- Hardcover: 335 pages
- Publisher: Hardie Grant; Reprint edition (7 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1742705138
- ISBN-13: 978-1742705132
- Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 3 x 22.6 cm
Saraban: A Chef's Journey through Persia Hardcover – Import, 7 May 2013
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About the Author
Widely acclaimed as the master of modern Middle Eastern cooking, Greg Malouf has been the head chef in London's Michelin starred Petersham Nurseries as well as owning a restaurant in Dubai. Lucy Malouf is a Melbourne-born food writer and editor. Together with her former husband, Greg Malouf, she is the co-author of six award-winning cookbooks.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
- Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey about Turkish food
- Saha: A Chef's Journey Through Lebanon and Syria about Lebanese and Syrian food
- This book about Iranian food
These three excellent books follow the same format:
- A larger number of recipes from all over. Some simple, some more complicated. Some traditional, some more novel. Seem like a very balanced selection.
- Travelogue about some of the authors experience. This is actually well written so I don't think they've used a ghost writer. You can feel that the authors are passionate about their travel and their food
- Beautiful travel picture. The pictures really create a traditional atmosphere around the food. They are kind of romantic in that they focus of a time that has passed (e.g. cobble stoned streets, old cooking instruments, ruins). To me they are inspiring you to travel.
The books are quite pricey so you'll have to decide if they are worth the price. But in terms of content I really like all three of them. I have only give the books four stars, because what I feel is lacking is the depth of a local who really knows ingredients, regions, and recent food trends in the country. Having said this and if you buy all three books, you are able to contrast the different cuisines since the author is the same for all three books. A better book for Persian cuisine in my opinion is "Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies" (sorry product link doesn't work). I hope the authors write another book in the same style about the North African cuisine.
The book doesn't seem available in the US but you can easily find it in the UK
The book is profusely illustrated with photographs and a text that evoked images of different aspects of Persia.
In terms of recipes the book is divided in to 7 major chapters: the staples, small dishes, soups and salads, stews and sauces, grills and roasts, sweets and preserves. The ingredients in most of the dishes are freely available. Examples of dishes that appealed to me included the staples: little beef and cinnamon turnovers, classical Persian rice, jewelled rice, sour-cherry rice with lamb, Persian Gulf style shrimp and herb rice, baked layered rice with spinach and lamb; small dishes: Persian style Russian salad with tarragon mayonnaise, corn on the cob with sumac and lime-zest butter, fried eggplant with creamy sour sauce, eggplant and crushed walnut dip, Persian potato patties with garlic chives, savoury eggplant fritters; soups and salads: mortar and pestle soup with chickpeas, lamb and flatbread; stews and sauces: lamb and split pea stew; beef ribs braised with orange, chicken with saffron, yoghurt, raisins and pistachios, duck breast with 'fessenjun' sauce, giant meatballs stuffed with fruit and nut, golden seafood stew with Bandari spices; grills and roasts: marinated chicken wing kebabs with skewered tomatoes, offal kebabs with sumac, allspice and oregano, panfried trout with orange zest, cayenne pepper and sumc, tuna steaks with dried mint, oregano and sumac, Bandari spiced calamari with tomat and coriander sauce, yoghurt baked fish with walnut herb crumbs, slow roasted shoulder of lamb with jewelled rice stuffing; sweets: buttermilk ice cream with dried fruit compote, rhubarb and rose cream with rhubarb swirls, sparkling grape jelly with frosted fruit, profiteroles with thick fig cream, hazelnut-orange shortbreads, roasted dates in coffee syrup.
Needless to say, not all of the dishes are "genuine" Persian dishes; rather, some of them are created in the Persian style, often, I suspect thereby becoming more suited to a western palate.