Cookbook Inauguration Party-GIVEAWAY!!

The hardest part about having a cookbook inauguration party was not the prepping, cooking, planning or dedicating of books. The hardest part was that I was unable to have every single one of my friends attending. I actually wanted the whole Boston community to be part of my happiness. However, that proved to be impossible. Hence, I had to make the difficult decision of making a party that only included the people that directly participated in the making of this cookbook. The list alone was a large one…over 70 people were invited! Many guests were from out-of-town and were not able to join me. I know they really wanted to be here sharing in the simcha (happiness). Thanks to the many friends that attended for the whole purpose of this party was to honor your dedication, enthusiast and friendship!

I owe tremendous gratitude to my friends Alina Koyfman and Larissa Zaretsky for believing in me from the very beginning of this journey and literally holding my hand as I took the first steps in creating this book. I am forever grateful to Marina Karassellos for sharing with me her amazing talent and beautiful soul. Marina’s pictures are the very essence of this book. This work of art would not have been possible if Amanda Nugent had not put her heart and time into making it as Persian as a book written by a non-Persian bride could get! Joseph Yashar came to my rescue and designed, with much love, the beautiful website for this book. Maya Escobar made this book reach everyone on earth by designing the amazing blog I get to update myself, along with so much more support, instruction, and great suggestions. Many thanks to Macaela VanderMost and her team at MVM productions for the incredibly professional cooking videos you created for this book.

I am forever grateful to Miriam Schreiber and her daughter Estie Israel for helping me find Feldheim Publishers. This book would not be a reality without the tireless help and expert advice of Eli Hollander and the Feldheim family. There are no words that could acknowledge how much I thank Felice Eisner for editing my every word and thought. Her grace, love, and care went above and beyond the scope of this book. I am indebted to my friend Marcy Gilbert for proofreading every single page of this book with so much dedication. It is thanks to my cousin Channah Barkhordari that I was able to learn so much about the history of Persian Jews. May her research and findings for this book serve as a zechut to the memory of her saintly grandfather Lalezar Kohandarvish.

I have no words to thank Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Mrs. Miriam Krohn, and their daughter Genendal Krohn for helping me and guiding me in various areas of this book. I am forever thankful to Rabbi Ba’alhanes and Mrs. Ba’alhanes, Rabbi Louie and Tzippy Louie, and Rabbi Nissim Davidi for all the guidance in terms of Persian Jewish customs and kashrut of Persian products. Thank you, Mr. David Fakheri, for sharing with me your cherished memories from Iran. Without every single one of you there would be nothing to pass on to my children. Together, we will rescue and inspire the next generation of Persian Jews. Thank you for keeping the beautiful Jewish Persian customs alive!

I was very fortunate to get expert legal advice from Amiel Weinstock and Ari Behar. I am especially deeply grateful to Philan Tinsley for all her grace and generosity and for making sure all the legal mumbo-jumbo made sense! This cookbook would not exist without the expertise of so many amazing women who shared their recipes with me. Many of them did not want to be mentioned, but I made sure they all get credit for their recipes! I owe a giant thank you to my friend Davida Zimble for letting me borrow her absolutely exquisite collection of dishes for the pictures in this book. I am also indebted to the Israel Book Shop for lending me many of the silver pieces you see in the pages that follow.

I am grateful to my cousin Meryem Ouhirra and my cousin Hila (Tanaz) Zarosim for the Arabic and Hebrew calligraphy in this book. I would not have survived the long photo shoots without Liora Youshaei helping me make the most beautiful Persian food. How can I ever thank my friends Cheryl Sanders and Valerie Levine for being my listening ears and great supporters? Many friends and family came together to be part of this effort. Countless recipe testers came to the task, and some of them made Persian food for the first time in their life! There is no room in these pages to mention each one of you; however, there is plenty of room in my heart to think of and love each one of you. I am so grateful to have you all in my life.

There is one person who worked as hard – if not harder – than I did on making this book: Corina Lemus. Corina is the best personal assistant anyone could wish for. Thank you so much for all your help and genuine efforts to make this book a reality. I am eternally grateful to my parents, Beatriz de Perez and Carlos Perez; my sisters Beatriz Perez and Karla Schallies and my brother-in-law Sven Schallies, along with my sweet nephews Seth and Kyle for supporting me throughout the making of this book. G-d willing, the next book will be Latin Food from the Latin Bride! I am forever indebted to my dear in-laws, Shahla Simnegar, Ezzy Simnegar, and Sandra Simnegar, for making me part of their beautiful family and teaching me the beauty of Jewish Persian traditions. Momom, I can’t thank you enough for putting so much work into this book and for sharing with me all your wisdom and love. Thank you also for sharing your beautiful calligraphy! A special thanks to Mrs. Sultanat Rabbizadeh (Momonbosergue) for all the love and support you have always given me, duset daram!

