Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana

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Am I bored of Bake Off?  Just a little tired, so I thought I’d give you this unusual review post of some recipes from a best-selling cookbook.  With the recent success of Ottolenghi’s works and Middle Eastern food experiencing more and more popularity in the UK, I thought I’d buy my first cookbook in a long time to learn about the buzz.  Also Sabrina Ghayour seems so nice having seen her on her early appearance on Come Dine and then more recently on Saturday Kitchen to promote the book, her introductions to the recipes are a nice addition.

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First of the recipes I tried was the pomegranate soup, I omitted some of the sugar as the juice and molasses were enough for my taste.  Really flavourful, this hearty soup had the best of everything in it, meatballs, rice and a generous load of herbs, I bet it’s massively healthy too.

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When the spice-perfumed shoulder of lamb was cooking it smelt incredible, I overdid the spice as I used the same quantities for half a shoulder and swapped rose petals for rose water, which I don;t think are interchangeable!  Nonetheless it was a great alternative slow-roast, accompanied with the turmeric and cumin roasted potatoes.

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The spiced lamb Kefta recipe was the best of the recipes I tried, spiked with juicy sultanas like the non-traditional M&S kofta.  I made the Cacik to accompany the Kefta, cucumber, plus yoghurt and plenty of dill and garlic, a tastier alternative to tzatziki or raita.

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With all recipes, you use your own judgement and adjust to the tastes you have, so I think I won’t follow the book measurements religiously but it’s perfect to reference when in need of flavour combinations (especially vegetarian food, though I’ve only showcased meat dishes here).  Also the quantities are for family sharing, eating a few the book’s dishes so keep that in mind if you’re reading it in fear of how many herbs and spices are required, I’ve learnt to half them if cooking for a small crowd.  This book deserves its place on my go-to cookbook shelf, I look forward to trying out some more of the recipes.

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