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Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride

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Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride

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Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride
And Other Kosher Sephardic Recipes You Will Love!
By Reyna Simnegar
Feldheim Publishers, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58330-325-2

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - March 14, 2011

Some cookbooks are meant more to be read than to be cooked from, with just a few recipes scattered among the narratives. Others are simply utilitarian books that offer nothing but page after page of recipes. Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride, by Reyna Simnegar, is the perfect melding of these two forms, a cookbook chocked full of unique and mouth-watering recipes interspersed with hints, tips, and stories from the author about her cooking experiences, her family, her adventures and Persian food in general. To make this cookbook even better, it is filled with more than 100 eye-popping colored photographs of many of the dishes described within the pages of this gift quality cookbook.

The recipes in this cookbook are divided into thematic categories covering Appetizers and Side Dishes, Fish and Soups, Poultry and Meat, Persian Rice, Dairy Foods, Egg Dishes, and Snacks, and Persian Beverages and Desserts. There are also sections dealing with what you need to know to cook 'Persian' in your kitchen along with a primer on Persian ingredients and cooking techniques. You'll also find a Persian Holiday Tutorial, along with insights in Persian Kosher cooking and the various minhagim (customs) practiced by Persian Jews, and a short history of Iranian Jewry.

If you are not familiar with Sephardic or Middle Eastern cooking, you may find that some of the techniques and ingredients used in this cookbook are strange to you. Never fear, they were strange to Simnegar as well, as she is from Venezuela! So she takes nothing for granted and explains all the cooking steps in detail, provides ample information on the spices and seeds used in Persian cooking and unique products and gadgets used in Persian and Middle Eastern cooking. She has also provided lists of vegetables, grains, legumes, and other items that are commonly used in Persian cooking, along with alternatives if you cannot find the required item in your area. For instance, she states that you can use black sesame seed and nigella seeds interchangeably, or onion seeds if you cannot find either.

Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride is a unique and must-have cookbook for all Kosher keeping households, and for anyone interested in Middle Eastern or Sephardic cooking. A sampling of the recipes that you'll find in this cookbook include: This cookbook is perfect if you want to give your Purim celebration a touch of authenticity, or to enliven any Yom Tov with something new or unique. It is also a great cookbook for gift giving, and for those just setting up housekeeping. Best of all, no matter what your background, Sephardic, Ashkenazic, or simply Texan, you'll find a wealth of recipes in this cookbook that are sure to become family favorites!

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