016

      Used chicken tenderloins and only juice of 1 lemon, thought 5 lemons as listed in recipe would be too much for me. Very easy, most of time was for marinating. Found it very tasty and chicken was perfectly cooked. Note that the recipe says cook for 18-20 minutes maximum. It does not say to cook 20 minutes at maximum heat!!

    • Astrid5555 on April 05, 2015

      Disappointing. By the time the chicken was finally done the meat was very dry not juicy as intended. Maybe an issue of the method where you have to broil the chicken breast at the highest setting for 20 minutes. On top, kids did not like the saffron in the marinade. Will not repeat.

    • Jojobuch on May 24, 2016

      The flavour was great but I agree with the last poster that the chicken unfortunately dried out - next time, I would cook at lower heat, then turn on grill setting in oven until browned

    • kateastoria on January 17, 2021

      Omg this is so good. Even the onions tasted amazing with basmati pine nut rice

  • Quinoa salad with toasted pistachios, preserved lemons and courgettes

    • okcook on March 04, 2016

      I made this with some frozen grated summer zucchini I had in the freezer and it worked quite well although not as pretty as slices. I thought the amount of preserved lemon seemed like it would take over the dish so I cut back a lot on it and we found it to our liking. The pistachios added a nice crunch.

    • Hellyloves2cook on December 24, 2015

      Husband made this for Christmas Eve. He said it was very easy to prepare. The hardest part was chopping courgettes and frying those off!!! The preserved lemons were a nice addition and the crunch of the pistachios gave it some texture. Eldest son had a huge pile on his plate ( with roast salmon) and made very positive noises when eating this.

    • kateastoria on January 17, 2024

      Used cashews. Tasted better day after when flavours had blended.

  • Spiced rack of lamb with pomegranate sauce

    • okcook on February 09, 2019

      The sauce overpowers the flavour of the lamb. A shame, ruined my beautiful free range grass fed rack of lamb. Be warned.

  • Turkish Adana köfte kebabs

    • okcook on April 19, 2016

      I made the mixture into meat balls and grilled on top of the stove for convenience. The meat mixture seemed a little sloppy to me so I added a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs, formed the meatballs, covered and refrigerated overnight allowing them to set up. They stayed together well on the grill. Cooked to 165F in the centre. Didn't want to dry them out. They were really lovely with a delicate texture and deep lamb flavour.

    • KarinaFrancis on September 22, 2021

      These were good but the egg made them really soft. The flavour was good

  • Tray-baked rose petal lamb chops with chilli and herbs

    • okcook on March 04, 2016

      This was very nice. Loads of different flavours that we have not had before with the rose petals. One could cook this on the grill as well as in the oven. We used some tender lamb leg pieces instead of the chops. Works a treat. Will make this again.

    • joneshayley on May 02, 2019

      The rose is very mild, but adds another dimension to this. The chops are heady and fragrant, juicy and delicious. Served with a cous cous salad and the suggested herb chilli oil. Delicious

    • EmmaJaneDay on April 17, 2022

      Very delicious. Either my chops were thin, or my oven hot, but only took 10 mins. Served with mashed potato, with the pan juices drizzled on top, and Alison Roman’s steamed broccoli. Made for a very satisfying meal. Will definitely make this again.

    • Shelmar on March 24, 2022

      Excellent marinade. Reduce very good drizzle by half, to a downpour instead of a washout. Fabulous Featherblade chops.

  • Saffron and rosemary chicken fillets

    • okcook on April 19, 2016

      I sous vide the chicken breasts at 140F for 3.5 hours then sliced them and quickly browned them. Dumped in the saffron/rosemary seasonings, stirred and served. This was very flavourful with the saffron shining through. I did not use all the rosemary called for because it seemed like A LOT OF ROSEMARY!

    • joneshayley on November 09, 2018

      Delicious, both the rosemary and the saffron sang, and made for a succulent and delicious chicken

  • Turkish feta pastry cigars (Sigara börek peynir)

    • Astrid5555 on January 02, 2015

      The pastry to filling ratio was way off (not enough filling), so I could only make half the pastries stated in the recipe. On top, while baking, the pastry cracked on both sides and released the filling. Despite all this, nice taste, but not sure whether to repeat.

