A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking

Najmieh K. Batmanglij, Author Mage Publishers $17.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-934211-54-3
Rose petals, angelica powder, barberries and dried Persian limes are among the unusual elements that will awaken Western palates in the fare served up by chef and teacher Batmanglij (New Food of Life). Before presenting an array of recipes aimed at the adventurous cook, she notes that the cuisine of Persia (known as Iran, since 1935) is akin to Chinese in that it is thousands of years old. Some dishes, such as Shish Kabab and other skewered meals, are familiar, but many will be decidedly exotic to the uninitiated: Pistachio Soup is based on the nut with a name derived from a Persian word; Sweet and Sour Stuffed Chicken boasts a filling of onion, garlic, prunes, apples, dried apricots and cinnamon; a spice rarely used in this country flavors Grilled Fish with Sumac. Thirteen braised dishes known as khoreshes include Rhubarb Khoresh, which can be made with either chicken or red meat. Most Persian rice dishes are cooked so that a savory golden crust, known as tah dig, forms on the bottom. Desserts include Rose Water Rice Pudding and a labor-intensive Baklava. Cooks accustomed to simple recipes will find other complicated offerings, such as Jeweled Rice, but most are not overly intimidating. Color photos and a dictionary of terms and ingredients are helpful, as is a resource guide to groceries and restaurants. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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