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236 Reviews
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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will impress your Persian friends!
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...
Published on March 15, 2004

versus
56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best for beginners...
I realize that I'm the only 3-star review for this book but I would strongly urge those new to Persian cooking to pick up Batmanglij's A Taste of Persia. Granted, this book is beautiful and the history is very useful. However, I found a lot of recipes useless due to the scarcity of a number of ingredients--and I'm a regular Sadaf customer. Furthermore, I find that I...
Published on July 18, 2009 by jaxgev


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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will impress your Persian friends!, March 15, 2004
By A Customer
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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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference on Persian cuisine, March 31, 2000
By A Customer
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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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect choice for those who eat with their eyes, April 9, 2000
By A Customer
The food of Iran is rich and varied and embraces some of the most sophisticated dishes to be found anywhere. This beautifully produced cookbook provides recipes for a wide range of mouthwatering creations for every occasion, from quick appetizers and snacks to slowly cooked, robust stews and exotic desserts. Readers may find some of the ingredients called for, such as angelica, barberries, unripe grape powder, sahlab, and quince blossoms, hard to find, but most staples are readily available at Middle Eastern groceries and well stocked supermarkets. There is much pleasure to be derived from merely looking at the stunning illustrations, which is reason enough to want to own this book.
I also wish to recommend "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen," by Sonia Uvezian. This is a cookbook unlike any other and indispensable reading for lovers of Middle Eastern cuisine.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Persian CookBook Ever., August 14, 2005
I bought this book for my wife 8 years ago (1997). since my wife is not an iranian, she uses this book to cook persian food and i must say that every dish she make using this book is a master piece, because it is very easy to underestand even to someone that is not an iranian. instruction is very easy to underestant and the dishes are not greasy like other cook books (rosa montazami).
The color pictures of all dishes is included so you'll have an idea what is going to look like. we bought it for $45.00 but now you can have it for much cheaper price. there are many persian deserts also included in this book. this is the best persian cooking book i have ever seen or heard in my life.

Update Nov, 21, 2010:
We are still using this book and despite of publication of other cook books , This one remain the best of what we have. And to make the dishes more healthy, now we are using Olive Oil instead of Corn or canola. Of course the problem of Olive oil is, Olive oil can Not take so much tempreture. But we love using this book and Extra Virgin Olive oil. It has been over 13 years that we're using this cook book.

Update April 13, 2012:
Still after about 15 years of having this cook book, this is our most favorite cookBook out there. I just LOVE this cook book.:)
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book authentic flavours, June 27, 2006
This has become the most consulted cookbook in our household. My Iranian partner loves to cook and he regularly spoils our guests with beautiful Persian dishes overwhelming them with the variety of colours and flavours of his home country. The beauty of Iranian food is in the diversity of flavours. Fresh herbs, aka sabzi are served with most meals. The ways of cooking eggplant are stupendous and once you serve the eggplant dip to your friends or enjoy a fresh herb kuku - an omelette made with an amazing amount of fresh herbs you will wonder why you haven't always eaten persian food. Iranian cooks don't use djheera, chiles or other spices often used in Middle Eastern/Arabian food - ie if you own books on Moroccan/Lebanese/Egyptian, Israeli/Turkish/Greek cuisine some of which are closely related buying this book will add a totally new dimension to your collection, with few overlapping recipes. Iranian food is not hot the spices bring out aspects of the single dish components that will wow you. Saffron is used a lot and fresh herbs find their way into everything, I recommend you plant your own if you plan on cooking a lot of Iranian food.

This exquisite book celebrates Iranian culture and food, it contains many recipes, beautiful pictures and information on ceremonies, poems and lists of herbs and vegetables, listing both the farsi and English names, which is helpful when seeking ingredients. There is only one problem

- the times given to prepare the meals are generally wildly optimistic, ie where the author states 40 min preparation time, you will need A LOT MORE, but then cooking Iranian food the Iranian way (my partner makes 5 different dishes when we have one couple over.........) is time consuming and not for the hurried, ie tie your apron and prepare to relax in the kitchen.
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best for beginners..., July 18, 2009
By 
jaxgev (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
I realize that I'm the only 3-star review for this book but I would strongly urge those new to Persian cooking to pick up Batmanglij's A Taste of Persia. Granted, this book is beautiful and the history is very useful. However, I found a lot of recipes useless due to the scarcity of a number of ingredients--and I'm a regular Sadaf customer. Furthermore, I find that I have to reference A Taste of Persia to get more clarity on some recipes. For example, certain recipes specify "cook" but don't indicate heat level which can be frustrating for those of us new to Persian cooking (and cooking in general). I've also found a number of typos--some which I've verified with A Taste of Persia and others which I've verified with Batmanglij herself. I love how she presents variations of dishes but I wish she would offer guidance for downsizing recipes--we often have enough food to feed an army and it ends up going to waste. All in all, this book is a great keepsake but not always as practical as some of her more recent, updated books.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Top 10 Best Cookbooks of all Time, November 10, 2003
By A Customer
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many mistakes!, November 6, 2011
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I bought the book to try the pastry recipes and it has really disappointed me. There are typos and mistakes in the amounts and ingredients. Such as saying egg yolk instead of egg white (p:282) or saying the dough will rise when there is no Leavening agent in the recipe (p:284). It might not make a big difference in savory dishes, but for pastry details matter. I just wish better proofreading was done.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book, January 27, 2005
By 
Amanda Williams (Beverly Hills, CA USA) - See all my reviews
I grew up on my parents' homemade/authentic Persian food and found myself missing it terribly when I moved out on my own. This book not only gives me all the best easy-to-follow recipes, but also information on Persian culture, folklore, and tradition. When I showed it to my family, they loved it so much that they bought their own copies I bought this book because I needed a crash course in Persian cooking! I use this book often even though I have most of the recipes memorized. The photography is absolutely beautiful and I enjoy thumbing through the pages of colorful recipes and learning some of the Persian traditions and ceremonies (very handy). Our favorite recipes are Nazuk.

[...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cook Book Around, August 10, 1999
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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Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij (Hardcover - March 3, 2011)
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