    • ALawson25 on September 25, 2021

      I would agree that there was less filling than pastry. Despite being pretty thorough sealing with egg they still somehow spilt out a bunch of the cheese, but were still quite nice. I think that I would maybe add a brush of butter in between layers to make them more crunchy (unhealthy I know).

  • Baked eggs with feta, harissa tomato sauce and coriander

    • Astrid5555 on January 02, 2015

      Best Shahshuka variation in a long time! Reduced the harissa to my liking, otherwise made as written.

  • Za'atar cod with relish

    • saladdays on October 07, 2014

      A really delicious way of serving cod, which can often taste rather dull. The relish is particularly fresh and zingy and is very quick to make. Highly recommended.

    • Jojobuch on January 09, 2023

      Agree on cooking fish for shorter - didn’t have pickled chillies but had some spicy pickled pearl onions, which were a nice component of the relish.

    • Foodycat on December 23, 2014

      My fish fell apart, but no harm in that! If I really needed the presentation to be pretty I might roast it instead of cooking it in a pan. The relish is beautiful - I added a spring onion and used (fewer) home made pickled habaneros instead of the pickled chillies that were called for.

    • mpselvag on February 28, 2015

      full recipe at

    • saarwouters on February 10, 2018

      Good fish dish! It was new for me to serve cod in a Middle-Eastern style. The za'atar marinade was really delicious! I also felt that the relish was a bit too strong for my taste, but my husband really loved it.

    • lizabetina on January 01, 2018

      My fish fell apart too, but it tasted nice! Roasting would be better. Didn’t need as long in the pan as the recipe said. The relish was a bit overpowering, so I’m not sure I would make it again. Or at least if I did, I would experiment with the number of pickled chillies.

  • Chicken, preserved lemon and olive tagine

    • FJT on March 26, 2017

      Very tasty. As with all stews it was even better the day after it was made.

    • mondraussie on November 01, 2021

      The quantity of preserved lemon and olives completely overwhelmed the dish. Not to mention the cost, I mean seriously, 6 preserved lemons?? Very disappointing and wouldn't bother again. Next time I'll stick to my tried and trusted Neil Perry chicken tagine recipe.

    • MichelleWoods on January 02, 2017

      Sorry but I completely disagree, I'm always surprised by the deep flavour of such an easy-to-cook dish and I make this ALOT...

    • FritB on August 12, 2016

      I am sorry to say that this was a tasteless recipe

    • ALawson25 on August 19, 2021

      Really good, served with a rice dish from the same book. Took about 1 1/2 hrs, very little effort once it was going so still works for a weeknight.

  • Puy lentil and quinoa salad with lemon and sumac

    • Melanie on November 25, 2014

      Delicious - I loved the mix of flavours. With the added lentils, this keeps you filled up.

    • redbirdo on July 20, 2016

      Made this for a dinner party as a starter with grilled halloumi and it went down very well. This salad is very refreshing, great to have in the fridge for lunch on a warm day.

    • e_ballad on November 05, 2020

      Truthfully, when I saw this recipe, I thought it would be more ‘fill’ than ‘highlight’, but this was excellent. A bit taboulleh-esque, the quinoa & lentils really elevate this dish. Loved it.

    • Margret on July 07, 2022

      Switched sumac with paprika. With basil and mint. Added red peppers.

  • Shirazi salad

    • Melanie on November 25, 2014

      I enjoyed the mix of flavours and loved the crunch. This one tastes best freshly made.

  • Spicy tomato and pepper dip (Ezme)

    • Senkimekia on August 27, 2016

      This was good and fresh we enjoyed it.

    • joneshayley on September 08, 2019

      We all enjoyed this as part of a mezze spread. It’s fresh and flavourful.

    • Agaillard on April 03, 2016

      This is good - not wow this is beyond belief good - but interesting, fresh, flavourful, and a bit different. I would not call it "dip" though, I mean this is more like a very finely cut salad, you couldn't really "dip" in it!

