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The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Armed with little more than a notebook and a bottle of pomegranate molasses, and fueled by memories of her family's farm in the lush seaside province of Gilan, British-Iranian cook Yasmin Khan traversed Iran in search of the most delicious recipes.

Her quest took her from the snowy mountains of Tabriz to the cosmopolitan cafés of Tehran and the pomegranate orchards of Isfah
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Bloomsbury (first published July 14th 2016)
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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 ·  226 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this cookbook! It's one of my favourites and I enjoyed reading Yasmin's personal stories throughout the book. The Persian Love Cake is a must try! It's so simple to make and so delicious. The Shirazi Salad is also great. If you want to know more about Persia or are curious about the culinary delights of this country, be sure to check this book out. ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent cookbook! I feel like I have been searching for a Persian cookbook for years, and never quite connected with the others I have read. Ms. Khan's recipes are approachable, attractive, and perfectly suit my wishlist combination of classic Persian recipes with ingredients I understand and can find. I am going to make a chickpea soup for dinner tonight, and eggs with spinach later this week. And the desserts! Oh my goodness. I want to make *every one* of her dessert recipes right this mi ...more
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The recipes are incredible, all gathered from scads of locals showing off regional specialties, but I am not joking when I say this is 5-star just as a travelogue, even if you do not cook. Who gets to 100 pages of Iranian stories, legends, travel and tales? Yes it makes each recipe come alive as well, but the story with each recipe by themselves are just a treat for which I am so grateful. This is a passport as well as a cook book.

My only regret is I bought waaay too many Persian limes at the st
Stephen Simpson
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
All around, an excellent cookbook.

Too many cookbooks that interweave personal stories/histories become bogged down by them, but this is a rare case where it makes it superior and offers pleasant interludes between the sections. The pictures are likewise good; I'm not a cook that cares too much if cookbooks include recipe photos, but these are quite good.

The recipes themselves are excellent. They work and they're tasty (well, assuming you like Persian food ... and if you don't, why are you even
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
As much a travelogue as a cookbook, this was full of stunning photographs and great stories about the author's travels. The recipes, however, seemed a bit intimidating to try at home, both from an ingredient standpoint and a technique one. ...more
Sydney Legg
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Where has Persian cuisine been all my life? So many great recipes and lovely snippets about popular ingredients or techniques in Iran.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second Persian cookbook that I’ve reviewed in two months; my third if you count the Middle Eastern cookbook that had recipes some Persian influenced recipes in their collection. The first book set a very high bar: it had gorgeous photographs, great recipes, and educational interludes about travel in the greater Persian region. It was a wonderful introduction to Persian cuisine. My hope was
"There is nothing speedy about this recipe, but sometimes the best dishes come to those who wait." [Stuffed eggplants Dolmeh, p.146]

What a lovely book! It is full of page after page of immediately bookmarked recipes, each one very personally introduced with a brief memory of Yasmin Khan's travels and/or family life in Iran.

There are four things that were somewhat startling: 1.) Yasmin Khan recommends using tinned pulses, rather than soaking them overnight; 2.) several recipes call for "cilantro
Jill Blevins
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obviously written by a scholarly, brilliant artist of the written word. That said, as someone who enjoys reading memoir-laden cookbooks for the memoir aspect alone, this was one I just couldn't latch onto and feel excited or compelled to finish. The recipes are stunning but I'll never cook any of them. They do open a huge, beautiful, richly-curtained window into a deep and historical culture, and that is worth wading through all the (in my simple mind) overly elaborate descriptions on the memoir ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-g, f, cookery-food
The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen is a lovely collection of Persian recipes, simple enough to be recreated at home with little fuss, and with some great photographs for how to make Persian Rice (a favorite of mine and my family's).

The flavours are traditional Iranian ones, and the recipe directions are clear and easy to follow. This is a cookbook for the home cook, who wants to try some new flavours without the intimidation of mastering a new cuisine or cooking style.

I especial
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As a home cook born and raised in northern Europe, I've been exposed to little, if any, Iranian cooking. Even during my time living in London and New York I somehow avoided tasting any food from the Persian tradition. But even as such a novice of this cooking style and flavors, this book has blown my mind! It somehow manages to both be helpful to a beginner, and a very sophisticated journey into the kinds of kitc
roxi Net
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: roxiown, roxicook
An incredibly beautiful cookbook. Amazing photos, background of Persian Food and culture, and recipes. I thought I was fairly familiar with Persian food, but this book proved I wasn't as savvy as I thought I was (and I'm okay with it!). The Persian cupboard description was wonderful and I was so happy to find an "Easy naan bread" recipe that I will be trying out this week; I've tried several recipes and nothing works for me (maybe I have to take in consideration that it might just be me!). I'm a ...more
Marisa Manghelli
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Beautiful pictures. And the stories are wonderful, and remind me of some of the stories my family have shared from their time living in Iran. Yasmin Khan is a very evocative writer. I had to force myself not to read this when I was hungry, because then I would end up depressed that I couldn’t try the recipes RIGHT NOW since I don’t regularly stock half these ingredients. I’m definitely planning to get a physical copy for myself, and it might just show up as Christmas gifts for half my family too ...more
Gem ~ Bee
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book featuring delicious Persian recipes with very detailed and comprehensive instructions but also written with amazing stories of the author's own childhood and family memoried as well as tales collected from her travels around Iran dining with families. Beautifully presented with colourful photography and design this is a stunning book to have on your shelf as well as packed with delicious ideas for dining. As a vegetarian I loved the variety of veggie and vegan dishes featured an ...more
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late August.