I have no words to thank my precious children, Ariel, Eliav, Yosef, David, and Daniel, for the countless times you tested my recipes and loved my food. Thank you so much for being so great at taking pictures and for all your love and support.

There would be no “non-Persian bride” without the most important person in my life, my dear husband Sammy. The support, love, understanding, wisdom, and complete selfless devotion you have showered me with all our years of marriage are the greatest gift Hashem has given me. You have been by my side since the first day, and you always believed in me. I love you more than anything in my life, and I am grateful to Hashem for giving me the honor of being your wife. Thank you for being the pillar of my life, our family, and our community. May we continue sharing nachat from our precious children for many years to come. Ben Porat Yosef!

And finally, how can I possibly start thanking Hashem for giving me all of the above? How can I thank the Creator for giving me such an amazing ride in life with so much potential and fulfillment? I can only hope to be able to live up to His will and to follow His mitzvot as closely as I am able. As a sign of my gratitude, all my share of the proceeds of this book will go to charity. Thank you, Hashem, for showing me your Torah and for allowing me to get closer to You and Your people. Thank you, Hashem, for every heartbeat, for every breath, for everything….


Win a free copy of Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride by commenting below about your favorite Persian food before Friday, April 1, 2011. One winner will be selected at random and announced on my blog on Sunday April 3rd, so keep your eyes open! I will personally autograph and send your book!




Contest rules: No purchase necessary. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Not open to employees or family members of employees of Exotic Kosher LLC. U.S. residents only. Contest ends April 1, 2011. A winner will be selected by random drawing on April 3, 2011 and we will email the winner and announce it via The winner must respond back via email within 24 hours or an alternate winner will be selected by random drawing. No substitutions for cash are permitted with this giveaway. All participants also agree, as a condition of entry, to release and hold harmless Exotic Kosher LLC, its affiliates and each of their respective officers, directors, employees and representatives, from and against any loss, claim, damage or liability of any kind in connection with the contest, the drawing or any prize.  The winner is solely responsible for the payment of all applicable federal, state and local taxes. Participants agree that the decisions of Exotic Kosher LLC related to this contest and all drawings are final and binding. By participating in the contest and accepting the prize, the winner consents to the use of his or her name and/or likeness for promotional purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law.

33 Responses to “Cookbook Inauguration Party-GIVEAWAY!!”

  1. Paulina says:

    My favorite Persian food? Persian rice! I’ve been making your recipe at least once a month ever since you first posted it here :)

  2. Shyla says:

    I am so excited to have stumbled across your blog! Im making Persian food (Ghormeh Sabzi!) for my friends this weekend but cannot for the life of me master the art of Tadig! I saw your youtube post and then found your blog.
    Cannot WAIT to find a place that sells your cookbook :)

  3. Sarah says:

    My favorite is rice with lentils and carmelized onions. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Shoshana Raff says:

    My favorite Persian food: definately Persian Rice. My mother and I have been using Basmati rice forever – we discovered it from our Persian friends. I was so excited to see your demo of how to make it properly. I wish you much Hatzlacha and Bracha with your book and your sweet, wonderful blog posts.

  5. Mariam says:

    My favorite Persian is Baghali polo…. yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum

  6. Mariam says:

    p.s. I was so touched reading your acknowledgment. Beautifully written! I can’t wait to read your book… I hope I win the give away. heheheh. I just learned about you through my husband’s friend… you are also very beautiful.

  7. Meryl says:

    Definitely lentils and rice.

  8. Judith from Ottawa says:

    New favorite: the stew I had with beef, spinach, and limes at Colbeh. Forgot the name, keep the taste in my memory. Sure hope it’s in the cookbook!

  9. Reyna Simnegar says:

    It’s called Choresht’e Sabsi! I love it too! It is my 10 year old’s favorite!

  10. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Thank you!

  11. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Thank you Shyla! You can get it at, or Jewish Bookstores nationwide!

  12. Andrea Anaki says:

    noon taftoon…one of the mom’s in my class gave it to me….it is a sweet bread.

  13. behrouz says:

    i love all kind of persian food …epecially kabab barg …yum

  14. Denise Levin says:

    Hi Reyna,
    I love your new book. Ive tried more than a few recipes. The biggest hit were the kotlets with minced meat and potatoes. I didnt think the recipe was such a big deal, but when I made it as a second “meat” for the Purim seuda- they went nuts! They absolutely loved it! . I also made the roll with the cream and rose water, which was a beautiful hit- there are so many more recipes I want to try, but shabbat , the day before Purim, my daughter had a beautiful baby boy, and the brit and 30 for dinner and shabbat lunch, for a shabbat brit- made it impossible for me to even look at the book this week.— but there is always next week!
    Beautiful book, best of luck. Im so much enjoying it!