  • Smoked aubergine salad (Batijan al rahib)

    • Senkimekia on August 27, 2016

      Was ok, nothing spectacular, but will say my husband subbed some eggplant for Japanese eggplant that was part of our CSA and it might have not been enough eggplant, and he did not impart enough smokiness to the eggplant in my opinion. These things may have impacted our end result.

  • Yogurt, cucumber and mint (Maast o khiar)

    • aberne on May 13, 2019

      Can just eat this by the spoonful on rice as a meal.

  • Harissa and preserved lemon roasted poussins

    • aberne on May 11, 2019

      Marinade is amazing. I used it for lamb chops for the grill, and it stood up to lamb nicely. I didn't have so many preserved lemons, so used about half, and all worked a charm (in fact, I don't think I would double them next time). Brilliant.

    • Allie80 on August 03, 2020

      I used this recipe for a whole chicken rather than poussins, worked really well on a 1.6kg chicken same temperature for slightly longer (an hour). Only really needed about half (or less) of the marinade so also put some on some roasted vegetables as well - delicious!

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Nice marinade which chars nicely in bbq. Uses lots of preserved lemons.

  • Tomato salad with pomegranate molasses (Gavurdagi salatasi)

    • aberne on May 03, 2019

      Simple but perfect, especially with grilled meat of any kind. Fresh tomatoes with the pomegranate molasses make for an interesting fresh sweet and sour combination.

    • Hellyloves2cook on December 25, 2015

      OMG!! So simple but delicious. What a stunning salad this is to have in ones repertoire. The pomegranate molasses dressing is zingy and sweet and marries so well with the green pepper and tomatoes. Love this !!

    • Jojobuch on January 23, 2016

      Very simple to prepare but a great salad. I have substituted green bell peppers, which work very well.

    • Foodycat on January 15, 2016

      Simple and wonderful

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Great salad that you can vary with different types of tomatoes and peppers. The pomegranate molasses bring great flavour

  • Turkish white bean salad (Piyaz)

    • aberne on May 11, 2019

      A little boring, so I cooked up some chard with garlic and lemon to mix in.

    • KarinaFrancis on November 23, 2020

      I had everything I needed for this salad and it came together very quickly, definitely a weeknight win. I think this is a great base, next time I might add some tomatoes.

  • Belly-stuffed rainbow trout (Mahi shekampor)

    • ncollyer on September 27, 2015

      Very tasty. Cooked this on the BBQ and it worked well. The preserved lemon and pine nut stuffing added complexity, richness and some contrasting texture to the trout. Will make again.

  • Spiced carrot, pistachio and almond cake with rosewater cream

    • ncollyer on November 16, 2015

      Very moist, and as advertised, it tastes better the next morning.

    • Jojobuch on January 23, 2016

      Moist, fragrant and delicious. Great with the rose water cream even for a skeptic of rose water.

    • Mayandbill on October 13, 2015

      Flourless, so good for the gluten intolerant.

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Nice moist gluten free cake. Served with pistachio ice cream.

  • Lamb and sour cherry meatballs

    • hirsheys on January 02, 2018

      I thought these were good, but they didn't quite live up to my expectations. They are definitely tasty - I think I found them almost too spiced.

    • mondraussie on December 06, 2021

      Nice.. didn't have sour cherries so used cranberries. Soaked the cranberries in hot water for a bit before adding to the mixture, which helped stop the meatballs from breaking up.

    • Foodycat on December 11, 2014

      These are so good! Lightest meatballs I have ever made.

    • tekobo on January 13, 2017

      Yummy. Would use this tomato sauce for other recipes, it is soooo good.

    • raybun on November 22, 2016

      I made these tonight for the family. After the apricot & fennel ones from Sirocco the bar was set high and I was not disappointed. Excellent flavour and texture, I served them with couscous. I used the suggested cranberries instead of sour cherries and dried dill as I was out of fresh. I used marinara sauce as I didn't have time to make the one Ms Ghayour suggests.

