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‘By eating my food, you come into my family. You are sitting with me, with my grandparents, parents and cousins, talking, sharing and enjoying the feeling of being together.’

Hamed Allahyari cooks to connect – for that joyful moment you can say salamati (Persian for ‘health’ and ‘cheers’) around the table. A restaurateur in Iran, it was natural for Hamed to gravitate to food after a long and perilous journey to settlement in Melbourne. He road-tested his dishes at hundreds of cooking classes, eventually launching his heartfelt cafe and SalamaTea restaurant. With every swipe of warm pita through herbed dadami dip, every bite of braised lamb with dried lime and saffron rice, every sip of homemade sour cherry tea, Hamed shines a light on his past in his native Tehran and continues to build an optimistic Australian future.

This book is a gateway to Persian culinary culture, with recipes that are simple, celebratory and appealing, flexible and full of flavour. Wherever you live and whatever your background, you are invited to join the feast.

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