Inspired by her passion for her homeland, this TV chef spanned Iran collecting recipes for her colourful cookbook that conjures up the true flavour of that fascinating land.
Tell us about your latest cookbook.
I started writing Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Ramily Recipes 10 years ago, but got sidetracked. It was eventually published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster and launched at Bloomingdale’s Home in Dubai.
What inspired you?
My grandparents and parents. It’s a sort of love letter to them and to Iran itself.
How did you research it?
I sat and exchanged recipes with the female members of all the families I knew in Iran, from my own grandmother to our housemaids who have been with us for 50 years and are amazing cooks.
How does your book influence people’s view of Iran?
It gives them an insight into Iran that they never had before and that’s exactly what I hoped. It has shed a lot of light on a very misunderstood country and people. Iran’s architecture, poetry, religions and ethnic groups make for a formidable country. Iranians are warm and generous and their food has influenced so many cuisines. Did you know Iran is the world’s biggest exporter of saffron and pistachios?