    • JJ2018 on September 01, 2019

      I really enjoyed these and tomato sauce was easy and flavourful. Daughter wasn’t keen on cranberries (used as a substitute)

    • Logan92995 on July 21, 2023

      This was good but not great. I'm not sure if it was the sauce or the meatballs (Probably the meatballs because the recipe asked for 4 tsps of flaked salt) but this dish was pretty salty. The meatballs tasted good, but they were almost impossible to assemble into anything remotely resembling a meatball; more of a meat patty. I think it could've used some breadcrumbs to give it structure. Overall, though it was good, if filling. But it gives me plenty of leftovers. Served with couscous.

  • Spice-perfumed shoulder of lamb

    • Hellyloves2cook on December 25, 2015

      Husband made this for Christmas day lunch. I don't eat meat so I can't comment except to say my Husband and my 3 sons thoroughly enjoyed this. The meat fell off the bone and the spice combo was quite subtle but distinctive. I am sure this will become a favourite!

    • Agaillard on January 05, 2024

      The lamb shoulder was well cooked and did fall off the bone... But overall, the recipe was disappointing, and you couldn't really taste the spices, except maybe cumin, and only if you paid really really good attention. Would probably not make again

  • Rice with lentils and crispy onions (Mojardara)

    • Hellyloves2cook on December 25, 2015

      My husband made this for Christmas day lunch. Easy and very tasty. The crispy onions are the deal breakers here. Don't skip this part of the recipe. They do make a difference with both flavour and texture. My husband served this with the Spice -Perfumed Shoulder of Lamb (pg 128) and the Tomato Salad with Pomegranate Molasses (pg 160) and another side (not from a cookbook) As the author points out she makes double as she likes to eat it for several days afterwards. So my husband decided to do just that. Looking forward to having more over the next few days.

  • Cod in tamarind, coriander and fenugreek sauce (Ghelyeh mahi)

    • Hellyloves2cook on December 23, 2015

      My husband, who loves cooking, made this last night. He did say that instead of fenugreek leaves he used the seeds and that he could not find the cayenne pepper so used paprika instead. very delicate and subtle flavours. We all agreed it need a little more oomph... perhaps that was due to the omission of the heat factor. will be interested to repeat this with all the ingredients.

    • Clog on December 18, 2022

      I will definitely do this again because it's a nice mix of flavours, although a little bland as others have suggested. I'll add more cayenne or turmeric next time.

    • Braccoitalianomum17 on July 03, 2020

      Made this dish several times, it has become a family favourite. I do add a little chilli to the dish. The methi (fenugreek) you can usually pick up at asian supermarkets (my fav place to shop) quite cheaply, my last packet coat 29p ! Usually serve this with homemade garlic croquette potatoes and steamed veg. Very yummy.

    • s.shadan on October 25, 2023

      I used fresh red chillies sliced, and brown sugar. The sauce can be made in a batch and frozen.

  • Red rice salad with barberries, grilled vegetables and toasted almonds

    • Hellyloves2cook on February 02, 2016

      Another recipe that my husband tested from this book. He's made a few now. Well ,after all, I did buy it for him for last year. He used a combination of red, brown and black rice for this as we decided to use what we had already. Unfortunately living in a small city it was impossible to find barberries and so these were omitted.Everything else was spot on! Hubby enjoyed making this dish and even more eating it. I have to say it was really nice and with the zingy dressing that had soaked into the rice just gave that nice balance of flavours. I am sure having the barberries would have made it pop a little more with flavour and although they could have been substituted with dried cranberries or sour cherries it was decided to just carry on without. There was even enough to take for lunch the following day- bonus!

  • Cumin-roasted carrots with honey-lemon dressing and goats' cheese

    • mondraussie on September 13, 2021

      I used leftover honey infused with lime and chile from an Ottolenghi recipe and it worked out just great. Didn't have any goat's cheese, so used feta instead, and I think the saltiness of the feta balanced the sweetness of the dish.

    • peaceoutdesign on February 27, 2023

      I really liked this and had it as dinner one night when solo.

    • e_ballad on November 05, 2020

      Geez this was sweet. To make it more ‘balanced’ next time, I think I’ll reduce the honey from 3 tblsp to maybe 2. It was otherwise really tasty.

    • eszpee on February 19, 2022

      Not as intense as I would’ve expected based on her recipes, but pretty decent. I’d rather have it as a side next time, maybe summertime.

