Najmieh Batmanglij

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Najmieh Batmanglij
Najmieh Batmanglij - 2015 National Book Festival (2).jpg
Born 1947 (age 69–70)
Culinary career
Cooking style Persian

Najmieh Khalili Batmanglij (Persian: نجمیه خلیلی باتمانقلیج‎, IPA: [nædʒmiːˈje bɒːtmɒːŋɢeˈliːdʒ]) is an Iranian-American chef and award-winning cookbook author.


Batmanglij was born in Tehran but received her undergraduate and master's degrees in the United States.[1] She returned to Iran after her time in America but was soon forced into exile because of the Iranian Revolution.[1] She and her husband fled to Vence, France where she studied cooking and began translating her mother's recipes into French resulting in her first cookbook, Ma Cuisine D'Iran.[2]

In the 1980s Batmanglij permanently relocated to Washington, DC where she wrote her most celebrated book, Food of Life.[1] After the success of that book, Batmanglij went on to write five more cookbooks, including From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table, which won a Gourmand Cookbook Award.[3] and Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey, which was The New York Times compared to reading "a good novel—once you start, it's hard to put down."[4] Batmanglij has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and also teaches Persian cooking.[1] On February 15, 2013, in his weekly article for the Guardian newspaper, Yotam Ottolenghi included a recipe that was inspired by a recipe in Food of Life, about which he said: "One of the most exciting cookbooks I've seen in a while, Food Of Life: Ancient Persian And Modern Iranian Cooking And Ceremonies, by Najmieh Batmanglij–I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Iran's glorious food culture."[5] On 6 April 2016, she was the guest chef at First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Nowruz Celebration and Lunch.[6] She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier.[7]

Her sons are Rostam Batmanglij of the band Vampire Weekend and Zal Batmanglij, director of the 2011 Sundance film Sound of My Voice.[8]


  • Ma Cuisine d'Iran (Grancher, Paris, 1984)
  • Food of Life (2011-2016) and New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies (Mage, 1986 ISBN 9780934211277 and 1992-2009 )
  • Persian Cooking for a Healthy Kitchen (Mage, 1994, 2006) ISBN 9781933823263
  • Najmieh Batmanglij (1 January 2007). A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-437-4.  (Mage 1999-2006, I.B. Tauris, London 1999-2007)]
  • Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey ISBN 9780934211635 (Mage, 2002, 2004).
  • From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table Mage Publishers, 2006, ISBN 9781933823003
  • Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year (Mage, 2008)]
  • Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple, Mage Publishers 2015, ISBN 1933823720


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