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Jun 15, 2008 09:56 PM

Teach me about authentic Persian cooking

So, my new favourite restaurant is Persian. I've been loving the spicing and flavourings, but have only the vaguest idea as to how to recreate these dishes at home.

Cookbook recommendations? Treasured family recipes you care to share? (I've found some stuff online, but have no idea how authentic any of it is.)

I'm looking for recipes for (what I understand to be) traditional dishes like Kabab-e Koobideh, Maast-o-Khiar, Khoresht-e Fesenjaan, etc. Dessert recipes would also be great.


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  1. I have three Persian cookbooks(I used to have 4 but the one I started with, "In a Persian Kitchen" by Mazda didn't survive when I was culling my cookbook collection a few years ago.) Quite a bit of Persian cuisine is pretty easy(khoresh and khorak are hard to mess up), so don't let your unfamiliarity with cooking Persian deter you.

    I think my top recommendation would be "Persian Cuisine: Traditional, Regional, And Modern Foods" by Ghanoonparvar(
    )It's a hardcover, comprehensive, and has quite a few color photos. The recipes are good but not overly intricate.
    Second choice would be "New Food of Life" by Batmanglij. Another hardcover with very nice photos. The recipes are fancier and tend to have longer ingredient lists(and occasionally rarer things like ground angelica, bitter orange juice, or rose petals).
    Third choice would be "Persian Cooking" by Ramazani. Recipes are similar to those of the Ghanoonparvar book, but it's paperback with no photos.

    I've had success with all three, but the Ghanoonparvar book is the one I use most often.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chimayo Joe

      I was given "the New Food of Life" by a Persian roommate at college. I used to go to her home for all the high holidays, and fell in love with Persian food that way. She said this cookbook was the closest she found to the recipes her mother followed. Not the same, but similar. I find after making a couple recipes that I can use them as a guide, knowing that I like less lime juice, more apricots, etc. I also like the the khoresh (stews) can be made with different meats. I recommend the lamb, prune and carrot khoresh, the herb khoresh, and the classic Persian dish, fesenjan (chicken with pomegranate and walnuts). Mmmm.