  • Persian flatbread (Naan barbari)

    • mondraussie on October 18, 2021

      Lovely flavour, I thought 3 hours was a little excessive for the rise, but it is a very wet dough and it needed it. (I added 50ml less water than the recipe stated). I think next time I won't bother with cutting the holes, although it looks very special it means you have a lot more crust and a lot less crumb. Next time I'll just shape it like a pide.

    • joneshayley on September 08, 2019

      Add 100ml less water, otherwise the dough is far too wet to work. Otherwise a delicious bread, springy and light. All the family enjoyed it.

  • Persian saffron chicken, fennel and barberry stew

    • mondraussie on March 27, 2023

      Flavours came together very nicely on this dish. Will make again.

    • e_ballad on August 13, 2019

      Very easy in a “chuck everything in together & leave to cook for 2.5 hours” kind of way. The chicken was well-flavoured & the fennel almost melted into the gravy, with the barberries adding an almost citrusy tang, rather than their usual tartness.

    • Dolcetto23 on February 01, 2021

      I agree this is easy and good, with subtle, delicate flavours and an enticing perfume. I used boneless thighs and saffron water (a la Paula Wolfert) as part of the liquid rather than adding the saffron to the chicken first - and a little less honey than specified as I thought my honey was quite strong. It was all lovely, with more saffrony rice to soak the delicious juices up.

    • ALawson25 on November 13, 2021

      I actually didn’t rate this that much. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but found the flavour very mild. I much preferred the chicken tagine from this book.

  • Pistachio and feta dip

    • KarinaFrancis on December 24, 2020

      Really good! Fresh flavour, creamy and indulgent. Next time I’ll process the pistachio before adding the oil, with the 2 combined the blades struggled to get enough purchase to chop the nuts.

    • stockholm28 on December 14, 2014

      I liked this, but I think I was too heavy-handed with the dill and cilantro. She calls for a handful of dill and two handfuls of cilantro. I'm not sure what a handful really means. The herbs overpowered the pistachio and I wanted more pistachio flavor.

    • VineTomato on June 24, 2017

      Delicious but incredibly rich, only possible to have a small serving, which is a good thing given I calorie count for this dip! Great the next day.

    • lizabetina on January 01, 2018

      Very good and easy to make!

    • damjih on December 27, 2023

      This was a huge hit, I have made it a few times for potlucks and everyone loves it and I've never included the dill, as pistachios and feta alone are making this expensive to make.

  • Chicken and artichoke salad with yogurt dressing

    • KarinaFrancis on February 21, 2023

      Delicious! I couldn’t get watercress so I subbed in some crunchy iceberg. It’s a flexible salad, you could play around with the herbs and even the nuts. Definitely a keeper

  • Bulgur wheat salad (Kisir)

    • KarinaFrancis on August 08, 2021

      A flavour bomb! Sweet, sour and delicious! I made it to go with kofta but it would be great with bbq lamb or chicken

    • ptkcollins on August 27, 2015

      A I wasn't able to find pomegranate molasses I replaced it with a good balsamic vinegar and I also replaced the pomegranate seeds with sultanas. It still turned out very well.

  • Radish, cucumber and red onion salad with mint and orange blossom dressing

    • KarinaFrancis on September 22, 2021

      The pink and green were so pretty together and the salad was lovely and crunchy. I used a bit less orange blossom water which was a good idea, the full amount could have been overwhelming. A good match with the Adana kebabs from the same book

  • Za'atar roasted squash with spiced yogurt and pickled chillies

    • KarinaFrancis on February 16, 2021

      This was just ok, I think the dressing muddled the flavours. We enjoyed it but not enough to repeat

  • Blood orange and radicchio salad

    • cjross on January 17, 2021

      The first radicchio recipe I've ever actually liked. Definitely keeping this for the next time I get radicchio from my CSA.

    • Barb_N on November 26, 2023

      I thought the radicchio overpowered the other flavors. I was also looking forward to the visual contrast but my blood oranges were very dark and blended in. Navel or cara cara may have been better.

