As with many skilled home cooks, Azita was inspired by the food her mother made. Following the latter’s death, in 2008, she started a blog, Turmeric & Saffron (, in honour of her mum.

Born and raised in Iran, Azita now lives in New York and is a mother herself. She writes, “I enjoy cooking for my family and love to show everyone how simple, healthy and delicious Persian food can be. I mostly use traditional recipes I learned from my late mother and it’s all done with a lot of love and care. This blog was created as a tribute to her amazing culinary prowess and to honour her loving memory.”

The food is enticing – it’s exotic (to outsiders, anyway), colourful and beautifully photographed. Her recipes include Persian cornelian cherry jam (above right); carrot halva with saffron and rosewater; cold yogurt soup with cucumber, herbs, walnuts and raisins (top); Parsi-style turkey burgers (below); Mazandarani-style eggplant and herb salad with walnuts and verjus; Persian New Year rice and noodles; baklava; and honey and saffron almond candy.