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My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

Butter chicken Calzone

Up until very recently, until I tried a magnificent calzone in Des Moin, Iowa- of all things, I had never enjoyed the calzone experience. Raw layers of inner dough and drippings of wet filling were among the justifying reasons to stay away from this Italian classic. The Iowan calzone was thin, almost as thin as two New York slices stacked; it had crispy bottom and top dough layers and was served with a small bowl of dipping marinara sauce on the side. Inspired by my Iowan calzone experience and my eternal love for Indian butter chicken curry,  an Indo-Italian fusion butter chicken calzone is presented here.


Tikka spiced Sausage (recipe follows)

8 Ounces(~225 gr) ricotta cheese

New York-style pizza dough (enough for 4 small pies)

2 TBSP vegetable oil

½ TSP turmeric

1 recipe butter chicken Masala sauce from here

Tikka spiced Sausage:

1 Pound (~450 gr) 93/7 ground turkey

2 TBSP caramelized onions

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP garlic ginger paste

1 TSP garam masala (equal parts cinnamon, cardamom powder, allspice, and mace)

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 TSP Kashmiri chili powder

½ TSP salt

2 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped 

Make the butter chicken masala, following the instructions from the original link. Set aside, to serve with the calzone.

  • Make the sausage by heating up the caramelized onions in the butter (you may alternatively caramelize a medium onion from scratch). Add the garlic ginger paste, garam masala, tomato paste, chili powder, and salt. When the mixture is cool, mix it with ground turkey. Mix in the chopped cilantro. Set aside.
  • Mix the vegetable oil with the turmeric. Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces. Spread the dough and rub the surface with the resulting yellow turmeric oil. When the dough is spread to an individual-sized pizza disk, spread a quarter of the sausage on one side of the dough. Spread a quarter of the cheese on the sausage.
  • Gently fold the dough over the sausage mixture and fully enclose the meat and cheese mixture. Pinch the dough and then crimp edges all around. Cut 2 slits on the top to allow steam to escape. This is a very important but often overlooked step.
  •  Repeat with the remaining 3 dough pieces. Transfer to a baking tray or baking stone. Bake in a 500F (~230C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes (or until golden brown).

Serve the calzone with the masala.