    • Tiganna on January 21, 2018

      Excellent. Very fresh and easy. For my taste, her vinaigrette is slightly too sour. Next time, a bit less molasses (mine are quite astringent) and vinegar. But definitely a keeper.

    • ALawson25 on March 03, 2022

      Great flavour, would also use the salad dressing on other salads.

    • Hansyhobs on January 28, 2022

      not too bad for radicchio

  • Citrus spiced salmon

    • peaceoutdesign on March 24, 2023

      Very good and I think that the marinade/crust would make great bottled gifts for people because of the eclectic ingredients.

    • VineTomato on June 24, 2017

      Best recipe in the book, and my go to for salmon.

    • Agaillard on September 24, 2017

      The marinade was excellent, I couldn't keep dipping my bread in it! I served with plain couscous, mostly because I am on a very restrictive diet at the moment (thankfully won't last!). I made more marinade than indicated (I used the same amount for just one salmon fillet) and I am very glad I did :) I reserve my decision over best recipe in the book, or salmon recipe though definitely a good one.

  • Spiced root vegetable cakes with tamarind and date sauce

    • peaceoutdesign on March 08, 2023

      the Tamarind Date Sauce is amazing. I cut the beets in half because I worried about losing all the beautiful colors of the other veggies and next time I will use said amount.

  • Eastern mess

    • redbirdo on July 20, 2016

      If you like rose water this is a must, absolutely delicious. NB - I used Nielson and Massey rose water and only put 1tbsp in the cream, which was plenty.

  • Pomegranate soup with meatballs (Ash e anar)

    • ediepop on March 08, 2015

      Most of the recipes I have tried from this book have been delicious, however this one was inedible - far too sweet. I would suggest omitting the sugar and possibly the pomegranate juice.

  • Smoked aubergines with garlic (Mirza ghasemi)

    • joneshayley on September 08, 2019

      An unusual mezze, which we all thoroughly enjoyed as suggested with the Persian flatbread. In future I’d serve with a crisp rather than a soft bread, to add a textural contrast.

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Lots of effort but worth it.

  • Eastern-style focaccia

    • joneshayley on November 07, 2018

      Very good focaccia. A lovely fusion, which is easy to make and was enjoyed by the whole family.

  • Safavid-style beef pastries

    • joneshayley on November 15, 2018

      I don’t think that the pastry “goes” with the subtly fragranced middle eastern style filling. I won’t make again.

  • Chicken, walnut and pomegranate stew (Khoresh-e-fesenjan)

    • NikkiPixie on October 14, 2014

      Best fesenjan recipe I've ever tried - and I've tried a LOT!

    • aoife on January 01, 2022

      Delicious recipe, meat fell off the bone, lovely deeply flavoured sauce. The precision of the recipe is very helpful, both in the colour the stew should be and that it should be cooked a day ahead of eating. One minor almost-criticism: this makes a lot of sauce so the amount of meat could be increased.

    • s.shadan on October 25, 2023

      Makes tonnes of sauce (enough for 3 kg of meat). So some of the sauce can be frozen before adding the chicken. Much better with chicken breast, which absorbs all the flavours

  • Lamb shank, black garlic and tomato tagine

    • Jojobuch on January 23, 2016

      Added only half the black garlic as it's a little pricey but this is an amazing recipe. Simple preparation (as long as you have some time) but complex flavours. I skimmed off a significant amount of fat at the two hour mark and while I was worried it wouldn't thicken in the final hour, it came out as advertised in the pictures.

    • Foodycat on January 16, 2015

      Very nice. I cooked it in the oven instead of on the stove top, so only stirred less frequently. I also added a chopped aubergine when I added the black garlic, and kept cooking it with the lid on. The sauce was beautifully fragrant and thick and the lamb was meltingly tender.

  • Mechouia style lamb leg with cumin dipping salt

    • Jojobuch on January 23, 2016

      Amazingly fragrant. I was worried the lamb would be too dry and overcooked but despite being well done it did not dry out. Don't skip the cumin salt - it provides a pleasant crunch and boosts the flavour.

