Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Herb plate (Sabzi khordan)

    • mjes on April 27, 2018

      This is the recipe that was mentioned in a Persian cooking class just before this cookbook was released. The instructor had seen a preview. This selects among basil, coriander, mint, summer savory, parsley, scallions, fenugreek leaves, tarragon, watercress, dill, arugula, chervil, chives and sorrel; suggested additions include radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, fresh cheese, walnuts ... I was especially glad to see sorrel to the Armenian version that I had learned. After a class with Omid Roustael, I really want to try this with fresh fenugreek - even if I have to grow it myself.

  • Saffron water

    • mjes on June 03, 2018

      Thanks to a class by Omid Routaei, I use rose water or orange blossom water instead of plain water depending on what is most appropriate for the dish.

    • inflytur on February 28, 2019

      Keep this on hand to drizzle over everything!

  • Sour plum sauce (Tkemali)

    • kitchen_chick on August 14, 2018

      I served this with the Persian Cafe Kebabs (meat patties version), and it was an excellent condiment with the lamb.

  • Cucumber salad with sumac and mint

    • Delys77 on February 03, 2022

      What could be easier really. Use your best little Persian cukes and I add a touch of olive oil and this goes over well.

    • inflytur on February 28, 2019

      A refreshing side dish and super easy to pull together.

  • Cucumber and tomato salad with pomegranate molasses

    • Delys77 on August 10, 2022

      This one is a winner. Easy to toss together and a lovely combination of sweet and salty. Once the tomatoes give off a touch of liquid you end up with a lightly clinging vinaigrette (sans the oil) which was great. Added a few grinds of pepper as well.

    • mcvl on May 05, 2018

      This is delicious! Our guests, who are usually meat-and-potatoes kinds, ate it all with great alacrity. I was afraid the pom. molasses might be too sweet, but it worked perfectly.

  • Spinach borani (Borani ye esfenaj)

    • inflytur on February 28, 2019

      This was incredibly popular both with both adults and children. Each element is delicious separately and heavenly in combination.

  • Azeri mushrooms

    • kitchen_chick on June 01, 2018

      Delicious! Recipe claims 8oz mushrooms serves 2 as main course and 4 as a side. I recommend doubling the recipe.

  • Kurdish white beans (Shley fasouleh)

    • mcvl on October 13, 2021

      Skip the parsley and scallions -- the beans are very mild and subtle, they need no competition.

    • inflytur on February 28, 2019

      Don’t skip including the dried lime. It really makes the dish special.

  • Lobio with pomegranate and onion

    • mcvl on December 21, 2018

      Oh, sigh. This was quite bland. It cried out for ... bacon.

  • Dried apricot soup with wheat berries

    • excurvatus on December 22, 2019

      I almost feel like I can't evaluate this because of how different it was from anything I've ever tasted before, but I did enjoy. I'd make it again. most enjoyable when hot. very filling!

  • Pomegranate ash with meatballs (Ash-e-anar)

    • sosayi on April 14, 2017

      Such a warming, comfortable bowl! I had to use a pomegranate molasses substitute (reduced unsweetened cranberry juice into a syrup) due to an allergy, and consequently (maybe?) had to add a bit more than instructed, but once I did..... oh my! The flavors are incredible.

    • featherbooks on October 29, 2016

      Delicious winter soup. Be sure to use the most sour pomegranate molasses (I used a brand called Dwadi). I'd also add the herbs closet to serving time to preserve greenness.

  • Thanksgiving-pumpkin rice (Khapama)

    • mcvl on October 18, 2018

      Good ... perhaps not as special as I had hoped. I wonder what I could add to spark it up a little.

    • mcvl on October 18, 2018

      Hmm. I added some cooked ground pork, some fennel seed, and some cumin seed. Certainly delicious, but so far from the original dish as to be unrecognizable.

  • Baku fish kebabs (Baliq shashlik)

    • TrishaCP on May 19, 2019

      Simple and delicious grilled fish, especially with the sumac.

  • Pomegranate-marinated kebabs (Torshe kebab)

    • Delys77 on February 24, 2022

      The marinade is almost like peanut butter it is so thick. That said, after a 1 day marinade these were delicious with leg of lamb kebabs. Nice and tender and flavourful without covering up the lovely natural flavour of the lamb. I don't see how you could simmer the marinade, in my case it was too sticky to get out of the bag or off the lamb, but no matter they were good as is.

