Louisa Shafia

When cookbook author Louisa Shafia visited Persia she discovered authentic flavors, a deeper connection to family and a new perspective on her identity.
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Plus, how to use each ingredient and where to find them.
Learn how this mother and daughter created a market for essential Sichuan ingredients—and get the recipes for some of their favorite dishes.
Three different ingredients make these hot-and-sour sweet potato noodles quite spicy. One of them, the green Sichuan peppercorns, can be tough to find and there isn't an easy sub, so leave them out if you like.
This fresh and spicy salad features fava beans, which besides adding heft to this radish salad are a main ingredient in the iconic chili bean paste of Sichuan province. Look for frozen favas with Hispanic foods or in the freezer section in your supermarket. If you want an even more substantial salad, just double the sauce and add cooked sweet potato glass noodles.
Mapo Tofu
Rating: Unrated
New!
Mapo tofu is a dish that has become popular outside its roots in Szechuan Province, China, perhaps because it is so adaptable. The type and amount of both tofu and meat can vary and even the spicy sauce can be tuned to the desired level of heat.
In China it's common to serve stir-fried greens with a dollop of oyster sauce often mixed with a little bit of mild vinegar. This riff doubles down on the sour by adding Zhenjiang black vinegar, which is full-bodied and pretty puckery.
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The thinly sliced potatoes (a mandoline makes slicing quicker if you have one) cook until just tender so they keep their shape, but if they do fall apart, they'll taste every bit as delicious.
Dry Pot Chicken (Gan Guo Ji)
Rating: Unrated
New!
"Dry pot" is a cooking method that comes from the very popular hot-pot meals where everyone selects their own ingredients to cook in a spicy communal broth. Dry-pot cooking often takes the same ingredients and spices but uses a stir-fry technique to cook them.
In China it's common to serve stir-fried greens with a dollop of oyster sauce often mixed with a little bit of mild vinegar. This riff doubles down on the sour by adding Zhenjiang black vinegar, which is full-bodied and pretty puckery.
The thinly sliced potatoes (a mandoline makes slicing quicker if you have one) cook until just tender so they keep their shape, but if they do fall apart, they'll taste every bit as delicious.
Dry Pot Chicken (Gan Guo Ji)
Rating: Unrated
New!
"Dry pot" is a cooking method that comes from the very popular hot-pot meals where everyone selects their own ingredients to cook in a spicy communal broth. Dry-pot cooking often takes the same ingredients and spices but uses a stir-fry technique to cook them.
A platter of herbs, scallions and feta is typically served alongside Persian meals in lieu of a Western-style green salad. This salad is a riff on that, with pomegranate seeds and cucumbers mixed in. Read more about this recipe.
Grilled Liver Kebabs (Jigar)
Rating: Unrated
New!
Made with just about any kind of meat, kebabs are classic Iranian street food. Lamb is the predominant red meat eaten in Iran, and its liver is a delicacy. Lemon, garlic and fresh basil nicely balance the liver's mineral flavor. Read more about this recipe.
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The bottom layer of this rice pie is all tahdig--the delectable, crispy golden rice that is the highlight of an Iranian meal. Cooking the pie on the stovetop before it goes into the oven gives the rice its signature crunch. Read more about this recipe.
A flavorful stuffing made with tangy tamarind and aromatic herbs is a great foil for this mild fish.
This delicious chicken stew is traditionally made with sour oranges, which are prolific in Iran—if you find them, use the juice of two in place of the citrus called for here.
Borani, a Middle Eastern yogurt dip, can be made with anything from spinach to eggplant to carrots. This recipe gets its shockingly pink color from grated beets. Make it ahead--the longer it sits, the better it tastes. Read more about this recipe.