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
Illustration of two birds flying through flowery branches
More salads coming soon!


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
Illustration of two birds flying through flowery branches
Ab-Gusht Chelo coming soon!

Rice Dishes

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

Persian white rice
Chelo (Basic Rice)
Herbed rice on a plate
Sabsi 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

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

Beef stew in a bowl
Tos Kabob
Gormay sabsi on a plate garnished with yogurt
Gormay Sabsi

Miscellaneous Main Dishes

A few delicious outliers!

Cutlet and vegetables
Shami (Cutlets) & Torshee
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
Illustration of two birds flying through flowery branches
More desserts coming soon!