Salamati: Hamed’s Persian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Iran to the Other Side of the World, written by Hamed Allahyari, features an incredible collection of Persian recipes for every occasion and time of day along with beautiful photographs and memories. A few highlights include Khakhorma (Date Omelet), Sosis Bandari (Persian Hotdogs), Ash Reshteh (Noodle Soup), Tahchin (Layered Rice Cake), and Bastani Sonnati (Persian Ice Cream). I will also be sharing his recipe for Kotlets (Persian Burgers) following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Interlink Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Hamed is a cooking instructor, recipe developer, and social entrepreneur. He was born in Tehran and a chef and restaurateur before migrating to Australia.
Hamed is now the founder and director of SalamaTea, a social enterprise Persian fusion café & restaurant, in Melbourne with a focus on employing/training refugees, new migrants, and asylum seekers.
This is his first cookbook.
Hamed begins Salamati with a short introduction and how he developed his passion for food. I especially love how he has connected notable recipes in the book to specific stages of his life from Iran to Melbourne.
Chapters are divided according to the following: Brunch; Dips & Snacks; Appetizers, Sides & Street Food; Salads; Soups; Mains; Mains- Vegetarian; Pickles & Preserves; Sweets; and Drinks.
The guide to Persian food culture will be particularly helpful for beginners along with the descriptions of essential ingredients and cooking techniques.
Hamed has also put together numerous menu ideas for summer banquets, street food feasts, weekend barbecues, Persian New Year (Nowruz), and more.
The photography is provided by Armelle Habib. Most of the recipes are accompanied by a beautifully styled, full-page photo of the finished dish.
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in romanized Persian and English. Each recipe includes a headnote with background information, personal stories, prep and cook time, yield, serving ideas, and helpful tips.
Kotlets (Persian Burgers)
This recipe for Kotlets (Persian Burgers) is Hamed’s mother’s version. They are packed with flavor and easy too with a handful of ingredients and about 40 minutes in all.
Ground meat (I went with beef, but you can also use lamb or chicken) is combined with grated potatoes, garlic, onion, turmeric, salt, and pepper, then the mixture is formed into individual patties.
The patties are pan-fried until golden on each side, then served with tomato, cucumber, and fries.
Hamed mentions you can use the Kotlets to make a wrap with Khiar Shoor (Persian Pickled Cucumbers), tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
Finely grate the potatoes, onion, and garlic to help them blend with the ground meat. Adjust the salt as desired.
I also made the Feta Omelet, Persian Makaroni with Tahdig, Khagineh (Sugar Pancake), and Chai e Zafaran (Saffron Tea).
The Feta Omelet is an easy and fantastic addition to brunch. Egg whites are paired with crumbled feta and cooked just until set with a swirl of the egg yolks over the top. Serve with Noon Lavash and Sabzi Khordan (herb platter).
The Persian Makaroni with Tahdig was such an incredible meal. My Tahdig still needs some work (I was nervous about burning and could have let it fry a bit longer), but we absolutely loved the flavors. Thin angel-hair is tossed in a savory mushroom tomato sauce. The mixture is then arranged over thinly sliced potatoes and cooked until crispy around the edges.
The Khagineh (Sugar Pancake) was Chad’s favorite. This sweet dessert (or breakfast) has a ground walnut flour base and is soaked in a sweet spiced syrup before serving with a sprinkling of rose petals and pistachios.
There are a handful of wonderful drink options in the last chapter of the book. I started with the Chai e Zafaran (Saffron Tea). This comforting drink pairs black tea leaves with saffron threads, cardamom, and honey.
Salamati is a great pick for those interested in Persian cuisine. There are options for every occasion from easy weeknight meals, lunch, and brunch to street food and celebrations. The Mains chapters are separated between meat and vegetarian options.
Many of the ingredients are readily available in larger American grocery stores. Having a market with Persian/Middle Eastern items nearby will be helpful in locating verjuice, sumac, nigella seeds, vine leaves, golden raisins, pomegranate molasses, fenugreek leaves, rosewater, and saffron.
Kotlets (Persian Burgers) Recipe
Excerpt from Salamati
Kotlets (Persian Burgers)
- 1 pound 2 ounces (500 grams) ground beef or lamb or use ground chicken
- 2 potatoes peeled and grated
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 1 yellow onion grated
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) vegetable oil
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced cucumber
- French fries
- Combine all of the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl and, using your hands, mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Take a fistful of the mixture and shape it into a burger patty. Set aside on a tray and repeat to make 10 patties.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Working in batches, add the burger patties and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through to your liking.
- Serve the kotlets with sliced tomato and cucumber and a side of hot fries.