Najmieh Batmanglij

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Najmieh Batmanglij
Najmieh-Batmanglij 2985.jpg
Born1947 (age 70–71)
Culinary career
Cooking stylePersian

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 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] Julia Moskin of The New York Times wrote about her latest cookbook, "...Magisterial...An engrossing visual feast of modern Iran...Cooking in Iran is an essential new book" and selected it as one of The 19 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2018.[7] Publishers Weekly called the cookbook, "A massive and thorough guide to Persian cuisine...terrific, reverential, and accessible." [8] On 5 November 2018 The Washington Post published an article about her written by James Beard Award winning writer Mayukh Sen with the headline " Najmieh Batmanglij is the grande dame of Iranian cooking. It’s time you knew her name." [9] She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier.[10]

Her sons are Zal Batmanglij, director and co-writer of the films Sound of My Voice.,[11] and The East (film), and the Netflix series The OA, and Rostam Batmanglij, a songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer; Half-Light (Rostam album); formerly, a member of the indie-pop band Vampire Weekend.


  • 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
  • Cooking in Iran: Regional Recipes and Kitchen Secrets, Mage Publishers, November 2018, ISBN 9781933823959


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