    • Livia on December 21, 2019

      This was delicious, but note that it took half the time recommended, we took it out of the oven when it hit 65c. Since the lamb was trimmed and previously frozen, the meat had very little liquid so instead used some stock to help baste it and used the additional dry rub. Baste very gently every 20min.

    • ALawson25 on October 31, 2021

      This was delicious, and I’ll definitely make again. I used a half lamb leg (1kg), but still cooked for 5 hours and felt like it benefited from the full time. Cumin salt was good too!

  • Quince and pomegranate glazed pork

    • Foodycat on December 20, 2014

      I used home made quince, apple & pear butter instead of membrillo. The marinade had a lovely aroma, but none of that transferred to the pork.

    • e_ballad on November 05, 2020

      I agree with @Foodycat - even with marinating the pork overnight, the flavours in the marinade were lost in the end product.

  • Lahmacun

    • Foodycat on December 31, 2014

      Good crust recipe, and very straightforward, but I am sure the lahmacun I have had in the past has had much more complex flavouring.

    • Hansyhobs on September 20, 2023

      Did it in the pizza oven, didn't take long to cook. Around 350 C was a good temp. 400+ was too hot as the bread started to burn quickly. Would try another recipe next time as not convinced by the dough. The topping tasted nice though

  • Persian herb rice (Sabzi polow)

    • Foodycat on January 16, 2015

      There should also be dill in the list of ingredients. I'm in two minds about this one. It was tasty rice, but only the very subtlest of herb flavours because you boil and strain the herby rice before the final steaming. It was also a lot of fuss - rinsing the rice, then soaking, then picking all the herb leaves before finely chopping (my processor did NOT like chopping dry herbs, so they had to come out of the processor and be done by hand) then parboiling and draining before steaming for half an hour with a lot of butter. Such a palaver. I also only used about a quarter of the suggested quantity of salt, and the seasoning was just right.

    • Silverscreensuppers on April 25, 2018

      This drove my boyfriend berserk. I have never heard so much effing and blinding coming from the kitchen. He followed everything to the letter and ended up with an ENORMOUS amount of soggy rice, which wasn't even that tasty. He said he felt like he'd been "making it all day" and was very disappointed as he really wanted to make me a nice dinner! Luckily, the Ottolenghi pork he made as the main part of the meal was DIVINE! We both usually use up every tiny little bit of leftover food but he was so annoyed by this recipe he threw the whole lot in the bin (and there was a LOT of it).

    • kitchen_chick on August 27, 2016

      I remove the thickest parts of herb stems and don't worry about the thinner parts. "Picking the leaves" is tedious, and the food processor takes care of the smaller stems well enough.

  • Fennel and apple salad with dill and pomegranate seeds

    • Lepa on December 23, 2022

      This is very good. My kids loved it. It was the perfect salad to serve with a rich pork roast.

  • Yogurt with cucumber, garlic and dill (Cacik)

    • saarwouters on February 10, 2018

      Good and very easy recipe for a tzaziki type dip. Served it with Turkish bread.

    • Hansyhobs on July 24, 2023

      Didn't use cucumber (don't like it) but it still tasted great

  • Ras el hanout chicken wraps

    • saarwouters on December 29, 2018

      Ideal for a quick dinner, or to take to work for lunch. Original flavours. A good variation on other wraps.

    • et12 on February 17, 2024

      The chicken is what makes this dish and I’d happily just have that with a side salad. It was excellent.

    • ChelseaP on March 05, 2023

      Such a great easy dinner/lunch. The pomegranate molasses and sumac yoghurt are delicious additions to the wrap. Instead of raw red onion I quickly pickled it.

  • Lamb and vegetable tagine

    • e_ballad on May 09, 2018

      Very bland. With the cooking times provided, the meat disintegrated into the rest of the dish, rather than remaining in discernible pieces. Can’t recommend.

  • Prawns with sumac, coriander, lemon and garlic

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Simple and quick to make. Very tasty.

  • Syrup-poached apricots with walnuts and clotted cream

    • tekobo on November 11, 2023

      Lovely mouthful to end a meal. Great that it uses dried apricots so you can make this anytime of year.

  • Roasted garlic and sweet potato purée

    • tekobo on July 03, 2016

      Tastes very sweet but this was lifted by adding the pomegranate molasses.

