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Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey Paperback – November 5, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Iranian-born Batmanglij, author of several other books on Persian food, has spent a good part of the last 25 years traveling the ancient "Silk Road," the spice and trade route from China through the Middle East to Italy. Because of economic realities, the fare native to those countries has been vegetable-based, so Batmanglij concentrates on that here, though her book will certainly appeal to nonvegetarians as well. She presents diverse and wide-ranging recipes, both familiar and exotic, from Alexandrian Spicy Fava Bean Spread to Afghan Garlic Chive Ravioli, among many others, set against a background of culinary and cultural history. More than 250 color photographs, including some great portraits of people whom Batmanglij met in her travels, furnish additional context. Strongly recommended.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"One of the ten best vegetarian cookbooks of the year" -- The New York Times

Batmanglij speaks with the confidence of someone who grew up with Silk Road cooking -- The Washington Post

Cooking [Batmanglij] says is all about sharing…She lives and works by this creed -- Smithsonian Magazine

Presents diverse and wide-ranging recipes both familiar and exotic. Set against a background of culinary and cultural history. Strongly recommended. --Library Journal



Like a good novel -- once you start it's hard to put down. It is ideal for those who like to read cookbooks as much as cook from them....The recipes also pack a punch...I felt a genuine thrill as I cut into the golden dome of phyllo encasing a filling of vermicelli and rice flecked with apricots, almonds and raisins and seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom and rose water. ---- New York Times

Offers armchair travelers and adventurers alike a delectable voyage of discovery into ancient eating habits and history...The recipes' fragrant mixtures of tastes and textures are tempting even to read...The pages are filled with discoveries that resonate in contemporary cooking, and enhance our understanding of cultural differences and similarities that bind us together by way of the food we eat. ---- Associated Press
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Mage Publishers; 2nd edition (November 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933823402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933823409
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NAJMIEH BATMANGLIJ, hailed as "the guru of Persian cuisine" by The Washington Post, has spent the past 30 years cooking, traveling, and adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. The 25th Anniversary Edition of her book Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies was called "This summer's most coveted tome" by Vogue. Her Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey was selected as "One of the 10 best vegetarian cookbooks of the year" by the New York Times; and her From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table won the Gourmand Cookbook Award for the world's best wine history book of 2007. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches Persian and Silk Road cooking, and consults with restaurants around the world. Her most recent book is Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It has beautiful pictures, and the receipes are easy and delicious.
Ludia Sarmast
Najmieh Batmanglij's Silk Road Cooking is a valuable addition to the great treasure house of Silk Road culture.
xiaopo huang
If you love to cook, this book will inspire you and add variety to your repetoire.
M. Whitney Keen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By "cakirogn" on September 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was fascinated by all the earlier books by Mrs. Batmanglij but her latest book has a special place in my heart. I cannot do enough to highlight this book's difference from the majority of other cookbooks that are out there.
This is not only a flawless book with a vegetarian approach, but its approach is one of great originality: The beautiful recipes are accompanied by even more beautiful pictures and stories of the land and its people. It leaves us with so many great choices to try, designed to fit any situation: Georgian Stuffed Tomatoes for a warm a fall evening, and Sweet and Sour soup for a cold winter night.
Unlike many other cookbooks, this book takes us to the world it is borrowing its recipes from: the Silk Road, a world where different culinary cultures are and have been connected to each other, crossing the mountains and deserts of Central Asia to connect East Asia and the Mediterranean. In a way not known to many of us, the Silk Road was an important cultural crossroads and this book celebrates that.
Get this book, and you will not only have gotten a great cookbook with recipes of wonderful tasting recipes covering a great part of the world, but you will also be exposed to a beautiful culture - more so a mix of many cultures- that you will be able to see through the beautifully placed stories and pictures.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Marlyne Sahakian on September 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is simply magical and quite unique. It carries you on a timeless culinary journey from Genoa to Shanghai, weaving in the mystical writings of Rumi, beautiful pictures of local people, anecdotes that make the rich heritage of the Silk Road come to life, and recipes with pictures that -- well, you just might start smelling the pages.
This is my third cook book by Mrs Batmanglij and I'm so happy to finally have a vegetarian approach to some Middle Eastern and oriental recipes. Not only will you learn about wonderful and creative dishes, you are guaranteed a flawless recipe, uncomplicated and easy to follow.
Get ready to take a long and wonderful journey with every bite. You'll be under the spell the second you open the book...
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Strawn on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
The author obviously spent a great deal of time researching the book, as it is full of not only fascinating recipes, but descriptions of their history, legends of the Silk Road, and a great array of photos of the dishes and of various culinary practices of the highlighted cultures. Great fun to skim through even when you're not prepared to cook anything.

Everything I've made from the book has been delicious. That being said, there are numerous recipes with ingredients that are either difficult to find outside of the region the dish is from (such as unripe grapes), or ones that will take up space in your pantry forever because you only use them for one or two recipes (pomegranate paste, ground angelica petals, and so on). A free hand with substitutions is vital and fortunately the author has provided details about this in the glossary in the back.

This book is a great accompaniment to the first CD in The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By xiaopo huang on September 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Najmieh Batmanglij's Silk Road Cooking is a valuable addition to the great treasure house of Silk Road culture. With remarkable insight, a wealth of facinating information combined with beautifully nuanced stories of the land and its people, the author takes us along with her on this most rewarding journey of culinary discovery.
I have the pleasure of collecting all of Najmieh's cook books over the years, and I have tried many of her recipes in this and other books with joy and pride. In this book, the Silk Road is not a fabled tale of exchanges of wealth between the East and the West, but something we can see, we can touch and we can taste! In a cool night, make yourself a bowl of that simple and cozy Beijing Hot& sour noodle soup; or try Persian noodle soup garnished with garlic, onion, mint and yogurt, my favourate winter treat. To your perfect lunch/dinner party, complete it with Najemieh's Georgian rice salad with tart cherries or Amoli rice salad with barberries. They are easy to make, pretty to look at, taste wonderful, and they are absolutely great crowd-pleasers at any parties.
Get the book, try the recipes yourself and you will get that I-can-do-it-too joy and pride.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Linda Hedrick on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is delicious! There are excellent photos of both the dishes and the different areas and peoples of the Silk Road, The text is interesting, with information about history, cultures, cooking techniques, and food items. I appreciate that the recipes are not complicated or particularly labor-intensive. I have tried three so far, and all three were hits. I have a large collection of cookbooks, but if I had to start all over again, this one would be one of my first buys.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Seidler on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am grateful to this book and its author. First, it offers seductive and splendid recipes which are clear and have resulted in wonderful meals. Additionally, it is an introduction to the food cultures of these many regions, and clarifies to some extent the distinctions and also the ways culinary approaches and ingredients have moved through cultures.

So far I have been most intrigued by the Persian dishes and had a VERY successful dinner party featuring the cauliflower kuku (a spicy fritata-sort of dish), the Shirazi saffron polow with spinach(a baked dish with layers of rice and spinach with prunes and pine nuts, held together with a fragrant saffron custard that has bits of candied orange peel). I served these with the pomegranate and cucumber salad, and followed up with the wonderful pistachio cake (subtly flavored with rose water and orange zest). Everyone was very happy and well-fed.

I have tried other recipes in the book, too, and always been pleased. Enjoy. And begin to feel more connected to the great big world.
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