Here Is Your Complete Go-To Gift Guide for Norooz!

For the Chef:

1. “JOON: Persian Cooking Made Simple

I keep buying this book, then keep giving it away as a gift to the first person who admires it on my bookshelf. Many people love Persian cuisine, but it is often too intensive and complex for casual chefs (even of the diaspora) to master. Najmieh Batmanglij extracts the centrality of Persian cuisine and imaginatively dilutes 75 recipes into easy-to-follow and easy recipes. The book also features many vegetarian options!

Joon means “life” in Persian. It can be used in multiple ways, from a term of endearment akin to “darling” after someone’s name to showing great enthusiasm: “I love it!” The expression nush-e-joon, literally “food of life,” is similar to the French “bon appétit,” a wish that a meal will be enjoyed.


2. “Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan

This book is the winner of the IACP Award for Best Cookbook of the Year in Culinary Travel (2017). It’s also named Best Cookbook of the Year by The Boston Globe, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times writes that a “Taste of Persia” is“A reason to celebrate . . . a fascinating culinary excursion.”

The description reads: “Though the countries in the Persian culinary region are home to diverse religions, cultures, languages, and politics, they are linked by beguiling food traditions and a love for the fresh and the tart. Color and spark come from ripe red pomegranates, golden saffron threads, and the fresh herbs served at every meal. Grilled kebabs, barbari breads, pilafs, and brightly colored condiments are everyday fare, as are rich soup-stews called ash and alluring sweets like rose water pudding and date-nut halvah.

Our ambassador to this tasty world is the incomparable Naomi Duguid, who for more than 20 years has been bringing us exceptional recipes and mesmerizing tales from regions seemingly beyond our reach. More than 125 recipes, framed with stories and photographs of people and places, introduce us to a culinary paradise where ancient legends and ruins rub shoulders with new beginnings—where a wealth of history and culinary traditions makes it a compelling place to read about for cooks and travelers and for anyone hankering to experience the food of a wider world.”

3. “Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus

The description on Amazon reads: “Over hundreds of years, various ethnic groups have passed through this city, sharing and influencing each other’s cuisine and leaving their culinary stamp. Samarkand is a love letter to Central Asia and the Caucasus, containing travel essays, beautiful photography and recipes that are little known in the West that have been expertly adapted for the home cook. There is an introduction to the region (explaining the ethnic groups — Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russian, Turkis, Koryo-Saram, Jewish, Caucasus, Afghan) with a useful pantry of essential ingredients, followed by an array of delicious dishes. These include Lamb Kebabs with Cinnamon, Cloves & Hot Hummus, Pumpkin Stuffed with Jeweled Rice, Pomegranate & Vodka Sorbet and the all-important breads of the region — non, flatbreads and pides.”


4. Saba Jam

Saba Jam infuses the vibrant flavors of the flavors of the Persian kitchen into succulent jams ready to brighten up you noon or paneer, PB&J, or cheese plate! All jams are made in small batches with organic and local fruit. Flavors include: Persimmon/Star Anise, Quince/Cardamom, Tomato/Saffron, Peach/Earl Grey, or design your own! Custom order only.