cover image Yogurt & Whey: Recipes of an Iranian Immigrant Life

Yogurt & Whey: Recipes of an Iranian Immigrant Life

Homa Dashtaki. Norton, $40 (280p) ISBN 978-0-393-25453-2

Dashtaki, founder of the White Moustache yogurt company, debuts with an edifying and delicious exploration of Zoroastrian cuisine and the many innovative uses of yogurt and its usually discarded by-product, whey. Whether taking center stage in recipes for labneh (“the creamy yogurt cheese you get from straining yogurt for a full day”) and kashk (“soured, dried yogurt balls that last for years”) or playing a supporting role in condiments (including whey-fermented kimchi), stews, rice, and meat dishes, the eponymous ingredients prove to be amazingly versatile. A lengthy and detailed introduction transports readers to the author’s homeland of Iran, stating that the collection connects her family, food, and business “across time and place.” This claim rings true, with dishes that will be less familiar to American palates, including fesenjan (“an ancient, celebratory stew”) and parsi sev (breakfast noodles), as well as some more familiar items such as blueberry muffins and pancakes. The thorough introduction to yogurt-making itself examines key decisions such as which milk to use and whether to strain. Dashtaki proves a skilled and thoughtful writer, and her reverence for the dishes she offers makes this a treat. (Mar.)