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Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year Spiral-bound – February 4, 2008

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Combining a cookbook format with straightforward, informational text, this amply illustrated title offers a detailed introduction to the history and customs surrounding Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Beginning spreads cover the holiday’s historical roots and traditional preparations, outlined in clear explanations and activities broken down into highlighted steps. Later pages focus on recipes, starting with safety cautions for both adults and children. From flatbreads to fish strips to Popsicle desserts, the featured dishes adhere to international kid tastes. The covered spiral binding allows pages to remain open while cooking, and the uncluttered, attractive format, featuring color photos of kids in the kitchen and whimsical illustrations, will attract interested browsers. Much more than just a recipe collection, this compendium of customs and cookery about a holiday rarely covered in books for youth will be of great value. Grades 4-8. --Gillian Engberg

Review

"Combining a cookbook format with straightforward, informational text, this amply illustrated title offers a detailed introduction to the history and customs surrounding Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Beginning spreads cover the holiday's historical roots and traditional preparations, outlined in clear explanations and activities broken down into highlighted steps. Later pages focus on recipes, starting with safety cautions for both adults and children. From flatbreads to fish strips to Popsicle desserts, the featured dishes adhere to international kid tastes. The covered spiral binding allows pages to remain open while cooking, and the uncluttered, attractive format, featuring color photos of kids in the kitchen and whimsical illustrations, will attract interested browsers. Much more than just a recipe collection, this compendium of customs and cookery about a holiday rarely covered in books for youth will be of great value." --Booklist, Gillian Engberg
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Mage Publishers; 1st edition (February 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193382316X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933823164
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Najmieh Batmanglij was born and raised in Iran. During her childhood, her mother wouldn't allow her in the kitchen. "Concentrate on your education," she would say. "There will be plenty of time for you to cook later in life."

Najmieh came to America in the 1960s to study at university and would cook Persian food with fresh local produce using recipes sent by her mother in letters. Her housemates loved the food she made and encouraged her to cook all the more. Little did she know that the American food revolution had just begun. Later, when Najmieh returned to Iran with her master's degree in education in hand, her mother welcomed her into the kitchen and started to work with her.

At the end of 1979, as the Iranian Revolution took a more fundamentalist turn, Najmieh and her husband fled to France, where their first son Zal was born.

It was in France that Najmieh decided to follow her passion for cooking. With the help of her friends and neighbors, she wrote her first cookbook, Ma Cuisine d'Iran.

In 1983 she and her husband emigrated to America, where she gave birth to their second son, Rostam, and wrote her first book in English, Food of Life.

Najmieh has spent the past 35 years cooking, traveling, and adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. She has been hailed as "the guru of Persian cuisine" by The Washington Post. Her Food of Life was called "the definitive book on Iranian cooking" by the Los Angeles Times. Her Silk Road Cooking was selected as one of the 10 best vegetarian cookbooks of 2004 by The New York Times; and her book From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table won the Gourmand Cookbook Award for the best wine history book of 2007.

Najmieh is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches Persian cooking, and consults with restaurants around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Marling on March 18, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
... and for adults like me who want to have fun in the kitchen!

A beautiful book to share with the whole family. "Happy Nowruz" gives you everything you need to celebrate the arrival of spring and the Persian New Year -- kid-friendly recipes for pomegranate popsicles and cinnamon date buns, the history and traditions of the celebration in Iran, the laying of the Nowruz Table with decorated eggs and goldfish (a symbol for the beginning of creation).

A bounty of refreshing ideas for drawing the family together. A perfect blend of cooking, art, poetry, mythology and all the stuff of life worth celebrating with the people you love.

I followed the Lubia Polow (a red rice and chicken dish) recipe with my roommates to great success. Everyone loved it! (and thought I was a culinary genius)

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a good time making delicious food!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. K on April 29, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I love that this cookbook has traditional recipes and information about the Persian New Year. The photos and descriptions are terrific. My only complaint is that some of the recipes have ingredients that are not easy to come by, and no substitutions are noted (nor is there info on whether some of the minor, hard to find ingredients could be omitted, if necessary).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Geena on April 4, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I really like the book - the easiest to use of all of her cook books. As the mother of two children with an Iranian father, this book really helped us to incorporate celebrating Nowruz into our family traditions. The bean soup (ash-e resh-te) recipe was great. We made the cream puffs and that turned out delicious (couldn't get the temperature reading she suggests, but they were fine anyway). I also made red rice with green beans (a childhood favorite of my husband's) - we loved it. Regarding the recipes here are a few tips:
1. the author always stipulates way more onion than necessary, so cut it by at least half.
2. You can leave out the saffron - the recipe will still be good.
3. You can substitute sour cream for Kashk (whey) - I do this all the time in the eggplant dip.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jnazar on April 3, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
I have been celebrating NooRooz with my Persian family for 27 years. This children's book is beautifully written with the meanings and symbols of the holiday explained. The recipes are authentic and the illustrations of the children cooking make this a wonderful family book. My children are grown now, but I bought this book for my daughter, who is expecting her first child and set up her first Haft Sein in her own home this year. I know she will enjoy using it with her family in years to come.
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By Afkham Davis on March 24, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
As a teacher, I have been talking about Spring with my kindergarten class, and I came across Najmieh Batmanglij's book "Happy Nowruz". What a delight it is! It's colorful, filled with different easy-to-cook recipes, and the ingredients are easy to get hold of. The pupils in my class especially enjoyed the illustrations of children cooking. We prepared many of the recipes, including cream puffs, pomegranate popsicles, and raisin cookies. The children had a wonderful time cooking, as well as eating each and every one of the foods we made. And they loved sprouting and taking care of their lentil seeds in the egg shells , to make Nowruz Sabzeh. This is a terrific book for youngsters and their teachers!
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By Neilu on June 22, 2013
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
As a cook and a cookbook collector, I was very excited to get this book, expecting to be like all other books of Mrs. Batmanglij; unfortunately not so well. It looks like fabricated plan with some great recipes ( repeated in her other books) with some very unusual crafts trying to make this festivities as much as possible American. I guess it was meant to be good but not meeting my expectation.
Not much recommended as her other books.
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By B. Randolph on April 5, 2008
Format: Spiral-bound
This is yet another wonderful persian cookbook from Ms. Batmanglij. I have three of her other books, and each one is full of fantastic recipes, beautiful photographs, and lovely cultural information. This book is no different. This is be very helpful in learning to celebrate Nowruz with my daughter (my husband is Iranian) for years to come. We already made the haji firuz cookies!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK I cheated I bought this for myself, figuring that my skill level as a non-Persian adult was probably on about the level of a Persian child. And I was right! This is a great book if you want to dip your toe in the charming New Year customs of the Persian world (Iran, Afghanistan, Kurdistan) with recipes that are easy to follow.
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