Katayoon’s Kitchen

Persian recipes from my great-grandmother

Welcome! Here I present (and cook my way through) three dozen recipes my mom, Nura Amerson, learned from her grandma Katayoon Shahrokh. Each of the pages of this e-cookbook includes the recipe written by Nura in her “Persian Recipe Sampler” in 1991 along with my reflections on making the recipe, and, in some cases, my sister Jasmine’s comments on making a vegetarian version.

To view a page, click on the associated photo below. I recommend starting with the Introduction (immediately below), which explains the recipes’ history.


Illustration of two birds flying through flowery branches
A Multigenerational Persian Recipe Sampler


In our family, we would usually have a basic lettuce salad or salad containing cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, lemon, and oil with our Persian suppers. However, we also enjoyed several other Persian salads. These salads may constitute a large portion of a noontime meal.

Yogurt salad in a bowl
Masto Khiar
Spinach yogurt salad in a bowl
Borani Esfenaj
Beet salad
Borani Chogondar


Ash is a general term for very thick, hearty soups, and is made in many varieties. Ab-gusht is a soup that is more broth-like.

A bowl of ashe reshte (meatball soup)
Ashe Reshte
A bowl of soup with mash in the middle
Ab-Gusht Kubideh
Hot cereal with cinnamon and butter
Halim (Hot Cereal)
Beet Ash
A bowl of soup with rice
Ab-Gusht with Chelo

Rice Dishes

Rice is an art in Persian cuisine, which features a variety of delicious pilafs.

Rice with fried potatoes
Chelo (Steamed Rice)
Herbed rice on a plate
Sabsi Pilau
Lima bean and dill rice pilaf
Bagali Pilau
A plate of pilaf
Istanbuli Pilau
Rice and chicken on a plate
Shirin Pilau & Lemon Chicken
A plate of addas pilau and meatballs with parsley and paprika-adorned yogurt
Addas Pilau & Meatballs
A plate of saffron rice
Saffron Rice
Kabob patties on top of rice
Chelo Kabob

Stews (Koresh)

Koresh, a general word for meat-vegetable stew, is served over plain white rice (chelo). These stews taste even better when served the second day, as the flavors blend over time.

Stew over rice with french fries on top
Koresh Gamay
Stew and rice on a plate
Koresh Karafs
Apple stew and fresh apples
Koresh Sib
Spinach stew on rice
Koresh Esfenaj
Beef stew in a bowl
Tos Kabob
Gormay sabsi on a plate garnished with yogurt
Gormay Sabsi
Walnut stew over rice
Stew with eggplant
Koresh Baddemjan

Miscellaneous Main Dishes

A few delicious outliers!

Cutlet and vegetables
Shami (Cutlets) & Torshee
Grape leaf wraps
Kuku in a pan
Kuku Lubia


Persian desserts are very aromatic, and often include cardamon, rosewater, saffron, and almonds. Nura’s favorite is baklava, a very dense and sweet layered pastry which her grandmother (Katayoon) masterfully baked. 

Rice cookies decorated with pistachios and dried cranberries
Rice Cookies
A diamond-shaped pastry on top of patterned cloth.