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Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies Hardcover – Mar 3 2011


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Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies + Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook + The New Persian Kitchen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Mage Publishers; 25th Anniversary (4th) edition (March 3 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781933823478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933823478
  • ASIN: 193382347X
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 22.5 x 4.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Batmanglij, an Iranian emigre who is a culinary historian, effectively weaves Iranian cookery with ancient Persian legends and poetry (unfortunately, many appear sans attributions or dates), and descriptions of traditional ceremonies and holidays. The author serves up a variety of delicacies, such as an eggplant with pomegranate appetizer; stuffed fruits or vegetables, or dolmeh, like grape leaves or apples stuffed with peas and meat; lamb's head and feet soup; omeletskookoofilled with meat, vegetables or herbs; lamb brochettes; stuffed fish with tamarind; sauteed brains; rice with sour cherries; rhubarb stew; mango pickles; carrot preserves; baklava; and hot and cold drinks. The uncomplicated recipes feature preparation and cooking times; lists of Iranian specialty stores in the U.S., and necessary kitchen equipment and ingredients for a Persian pantry, and a Persian-English glossary are included. Illustrations.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Najmieh Batmanglij was raised in a very traditional family in Iran. She has spent the last 20 years cooking, researching and collecting authentic Persian recipes. Her books include: Ma Cuisine d'Iran (Paris, 1984), Food of Life (Mage, 1986), and Persian Cooking For A Healthy Kitchen (Mage, 1994). She is currently working on a vegetarian cookbook. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am an American who loves many kinds of ethnic cuisine. When I married my husband (who is from Iran), we received this book as a wedding gift. The first dish I made was the fresh herb stew, which is my husband's favorite. He was so delighted with how it turned out, he said, "It tastes very much like what my Mom used to make!"
The directions for each recipe are clearly written. There are beautiful pictures, interesting tidbits and cultural info scattered throughout. It is THE book I turn to when we have Persian gatherings at our house, not only for the recipes but also for learning about the culture.
I have made many of the recipes in this book and they have all turned out wonderful. I recently made Halva (saffron brownie) which is served in memorial of the passing of a loved one. Our guests could not believe the American wife could make great tasting Halva! Many of the Persian wives either don't know how to make it well or say it's too difficult to bother with. Thanks to the author for helping me to impress our guests!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was first introduced to Iranian cooking in college while living with an Iranian roommate and fell in love with Persian cuisine. Every dish I have prepared out of New Food of Life has become a favorite in my repertoire of recipes. Many recipes are time-consuming, but well worth the effort, similar to the philosophy of French cooking. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good food and loves cooking. This book is also filled with beautiful photographs, artwork and interesting information about Iranian culture and traditions (esp the last section of the book, which details traditional ceremonies and holidays), which also makes this a nice reference for people interested in Iran's rich culture and history. This is one of my favorite cookbooks. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By agarcia@crl.ucsd.edu on Aug. 10 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the best cookbook I own. Its layout is clear and simple. The recipies are easy to understand and clearly written. It is the most complete book I've ever seen. New food of life explains how to prepare fresh spice mixtures for it's own dishes, includes variants for different ways of preparing each dish, contains nice photos which help for presentation ideas, contains conversion tables for ovens, weights and measures as well as historical notes and even a list of Persian markets in the US. This is easily one of the most valuable cookbooks you will ever buy. It's definitely worth the money!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 10 2003
Format: Hardcover
I consider this book as one of the best cookbooks of all time, and let me just say that I have read a lot of cookbooks in my day. Its recipes, photos, stories and passion for cooking make it an outstanding work. The author knows what she is talking about and mixes her know-how with a love for food and culture. Not only does one learn how to make a meal but also how to enjoy it and where it comes from. There is nothing phony or forced about this cookbook. It is mouthwatering to read and allows me to make mouthwatering dishes for my family and my friends. Kudos! And I think everyone should have a copy and give one out as a gift. I received this book as a gift and cannot think of a better present. It's a door into a whole new world. Thank You.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. N. Tarpley on June 12 2003
Format: Hardcover
As past reviews indicate, this is a really reliable, thorough cookbook. Iranian friends have admired everything I've fixed. It's especially useful to compare recipes in this book with the different versions found in "Persian Cooking For A Healthy" Kitchen. The spicing is sometimes slightly different and you can learn a lot just by seeing the possible variations.
As a passing note, I would say that when preparing the chelo in a rice cooker you can easily omit the oil. Virtually all of the butter must remain, however. (You can safely reduce the amount by 2-3 tablespoons.) Where water is called for, in the various stews, I use stocks.
The little-known (in Iran) khoresht-e zereshk is one of the best dishes in the book. And VERY Persian. It's a stew version of the far more famous zereshk polo, and slightly similar to fessenjoon, as well. Even strangers who have fixed it for guests have told me that it received rave reviews. The invariable joke is "how does an American know about this dish and WE don't?"
This book has made me an expert at Iranian cuisine. (Now all I need is a recipe for baaghaali ghataagh!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 23 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having been raised in a Persian household in the US, I have been spoiled by my mother's virtuousity in the kitchen. Persian cuisine is at once powerfully exotic, subtle in its combinations of flavors and, on the whole, extremely healthy. I set out, about a year ago, to find the "definitive" persian cookbook and after trying more than I care to mention, I found "New Food of Life." I have faithfully followed Ms. Batmanglij's recipies and have been thrilled by the results. (Mom even gave it the thumbs up) The author gives terrific "troubleshooting" tips, provides a list of regional grocers where one can find certain hard-to-locate spices and enriches the cooking with insightful literary references from the culture. Merci Ms. Batmanglij!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derek Poulin on Aug. 10 2000
Format: Hardcover
My fiancee is Persian but has been living in the U.S. since she was 5. I bought this book so that we could enjoy some of the dishes that she fondly remembered from her childhood - dolmehs, khoreshes, and polows that her aunts and grandmother would make. When she opened the book and started reading, her eyes lit up! It was like she was reconnected to her past. And since then, we've been enjoying this book immensely! It's huge, it's complete, and it's awesome. Buy it!
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