Best Persian Cookbooks
Iranian dishes or Persian food have been increasingly popular around the globe compared to the past. In recent years, many travelers and tourists travel to Iran to have an authentic experience. Moreover, the number of visitors who are looking for Persian cookbooks or cooking classes in Iran has increased. We have many inquiries from people who are interested in a one-day Persian Food Tour in Iran during their trip to the country. They would like to taste Persia through its delicious and nutritious traditional food, especially via Iran gastronomy tours. Some of them are also curious to know what the best Persian cookbooks are. They sometimes ask us for the best Persian cookbooks as souvenirs so that they can repeat their delicious experience in their home country.
Persian cooking has not been only about mixing ingredients and nutrition, but also about Persian traditional medication. Since Iran embraces various geographical regions, climatic conditions, and different groups of ethnicities with different cultures, it is an amazing destination for all foodies and gourmets. Regarding the popularity and complexity of Persian food around the world, some Iranian cooks and writers wrote Persian cookbooks for those who are interested in Persian cooking. They have tried to simplify the traditional Persian food, sometimes requiring a longer time to be prepared, as far as possible to make it suitable for the modern fast life and western kitchens. Below is the list of the top ten Persian Cookbooks in English.
Nush-e Jan! (It is the Persian expression similar to the French “Bon Appetit”, which you will hear commonly by Iranians at the dining table, during your travel to Iran).
1. Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
By Najmeh Batmanglij
This book, called “the definitive book on Iranian cooking” by the Los Angeles Times, provides 330 amazing classical and regional Persian recipes, and the readers are introduced to Persian art, history, and culture as well.
The book is an artistic result of years of collecting and testing authentic and traditional Persian recipes in a rich combination of food-related pieces from Persian classics such as One Thousand and One Nights, miniatures of Mir Mosavvar and Aq Mirak, poems by Omar Khayyam and Sohrab Sepehri, and humor of Mulla Nasruddin. The colorful photographs make the descriptions of Persian ceremonies, poetries, travelogs, and folktales more tangible for the readers.
All recipes have been presented in easy-to-follow steps, enabling enthusiasts in foreign countries to cook and enjoy the taste and balanced diet of Persian cuisine. For most recipes, a vegetarian section has been added for veggies too.
The author Najmeh Batmanglij was named among seven immigrant women who changed the way Americans eat by the New York Times on 16th November 2021. She has also been hailed as “the guru of Persian cuisine” by the Washington Post. She has been acknowledged by various American media and received several awards for some of her works.
2. Cooking in Iran: Regional Recipes and Kitchen Secrets
By Najmieh Batmanglij
This book reveals the main secret of Persian food: slow cooking, different cooking techniques, fresh ingredients, and spices. It offers easy-to-use step-by-step instructions on how Iranians artistically mix a variety of ingredients to make arty foods. Although the instructions are presented in a simple way to be practical for all readers, it is in fact an extract of five years of effort to explore and develop inviting recipes in different regions of Iran.
It will be more admirable if you know that a vast country like Iran with different climatic conditions, enjoys an amazing collection of ethnic groups with different ingredients, diets, and cooking styles.
The author invites the readers on a remarkable Persian food tour from the Caspian Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south; from the saffron fields in the east to the pomegranate and pistachio gardens in the center and even farther to the orchards in the west of Iran. She introduces over 250 traditional recipes and native ingredients in different parts of Persia. The book was selected as one of the best cookbooks of fall 2018 by The New York Times.
3. Persian Cooking for a Healthy Kitchen
By Najmieh Batmanglij
Persian cooking is straightforward and healthy, yet nutritious and colorful. It is the art of how to mix rice, herbs, vegetables, meat, spices, and other simple ingredients to create a delectable arty meal.
In this book, the writer gives 95 kitchen-tested Iranian recipes, combined with modern French Provencal food and contemporary American eating styles, to the enthusiast readers who would like to achieve a balanced diet. The recipes are easy to follow, each accompanied by a mouthwatering photo. They are low in fat and healthy yet tasty and nourishing.
