Friday, 30 May 2014

Persian meatballs for Cook the Books: Funny in Farsi

cookthebooks The current (but not for much longer, this is a last-minute post) Cook the Books Club selection is Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas.

A warmly funny memoir of her life growing up as an Iranian immigrant to America, I found this a very pleasant read. Even the parts that had the potential to be quite painful were told with a kindness and generosity of spirit that I found really winning.

The only downside, and it was a significant one in light of this book club, was that there wasn't nearly enough food. She refers to dishes quite often, but this is not the sort of memoir that contains long, loving, mouthwatering descriptions of family feasting. And since Persian cuisine contains a great many things that I absolutely love, that was a real loss for me!

Fortunately, Sabrina Ghayour, a UK-based foody of Iranian heritage, has just put out her first cookbook, Persiana. Now, I haven't actually acquired the book yet (it's on the list, but I have to make some space on the shelf before I get it!) but The Guardian ran a selection of recipes last month, and I knew that my Cook The Books meal would be constructed from that selection. I also knew there would be rice.

I made Sabrina's delicious lamb and sour cherry meatballs: what she says about kneading the mixture to make light meatballs works brilliantly. I also made her tomato salad with pomegranate molasses. I served it on a bed of buttery saffron rice, with a grated carrot salad (flavoured with cumin and orange flower water) on the side.


11 comments:

June said...

Wow, that meal looks amazing! Love the tomato pomegranate salad, I'll have to try it sometime. :)

Debra Eliotseats said...

Alicia, this is the perfect recipe for the book. I am so ignorant of Persian recipes that the Persiana book sounds amazing. I am checking out that link. (Really, it looks delicious!)

The Cat's Mother said...

Inspirational! Now I know what to do with the lamb mince in the freezer :)

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Wow, those meatballs look fantastic. How I would love to have joined you for this meal!

Joanne said...

So much flavor infused into this meal!

Rachel said...

That is one aromatic meal you got going on there. Glad you enjoyed this lovely little memoir. And I am digging your new blog header photo!

Barbara said...

Love the idea of cherries with lamb...most unusual and it looks delicious!

grace said...

the food you've called out sounds magnificent and i love the look of the meatballs! this type of food is so unique.

Deb in Hawaii said...

What a gorgeous plate of food--I love the uniqueness of the sour cherries in the meatballs. With the rice and two refreshing salads you had a Persian feast! ;-)

Camilla Mann said...

I have a new cookbook on my wish list! Thanks for the recommendation...and the recipe.

Claudia said...

I am checking out that link as well, your combination of dishes looks just amazing. I was pretty disappointed with the way mine turned out, but maybe won't give up on Persian cuisine quite yet.

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