Iranian World Cup Team 2014. Photo: Amin Mohammad Jamal, Getty images Iranian World Cup Team 2014. Photo: Amin Mohammad Jamal, Getty images

 

I wouldn’t call myself an ardent soccer fan, but for the past week I’ve been planning my schedule around Iran’s World Cup matches. When the team known as Team Melli (the National Team, in Farsi) won their World Cup-qualifying match against South Korea last year, I was working furiously to fill orders at Café Nadery, a Persian restaurant in New York’s West Village, where I had designed the menu. As per health department standards, I wore a bandana to keep my hair back, as did the female cook next to me. Every once in a while, the restaurant would erupt in raucous cheers, and we would peer out of the kitchen to glance at the large-screen TV, and at the roomful of (mostly) men who had gathered to watch. Separated from the men, with my head covered, and hearing the shouts in Farsi, I laughed to myself that I had been transported to Iran. My father was born and raised there, but I had never visited. [click to continue…]

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a_560x0 Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

 

It’s been quite a week, between Passover, Easter, Earth Day, 4/20 Day, and I’m going to throw in Norooz because it was just about ending when Holy Week was beginning. Between all of these holidays I’ve been doing a lot of cooking! [click to continue…]

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Norooz Dinner at Zahav in Food and Wine

April 1, 2014
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At the start of this year’s Norooz holiday, I went back to my home town to cook a dinner with the wonderful folks at Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. Lots of special people were there, including high school friends and family members. There were Iranians and Iranian Americans, “halfsies” like me, and people who knew nothing [...]

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Persian Raisin and Saffron Cookies for Norooz

March 13, 2014
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The Persian New Year, Norooz, is coming up on March 20, and it’s time to get baking sweet treats in order to conjure sweetness in the new year. You can hear me talking in depth about Norooz and food traditions on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman on last weekend’s show. This year I made [...]

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Food52 Piglet, Norooz in Philly

March 2, 2014
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Hey Folks, I’m very excited that The New Persian Kitchen has made it to the final round of Food52′s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks. (Update: The New Persian Kitchen took the top prize! Read about the decision, and check out all of the other wonderful contender cookbooks, on Food52.)

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Café Nadery in The New Yorker

January 27, 2014
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Last week I was on the phone with my cousin chatting about her recent trip to Iran. She spent the whole time in Tehran, visiting family. One day, she told me, she took the metro–yes, there is a metro in Tehran, I didn’t know either!–from the Northern end of the city to the center. She [...]

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Passport to Iran: How (and Why) I Struggled to Get My Iranian Citizenship

January 9, 2014
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Last month, the Islamic Republic of Iran granted me an Iranian passport, bringing to an end a trying application process that lasted almost exactly two years. As I imagine must be the case when applying for citizenship anywhere in the world, the procedure was frustrating, humbling, and seemingly illogical, to the point where it was [...]

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One Simple Change, and Winnie Abramson’s Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

December 19, 2013
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I’ve got a holiday present for you! One of my favorite bloggers, Winnie Abramson, ND, has written the excellent book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life. Winnie is the writer behind Healthy Green Kitchen, and the book expands on the inspiring ideas for healthy living that Winnie writes about online. I like it [...]

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A Persian Hanukkah Meal in Bon Appétit

November 27, 2013
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Do you still need inspiration for your Hanukkah—or Thanksgiving—feast? Check out the menu and slideshow for my Persian Hanukkah dinner at Porsena restaurant coming up on December 5. The folks from Bon Appétit came by Porsena one day last week, and Chef Sara Jenkins and I cooked up a preview of next week’s dinner. They [...]

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New Persian Kitchen Gift Box at Oaktown Spice Shop!

October 31, 2013
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Last week I visited the wonderful Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, across from Lake Merritt. I was not planning to do any book events in the Bay Area, I was just going to enjoy hanging out, but Oaktown co-owner John Beaver and I got into a prolonged twitter discussion about Persian spices, particularly the seasoning [...]

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