  • Marinated pork kebabs (Basturma)

    • Delys77 on February 03, 2022

      I also used a loin roast and went with the pomegranate molasses/water suggestion and these were out quite well for us. They were quite tender in the end and the flavour was subtle but nice. I do think it benefits from some punchier flavours on the plate (ajvar and maybe some pickles), but overall quite good.

    • sarahawker on May 24, 2018

      Used pork loin and marinated for almost 48 hours, the flavor of the wine was very evident but these were super dry. Would not make again, there are better pork kebabs.

  • Roast chicken with Persian flavors

    • inflytur on February 28, 2019

      This makes a succulent, flavorful roast chicken. Making the stuffing ahead works well. We were unable to find dried cherries and substituted a combination of tart cherries and cranberries. The substitution works.

  • Yerevan tongue salad

    • rmardel on December 24, 2016

      Excellent salad, slightly tart and refreshing with subtle flavorings. I could eat this by the bowlfull.

    • mcvl on October 01, 2018

      Needs more oil for mouthfeel, otherwise seems too naked. Lovely combo with tongue.

  • Beef stew with onion and tomato (Kharcho)

    • mcvl on October 07, 2020

      I have several recipes for kharcho on my bookshelf; I mostly followed this one, but with the addition of fresh sour plums from Jane Grigson's Fruit Book. Good, but I would like the liquid thickened.

  • Classic pomegranate-walnut chicken stew (Fesanjun khoresh)

    • sarahkalsbeek on July 13, 2018

      This is AMAZING! I think I might either process the walnuts less (so they are chunkier) or grind them finer. We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it turned out great.

  • Kurdish golden rice (Birinji zerde)

    • Delys77 on February 03, 2022

      This was a great recipe. I did use the pressure cooker as a short cut and it worked very well. I sautéed the onion in the pressure cooker than add the spices and then the rice. Once all was in I added the broth and cooked for 3 minutes on high pressure with a 15 minute natural release. Lovely accompaniment to kebabs.

  • Persian rice pudding (Shir berenj)

    • mjes on June 03, 2018

      First time making kheer with broken rice as suggested in the recipe. As for congee, broken rice works perfectly for this pudding. I used a rich Jersey milk that was not homogenized, a choice I'll repeat. This is a very good, mildly flavored rice pudding that we all loved.

  • Tea from the Caspian

    • mjes on June 03, 2018

      This lightly spiced tea (I used Dragon Well green) is an ideal accompaniment for the Persian rice pudding from this cookbook. I choose a thin rosewater raisin cookie (nan-e keshmeshy) recipe from Omid Roustaei to complete the course.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    Naomi Duguid is the goddess of cookbooks guiding us through new countries with her words and recipes.

    Full review
  • Food52

    The 2017 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, Quarterfinal Round: Samarkand vs. Taste of Persia

    Full review
  • Food52

    The 2017 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, First Round: Taste of Persia vs. Tasting Rome (video review)

    Full review
  • Eat the Love

    Persia is one of those culinary destinations that is only just getting the respect and attention that it deserves, and this cookbook is the perfect introduction to it.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1579657273
  • ISBN 13 9781579657277
  • Published Sep 05 2016
  • Page Count 401
  • Language English

Publishers Text

Though the countries in the Persian culinary region are home to diverse religions, cultures, languages, and politics, they are linked by beguiling food traditions and a love for the fresh and the tart. Color and spark come from ripe red pomegranates, golden saffron threads, and the fresh herbs served at every meal. Grilled kebabs, barbari breads, pilafs, and brightly colored condiments are everyday fare, as are rich soup-stews called ash and alluring sweets like rose water pudding and date-nut halvah.

Our ambassador to this tasty world is the incomparable Naomi Duguid, who for more than 20 years has been bringing us exceptional recipes and mesmerizing tales from regions seemingly beyond our reach. Nearly 125 recipes, framed with stories and photographs of people and places, introduce us to a culinary paradise where ancient legends and ruins rub shoulders with new beginnings—where a wealth of history and culinary traditions makes it a compelling place to read about for cooks and travelers and for anyone hankering to experience the food of a wider world.

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