  15. Sarah says:

    I love the Rolette cake you made- it looks heavenly! cant wait to make it and wow all my guests!! thanks for sharing the recipe and demonstrating the making of it!!

    My favorite persian food is choreshte fesenjoon!!!!!!!!!!! yummy yummy

    thanks and cant wait to win your cookbook

  16. lisa says:

    I love persian food! I love anything at Colbeh in great neck or roslyn. I am lucky because my husband works in great neck and people often buy him gift certificates to Colbeh. I have one Persian kosher cookbook but it is very old and very imprecise. I can’t wait to see yours.

    I love Gormeh Sabzi, in part because my pickiest child who won’t eat anything green or mushy loves it!

    Best of Luck with your book!

  17. Reyna Simnegar says:

    MAZEL TOV! A yummy baby boy! May you only know of nachat from him!
    I am so glad you are enjoying the book! Thank you for making my day!

  18. Reyna Simnegar says:

    I love Colbeh too! Interestingly, my children (and many of my friend’s children) also love Choresht’e Sabsi…isn’t that odd? I am not complaining though!

  19. Devorah says:

    I am obsessed with persian food! Espeacially since my mom is the MOST AWESOME PERSIAN COOK EVER!!! I would love to meet you and see your cool persian cooking tips…if you are ever in New York/Great Neck area, definately let me know!!! Your talents inspire me- show me never to give up on persian cooking-you make it look so much fun!!!!!!!!!!
    My favorite perisan food is Ghondi…it is a matza ball with a twist and very taseful! Reyna, wishing you and your family all the happiness in the world:-)

  20. Devorah says:

    Hey Reyna,
    I love Persian food especially since my mom is the MOST AWESOME PERSIAN COOK EVER!!!! I really like Gondi…it is a matzo ball with a Persian twist. You are such an inspiration, you make Persian food look so good and so easy to make at the same time. When I watch my mom cook for Shabbat, it just looks so complicated, but by watching you, you just ease all the stress-lol! If you ever come to New York/Great Neck definitely let me know I would love to see your cool tips and tricks when it comes to Persian cooking!!! Wishing you and your family all the best of luck and all the happiness in the world:-)

  21. malka says:

    Wow!! What a cookbook! I am so happy to hear that this cookbook actually exists! I just got married and my parents are both persians, however they came to the U.S. as kids, so don’t have much of the persian culture in them. I love persian food and so does my husband!! i dont have to rely on my in-laws anymore for persian food, I guess I can proudly make it all by myself with the help of this wonderful new cookbook! Thank you! Our favorite persian food is Dolmeh- stuffed grape leaves. Since I don’t know how to make it, my husband always begs me to buy the canned ones, which i dont like and especially since they are not as healthy as the home-made ones. Well now, thanks to you for publishing this wonderful cookbook, I have got the recipe! Best of luck!! You made our marriage complete with persian cooking 😉 My husband thanks you!! 😉

  22. Adas Polo with Raisins and Karafs Stew/Khoresh! Love these and could eat these 24/7! Love your book, Got it last week,Yeah!!!,If I won I’d share it with my family, friends and synagogue here in San Diego,CA!

    Michelle Elihu

  23. Ben K says:

    favorite food is zereshk polo

  24. Mali says:

    It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose one I would pick fesenjaan.

  25. Michelle Elihu says:

    Hi Reyna, Your book is beautiful, inspiring, and user friendly!!! My favorite Persian foods lately are Adas Polo/Rice with Lentils,Carmelized Onions, (and in ours we add Raisins). Also I love Khoresh Karafs/Celery and Beef Stew. Who knew celery could taste so flavorful and bright when cooked? I certainly never would have thought it but it really does! I love this blog too and enjoy visiting to see what’s new here all the time!

    Michelle Elihu in San Diego

  26. Joyce says:

    I love persian food! your cookbook is gorgeous! Favorite Persianf ood is: persian rice (Chelo)Love love love it. your instructions are the best! thanks.

  27. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Thank you dear! I am glad you like the book!

  28. Reyna Simnegar says:

    Raisins! What a clever idea! Thanks! Enjoy San Diego…it’s snowing here…and we are in Spring!

  29. Reyna Simnegar says:

    OMG!! You have made my day! Thank you so much for making me so happy!

  30. Reyna Simnegar says:

    AMEN!! Only blessings to you too!! Thank you!

  31. rivka says:

    My favorite persian foods are chorosh sabsi over rice with tahdig!! I hope to win the cookbook, my persian mom will be so proud if I learn to cook persian foods!!

  32. leah says:

    my favorite food is choreshte aloo….yum!!! luvin your cookbook!!!!!