Friday, 18 May 2012

Pomegranates and Roses by Ariana Bundy

 More than a cookbook...
 review by Maryom

To say Pomegranates and Roses is a cookbook is an understatement. It's really a lavishly illustrated celebration of Persian life and cookery that will transport you straight to the Arabian Nights.
Yes, it is full of delicious-sounding recipes that I for one am longing to try, but interspersed with family memoirs, notes on Persian customs and culture and the Unani philosophy that blends cooking and medicine. Ariana Bundy was brought up in pre-revolution Persia and brings that era to life with her many memories of  watching, fascinated, in her grandmother's kitchen, of country feasts, colourful Persian weddings or sitting under the pomegranate trees drinking hot fragrant tea.
Having said that, it isn't a book to lie neglected on the coffee table.The recipes aren't difficult and for the most part don't require special, hard-to-obtain ingredients - some of them may require a trip to the specialist shelves of a large supermarket but most will be found easily, perhaps even already in your kitchen cupboard. It's just the way things are combined that makes the difference - for example chicken cooked with oranges and saffron, or baked eggs with chicken,nutmeg and cloves. There are simple salads, slow-cooked stews, drinks and preserves, even kababs to liven up the BBQ.
Pomegranates and Roses is a gorgeous, fascinating book even if you don't try out the recipes but do! They're exotic enough to be tempting but not weird enough to be off-putting. the best way to test recipes is to get in the kitchen and make them.  I'm intending working my way through, probably not very quickly, and posting the results on my Maryom's Home Page blog 

Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Non Fiction, Cookery

Buy Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes from Amazon


  1. Believe it or not, I saw this book in a local bookshop today. I was wondering whether I should but it for a friend who loves cooking, and you have made up my mind for me. Hopefully she'll make me one of the chicken recipes.

    1. Careful - you might feel tempted to keep it yourself.....