Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journeyby Najmieh K. Batmanglij
This book is at once an exploration, a celebration, and a little-known tale of unity. It presents 150 delicious vegetarian dishes that together trace a fascinating story of culinary linkage. As renowned cookbook writer and teacher Najmieh Batmanglij explains, all have their origins along the ancient network of trade routes known as the Silk Road, stretching from China in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. On this highway moved not just trade goods but also ideas, customs, tastes and such basics of life as cooking ingredients. The result was the connecting and enrichment of dozens of cuisines. In Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey, Najmieh Batmanglij recounts that process and brings it into the modern kitchen in the form of recipes that are venturesome and yet within reach of any cook. They are intended for vegetarian, partial-vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike-anyone who is looking for balanced, unusual and exceptionally tasty dishes.
The book offers a wealth of information derived from the author's extensive research and her travels along the Silk Road during the past 25 years. She complements the recipes with stories, pictures, histories of ingredients, and words of wisdom from her favorite poets and writers of the region. The scope of her culinary journey of discovery is vast-from Xian in China, to Samarkand in present-day Uzbekistan, to Isfahan in Iran, to Istanbul in Turkey, and to the westernmost terminus of the ancient trade routes in Italy. Her recipes-all of them personal favorites-include such exotic yet simple fare as Sichuan Crispy Cucumber Pickles; Afghan Boulani, a savory pastry stuffed with garlic chives; Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Salad; Kermani Pistachio and Saffron Polow with Rose Petals; Chinese Hot and Sour Tofu Noodle Soup; Turkish Almond and Rice Flour Pudding; Uzbek Candied Quince with Walnuts; and Sicilian Sour Cherry Crostata. Fortunately, all the ingredients for these recipes can be obtained at local supermarkets and farmers' markets. In recent years America has become a kind of modern Silk Road, where wonderful ingredients from all over the world are available to everyone.
About the Author:
Najmieh Khalili Batmanglij was born and raised in Iran, and received her master's degrees in education and art in the United States and France. During the past 25 years she has traveled across much of the ancient Silk Road region, working with regional chefs and home cooks along the way. She is a leading authority on Persian cuisine and the author of the best-selling New Food of Life, described by the Los Angeles Times as the definitive Iranian cookbook. She has taught and lectured at numerous cooking schools across the United States and is currently living in Washington, DC, where she teaches master classes on Silk Road cooking.
- Mage Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.90(w) x 11.76(h) x 1.10(d)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I bought this because I read about it in Steppe magazine, and thought it sounded interesting. It turns out to be VERY interesting, but also a really useful cookbook for family cooking. My family is enjoying every recipe I try. She is good about explaining ingredients that may not be common, and good at explaining how to do things. The flavors are delicious, and the dishes are satisfying. We are slowly moving towards being vegetarians, but not so far along, so I would say that these dishes are satisfying for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. We have mostly been cooking the "heavier" casserole type dishes as the weather has been cold, but I look forward to trying the salads as well. Everything we have tried has been delicious, and well explained.
Not the average cookbook, this one offers richly illustrated recipes along with the history of the Silk Road, how the interchange of ideas and cultures flowed along it, and how the food of the regions took on its own interpretation.