Author / Naz Deravian


Grilled Lamb Testicles – Donbalan – Diplomacy and a Ladies Luncheon

Music we’re cooking to
The hunt for organic, grass-fed lamb testicles – donbalan – is complicated.
It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage.
The quest for negotiating sensitive global issues, with potentially disastrous consequences, by means of diplomacy is complicated.
It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage.
I’m not a big lamb eater.  On occasion, I do enjoy a sizzling, juicy grilled chop.


Baba’s Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

He sends you flying.
It’s controversial.
High up in the air.
The same way hummus is controversial.
You spread your wings, catch your breath, and squeal with delight.
Or guacamole.
It’s innate. The dream of flight.  And in an instant he has given you wings.
To soar.  Beyond your dreams.
Or fesenjan.

He claps once.  Maybe twice.  Depending on how much air you catch.
A recipe can only take you so far.


The Recital – Cheryl’s Milk Chocolate Yogurt Pots

She wrote this song about John Mayer. You whisper conspiratorially into his ear.
There was a time when this easy lean into his shoulder, followed by hushed murmurs, carried with it information of a different nature.
But today it’s all about Taylor Swift.
Such is the evolution of a marriage.
He – your husband – looks back at you slightly intrigued but mostly bewildered.


The Neighborhood Thief – An Orange Blossom, Yogurt, Saffron, Shio Koji Roast Chicken

Grab your gardening shears.  Grab a basket, a bag, a sack, anything with handles.  Feel the weight and the cool metal of the shears rest against the warm embrace of your palm.  Make the most of this auspicious occasion. You don’t garden.  You’d like to.  But you don’t.
Call out to your shadows.  Announce you are off to forage.  You don’t forage either.


Scattered Showers – A Green Herb Rice – Sabzi Polo

I wish we could all be together this Nowruz.
I wish we weren’t all scattered across the country.
Scattered across the continent.
Scattered across the globe.
She sits in her dedicated spot at our kitchen table.  Her words echo through the kitchen, twisting and turning, bouncing off you, looking and yearning for a spot to land, eventually finding their way out – seduced by the wide open door and a gentle late winter breeze.


Shio Koji – A Round Kitchen

Dear friends, I am truly humbled to be included as a finalist in the 2015 IACP Digital Media Awards for Best Narrative Culinary Blog.  What a great privilege and honor to be recognized amongst such amazing, talented individuals.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart (and pot!) for all your kind words, support and encouragement.  It means the world to me.  Go Tahdig!

We have a globe.

Side Dish

Taste – A Collard Greens Borani Collard Greens with Yogurt and Caramelized Red Onion Sumac

Raw honey.
Like the jar from Trader Joe’s.
Dripping in gold, warmth, and sweetness.
My daughter’s eyes, Soleil’s eyes, the sun’s eyes, shimmer like raw honey.
Dripping in gold.
Showering us with warmth, sweetness, and unyielding love.
And occasionally stubbornness, and intense, deeply felt, unyielding five-year-old emotions.
Pure and raw.


A Winter’s Tale and a Pomegranate Soup – Shab-E Yalda – Aash-E Anar

Yeky bood, yeky nabood…
‘Twas the longest night of the year.
‘Twas the darkest night of the year.
‘Twas the most magical night of the year.
Soak the rice as the split peas simmer away.  Immerse your hands in the cold water and gently break up the rice into bits and pieces. Feel the familiar beat of nostalgia course through your body.  Memory knocking at your door.  It always begins with a gentle knock.


The Spice Cupboard – A Story of Love – A Yellow Split Pea and Persian Lime Stew – Khoresh Gheymeh

Casually he lifts up his shirt.  Revealing cuts and bruises.  A skateboarding injury.  Meant to impress I think.  He keeps the shirt up for a beat longer than necessary.  Awkwardly lingering in the moment.  Electrifying and innocent all at the same time. As a young man in his early twenties – really, still a boy – is apt to do.
Casually I ask him if he needs an icepack.