4. The Enchantingly Easy Persian Cookbook
By Shadi Hasanzade Nemati
The book offers step-by-step 100 recipes with the authentic flavor of tempting aromatic Persian cuisine. The recipes are simple, easy to follow, yet interesting for both beginners and more experienced cooks. The levels of difficulty are also labeled for various readers with different cooking abilities.
Here, you will learn about preparing basic Persian ingredients, such as making saffron proper for rice and desserts, drying limes, and de-seeding pomegranates. You will also get familiar with the main Persian spices and ingredients accompanied by photos.
5. Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey
By Najmieh Batmanglij
This Persian cookbook is recommended especially for veggies since it presents 150 vegetarian recipes in nine sections including Salads; Soups; Eggs; Rice; Fruits and Vegetables; Pasta; Pizza and Bread; Pastries, Desserts, and Candies; Tea, Coffee, and Sherbets; and Preserves, Pickles, and Spices.
The author introduces the cuisines that originated in the geographical area of the ancient Silk Road– which extended from China in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. Since the old recipes are taught in a modern and practical way with ingredients that are available everywhere nowadays, everyone can cook them easily at home.
The writer presents the recipes according to her research and travels along the Silk Road. The recipes are accompanied by pieces of useful information on the histories of ingredients, short stories, colorful photos and paintings, and poems by the poets of the region.
The book was selected as one of the ten best vegetarian cookbooks of 2004 by The New York Times.
6. A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking
By Najmieh Batmanglij
In this book, you can read about a short history of Persian cooking, a collection of 100 recipes adapted for modern lifestyle from appetizers to rice and kebabs, Persian herbs and spices, as well as a dictionary of Persian cooking techniques and ingredients. Persia is the origin of one of the oldest cuisines in the world. Then, no wonder the variety of cooking and cuisines are so amazing! The recipes are offered in step-by-step instructions.
7. Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories
By Naz Deravian
Winner of the IACP 2019 First Book Award presented by The Julia Child Foundation
The book puts forward over 100 Persian recipes adapted to American kitchens with tantalizing photos. Through the book, the author tries to transport the reader to the world of colors and aromas in Persian cooking, from saffron and fresh herbs to the fragrant rose water. The best part of this Persian cookbook talks about one of the jewels of Persian cooking: tahdig- the crispy golden rice that shapes a crust at the bottom of the Persian rice pot.
The author also owns an award-winning Persian food blog: Bottom of the Pot.
8. Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple
By Najmieh Batmanglij
In this book, 75 Iranian old and authentic recipes, including food for vegetarians and vegans, are presented in a simple fast way to be adapted to the modern busy life. A variety of Persian foods ranging from healthy salads and sauces to delicious main dishes such as rice and kebabs as well as sweet desserts and aromatic dips and tasty spreads have been simplified and accompanied by photos, so that everyone, whether professionals or newbies, can give it a try at home.
Since Persian restaurants only serve a limited range of dishes that Iranians make at home, this book is a good option for those who would like to experience Persian kitchens.
9. The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen
By Yasmin Khan
- Winner of the M.F.K Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing from Les Dames d’Escoffier
- New York Times Best Cookbooks of the Year
- Wall Street Journal Best Cookbooks of the Year
- BBC Food Programme Best Cookbooks of the Year
In this cookbook, the writer offers 80 succulent Iranian recipes, covering a wide area of Iran from the snowy mountains of Tabriz (Kofte: meat and rice meatballs stuffed with plums and barberries) and green lands in the north of Iran (fesenjan stew: chicken with walnut and pomegranate) to the trendy cafes in Tehran the capital and southern part of Iran (ghalyeh maygoo shrimp and tamarind stew) with mesmerizing images.
She reveals the culinary secrets of Persian cuisine for all people who are interested in (trying) Persian food everywhere. The book is not just instructions for how to cook Persian food; it is stories from kitchens in different corners of Iran.
10. The Art of Persian Cooking
By Forough-Es-Saltaneh Hekmat
Covering 200 tasty traditional Iranian cuisines, the book is a collection of easy-to-follow nutritious Persian food. The book presents practical information on Iranian cooking history, recipes, as well as the dishes Iranians use to serve food.