  • Persian dried lime, lamb and split pea stew (Khoresh-e-gheymeh)

    • tekobo on March 19, 2017

      Came out a little bitter at the end of the cooking time. Adjusted with agave syrup. Used split mung beans in place of yellow split peas trimmed mutton neck chops in place of lamb neck fillet. Nice rounded flavour and comforting textures.

    • Hansyhobs on May 24, 2022

      I did half the recipe and kept to the same cooking times. Great result. If you split peas are old it's worth putting them in the pot earlier as they might take longer than an hour to cook. I used 6 dried limes instead of 4 because I wanted to finish the packet, was quite tart but still a great taste.

  • Spiced beef and potato cakes (Kotlet)

    • Agaillard on September 25, 2017

      I LOVED it :) My favourite staple in the book so far. I respected exactly the instructions and it was perfect. I served it with yogurt mixed up with lime juice, salt, pepper and coriander which I used as a dip for the kotlets. Will definitely do again. Also lovely as an "aperitif" staple / nibble with drinks before dinner, or as a snack :)

    • Agaillard on April 27, 2022

      Just made again and loved it again :) I used 125g of beef and about 150g of potatoes and for the rest halved thé quantities except the spices which i kept the same as original for more flavour.

  • Persian herb frittata (Kuku sabzi)

    • kitchen_chick on August 27, 2016

      A local restaurant serves a Syrian version of this that is amazing, and it is the standard I compare all other versions to. This one never quite lives up to the promise. Note: she calls for two TABLESPOONS of crushed sea salt flakes and simply says use less if using table salt. I tried two teaspoons kosher salt the first time (1/3rd seemed reasonable) and it was too salty. It took three tries to narrow in one 1 tsp (1/6th the amount!) of kosher salt. I'm just not sure this version is really what I'm looking for so I dunno if I'll make it a fourth time to confirm the salt amount.

    • samfrances on October 22, 2023

      This was more airy/spongy than I was anticipating, I guess owing to the baking powder. I have no idea if this is how it should be, as I have never eaten this dish cooked by someone else.

  • Strawberry and pineapple carpaccio with basil and mint sugars

    • kitchen_chick on July 30, 2019

      Make sure the herbs are completely dry, otherwise the moisture will melt the sugar. I ended up with sweet greenish-black goop instead of the granulated "green" sugar shown in the picture. Still delicious, but wet ground herbs are harder to sprinkle over the fruit than the chunky-looking sugar you see in the pic.

  • Lamb and pistachio patties (Fistikli kebap)

    • EmmaJaneDay on July 01, 2023

      These were very yummy. Served with the cacik as recommended and a green salad.

  • Fattoush salad

    • et12 on February 17, 2024

      A good salad but we found it a bit too sharp with the recommended amount of lemon juice and sumac. I did it again with less of each and it was really nice.

  • Persian bejewelled rice (Morassa polow)

    • ALawson25 on August 09, 2021

      I served this as a side to a Tagine. I added less sugar, and didn't cook for quite 1 hour but it was still a really good recipe. The crispy bottom had begun to form, if I'd have left it on a little longer it would have worked. The barberries were delicious, I didn't have the orange peel but it was fine without.

  • Tray-roasted baby courgettes with garlic and tomato

    • ALawson25 on January 13, 2024

  • Spiced vegetable soup

    • Margret on January 08, 2023


  • Harissa-marinated asparagus

    • JemRob on January 02, 2023

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Reviews about this book


    When I found Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond, I was immediately transported back to Iran and that trip. The recipes are enchanting and the photographs inspiring.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 184533910X
  • ISBN 13 9781845339104
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published May 06 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 240
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Octopus Publishing Group
  • Imprint Mitchell Beazley

Publishers Text

Sabrina Ghayour's first cookbook is a celebration of the food and flavours from the regions near the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, with over 100 recipes for modern and accessible Middle Eastern dishes. Examples include Lamb & Sour Cherry Meatballs, Blood Orange & Radicchio Salad and Spiced Carrot, Pistachio & Coconut Cake with Rosewater Cream.

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