Nutritious, nurturing, highly descriptive, and colorful, Khan weaves life and freshness into her recipes (particularly those of kuku, herbed meat dishes, and decadent desserts). A must, must, must-have for aficionados of all cuisines, not just Persian and/or Iranian.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The only cookbook I've ever encountered that made me feel safe and reassured even when facing complicated cooking challenges. The recipes never hid how much time and effort was actually involved, and there was a coherent narrative throughout the book that made me feel as though I were participating in Khan's journey and her sensory experience. ...more
Labiba Khan
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the recipes in the middle of the stories/background of Iran. I learned more about common ingredients we see in Persian dishes - specifics of how and why they are used. As an avid reader and cook, these stories hold my fascination. I'm looking forward to incorporating some Persian cooking techniques in the Pakistani - American dishes that come out of my kitchen. ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful photographs and interesting recipes There are combination of spices that i have never thought to try . I am a vegetarian and there are a couple in here for my to try. IF you have never had Persian Rice you must! I think i have made it six times already
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. Nice pictures of the food and life in the places the author was visiting. But the stories really feel the nature of the culture of Iranian food. Can't wait to try the recipes! ...more
Diana Bliss
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I copied several recipes into my person recipe box. It's a beautiful book with easy to follow recipes and lovely descriptions of the different regions of Iran. ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I reviewed this cookbook on my blog
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simultaneously had me jumping into the kitchen to cook (homemade naan!) and think about when I should travel to Iran. A truly amazing cookbook filled with stories and travels.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Another wonderful cookbook from Khan, which offers a glimpse into the rich and varied Iranian culture. Iranian cuisine is as varied as the country is large, and the interest is in the regional differences in ingredients and spices. One will have to order some of the spices online, but it is worth it to achieve an authentic flavorful dish. Vegetarians will appreciate that more than half the recipes are meatless, and carnivores will be surprised that they don’t miss the meat. Khan has modified rec ...more
Pamela N.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Gem of a CookBook

I have studied art and the art of cooking almost my whole life. I have collected and used cookbooks from nearly every culture and country, as well as corresponding ingredients and spices. But I lacked a good Iranian cookbook, and wondered what I would find in this one.

Well, I am not only impressed, can hardly wait to get into the kitchen to try some of the recipes I've bookmarked. It will be fun to use some spices and ingredients have been waiting their turn.

But what really
Africache Gastineau
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was listening to the podcast Fierce and on the first episode she mentioned Ms. Yasmin Khan and her books. So I looked them up and decided to start with this one. Needless to say I have bookmarked several recipes and will start making a list on things I can make in Freetown Sierra Leone where I am currently working.

The book is a great combination of stories interwoven with the recipes and the instructions seem easy enough even for the not so switched on cooks like myself.

I purchased this on K
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love every story,every cultural insight of the this book. Divided to regions of Iran and its habitat,life and iconic food is word journey you will embark upon. Growing up seeing documentaries about The Silk Road,Iran or Persia remains and still is a curious spot in my mind. Such a good read this book !
Sue Heaser
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I simply adore this book! It is a beautiful object, the cover is just luscious. And inside, a feast for the senses. Brilliant writing about one of my favourite parts of the world and superb recipes. This book is an experience, not just a cookbook. Thank you Yasmin.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful book to cook from. I made my first persian rice and it turned out wonderful. The instructions were great and although the recipes were authentic it wasn't difficult to source the needed ingredients. A joy to cook from :) ...more
Yeganeh Attari
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Way more than just a cookbook.

At the heart of all the recipes is a common thread: a celebration of a side of Iran that never makes the headlines but that is central to its story -its amazing food.
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Yasmin Khan is a best-selling and award-winning author, broadcaster and campaigner, who is passionate about sharing people’s stories through food.

Her work sits on the intersection of food, travel and politics and her critically-acclaimed books, The Saffron Tales and Zaitoun, use everyday stories to human connection to challenge stereotypes of the Middle East.

Yasmin has worked as a presenter for BB

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