The Persian plate

Persian food is simple, fresh and delicious, says Iranian-born Sabrina Ghayour, who specialises in adapting Middle Eastern recipes for home cooks in other regions


These three recipes are a great starting point for an insight into the subtle flavours of Persian cuisine. We use a lot of citrus, herbs, and fresh and simple flavours in our cooking – which makes it just the kind of food that you can happily add to your repertoire and still please everyone. There is nothing excessively spiced or too heavy, it’s all simple, fresh and delicious.

I have adapted some of the recipes in my bpook, Persiana , to make them into dishes that you will enjoy cooking at home again and again, no matter how much or how little time you may have. There is something to suit everyone.

Iran and the Middle East have so many wonderful dishes, some known and some lesser known, but all absolutely packed with flavour, using ingredients that are readily available in supermarkets.

Joojeh kebab is the most famous chicken dish in Iran. Usually made using poussin, grilled over a coal barbecue, it remains succulent and tender and the lemon and saffron marinade makes for a delicious marriage of flavours. But we don’t all have barbecues, so I came up with this recipe and I think it’s the next best thing to grilling/barbecuing.

Shirazi is a staple at almost every family meal or feast. The ingredients are simple and its clean flavour makes it a perfect pairing with grilled meats, stews and rice dishes. I love adding pomegranate for an extra burst of flavour and colour.

Salad Olivieh is a classic picnic dish and usually made with just mayonnaise, I like to lighten it with the addition of yoghurt and some fresh coriander. But the core flavour remains the same and it is one of my favourite salads of all time.

We also slap it in between bread and eat it as a sandwich filling. Not sure how good that is for the waistline, but it is so satisfying.

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