Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

My Cookbooks

Even with all my many cookbooks, I have no Iranian recipes in my repertoire. Nothing on my shelf, none at the library, and only a couple of Persian cookbooks on Amazon.com, which I wouldn't want to buy sight-unseen. However, I've found a pretty good source of Iranian recipes on the Internet. It's a website hosted by a couple in England who are both natives of Iran, and it appears that, as a labor of love, they have listed recipes for many traditional dishes. Here's a link to their Iranian Recipe Collection.

I also met with Michael Alimusa at Small World Restaurant. He asked our mutual friend Ali Rafiee, an Iranian native, to join us. Ali brought along his 8-year-old son Alexander, as well as a cookbook called A Taste of Persia. Over a late lunch of Lamb Gyros and Grilled Chicken Salad with Tahini Dressing, we looked at all the recipes and bookmarked their favorites. Alexander especially likes a dish called Ghormeh Sabzi, made with herbs, lamb, beans and potatoes. Ali also recommended a meatball appetizer called Koofteh Berenji, made with rice, ground meat, onions, walnuts and herbs; a soup called Aash-e Reshteh, made with noodles, whey and herbs; a yogurt-cucumber salad called Maast-o-Khiar; a variety of stuffed vegetables such as peppers and eggplants called Dolmeh; Shish Kababs, the traditional grilled skewers of meats and vegetables; a couple of Khoresht dishes to be eaten with Basmati Rice; and a variation of Baklava made with pistachio nuts for dessert.

The cookbook Ali brought was one he had borrowed from a friend, so I couldn't take it home with me. But he has promised to bring me a copy of my very own when he returns from a trip to his favorite Persian restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday. Can't hardly wait!