Silk Road Gourmet Cover

From the shores of the Black Sea to the sands of the Pacific, the foods enjoyed along the Silk Road whisper tales of connections between the cultures, histories, economies, and regions of Asia. In The Silk Road Gourmet cookbook, author Laura Kelley brings the breadth of Asian cooking to your door. Spanning more than thirty countries and including 1,000 recipes, the three volumes of The Silk Road Gourmetexplore the cuisines of the countries that traded goods and shared culture along that great lifeline of the ancient world.

This first cookbook, nominated for an award by Le Cordon Bleu World Media, surveys the cuisines of Western and Southern Asia from the Republic of Georgia to Sri Lanka and examines the cultural links between the countries that have led them to share ingredients, methods of preparation, and even entire dishes. This cookbook includes recipes for delicious and authentic main-course meat and vegetable dishes as well as appetizers, desserts, sauces, and condiments to grace contemporary, globalized tables. Learn how to prepare Grilled Chicken with Garlic and Walnut Sauce from the Republic of Georgia, Meatballs in Lemon Sauce from Armenia, and Cinnamon Potatoes with Pine Nuts from Azerbaijan. With fully tested recipes and step-by-step instructions, The Silk Road Gourmet brings the exotic home to you.

Through its hundreds of delicious recipes, The Silk Road Gourmet examines the connections between nations and peoples that are evident in their food. More than just another Asian cookbook, The Silk Road Gourmet shows how ingredients and methods of preparation flowed around Asia, Europe, and Africa and how these movements were linked to the rise and fall of commercial and political empires. So, next time you feast on a good curry, realize that you are eating a miracle of international mercantilism that whispers history, diplomacy, commerce, and conquest.  Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and electronic bookshops around the world.

48 thoughts on “Cookbook

  1. My wife and I love this book and frequently use it for interesting, unusual and tasty meals. We have traveled in many of the countries (eg, Afghanistan and Georgia) that it references andf find that Laura’s recipes accurately reproduce the food we remember. I just wish there would be a second volume (one was implicity promised.) I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    • Hi Malcolm!

      I’m so glad you stopped by the site!

      Many thanks for your fine review. Working on volume 2 – trying to balance that with supporting my family. It might come out in 2011-2012 and will cover Central Asia, the Himalayas, and the Indo-Pacific.



        • Hi Vickie:

          Welcome to the site! I have Volume 2 mostly done, but I don’t have the funds to publish right now. If not by year’s end, then perhaps in 2014. Thank you for the interest. Its nice to know people like the book!

  2. Thanks Laura for the excellent cookbook—best ever! we have cooked most of the recipes at our family dinner and parties! Can’t wait for volumn 2, really curious about central Asian cuisine!

    Anyway, thanks very much for everything, you made cooking so much joyful! We love you. xoxo

    • Hi Elena and Carlos:

      Thanks for the visit and the kind words about volume 1. Glad to know folks in Asia-Pacific region like the book as well!

      Come back soon!


  3. HI–This sounds fascinating & I am going to order a copy! I love that you also sell the ingredients, this makes exploring exotic recipes so much easier, I am definitely an armchair shopper!

  4. Hi Nina:

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for ordering a copy of the book! I hope you enjoy the book, cook some wonderful dishes and use the essays and recipes on further explorations of Asian history and culture.

    I hope also that you become a regular visitor to the site!


    P.S. My daughter loves your black handbag – we might order one for her birthday . . .

  5. Hey Laura: thanks once again for the excellent recipes provided. just a quick question that if there is a definative date that volumn 2& 3 will be released? since reading your first volumn 1, we felt this should be our cooking bible for Asian cuisine& no other books can compare with yours:). cant wait for more books from u! and apart from Asian cuisine, is there any plan that you would like to publish books on European or south American or African cuisine? — just curious& we love your writing style. many thanks for taking time to answer our questions. thanks xoxo

    • Hi Elena and Carlos:

      Authors live for comments like that!

      Many thanks!

      I’m taking a slower approach to volumes 2&3 than originally envisioned. As of now, think 2012 for volume 2 and possibly 2014 for volume 3.

      Expense of publishing is part of this as well as competing priorities (like crazy-busy at the job that pays the bills and taking our rugrats to China this year).

      (I’d also like to get volume 1 properly edited. There are many flaws in the manuscript even tho it was looked at twice by professionals during production.)

      I’ve toyed with doing a 4th volume that would pick up Turkey, the Levant, the Gulf and Eastern-Mediterranean and Eastern Africa down to Kenya. As all of these places were important Silk Road Outposts and the patterns pointed out in volume one apply there as well.

      One volume at a time. . . That’s the best I can do.

      Thanks for the encouragement!


  6. Laura,

    Steve brought your book to me at work, and I love it! I have been looking all over for a book like this. I think I can buy the copy he brought, but if not, please send him with another on Monday.

    Nowruz Mubarak!!!!

    • Hi Anne:

      I’m so glad you liked the book! Sure, you can keep the copy he brought in. I’m cooking the Lamb Fesenjan recipe this afternoon, in fact!

      For other Nowruz recipes, please see the guest post on my site from last year – written by Azita from Turmeric and Saffron –

      If you like the book and the recipes and the book – please spread the word!

      Happy Nowruz, tomorrow!


    • Hi Ash:

      I checked out your site and love it back! I’m always looking for sites that link food and culture or that link food issues to personal stories and experiences.

      Added a link to your site on my blogroll, and hope you can do the same for Silk Road Gourmet.



  7. Hi Laura,

    I’ve had volume 1 now for over a year and have made about 25 of the recipes, not including sauces. They are phenomenal! This is my go-to cookbook for interesting, flavorful meals. Although it’s impossible to play favorites, I think Afghanistan has the edge for me. I can’t wait for volume 2. Any word on when we can expect it to be available?

    • Hi Kelsey:

      Thanks so much for the feedback – I’m so glad you liked the book!

      I’m working on volume 2 – have some countries completed, but not all. I’m thinking it will be 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2012 before volume 2 is available.

      Hang in there though, because there will be some amazing Central Asian and Himalayan food represented.

      Many thanks for commenting – please join us on the rest of the site!



  8. Hello Laura,

    I bought your book three days ago and I like it a lot. I only have one problem with it: The receipe for the ‘Lamb and Rhubarb stew’ is missing. There was a mistake in the printing and the receipe for ‘baked fish with pomegranates and oranges’ was two time instead. Could you sent me the receipe.

    Thanks in advance.


  9. Dear Laura, I love your book and blog. I was familiar with Iranian cooking so had an idea of what the cuisine of that part of the world was like, but did not realise how diverse the various cooking styles in that whole region are. I have a lot of cookbooks and it’s one of my very favourite ones. I am really looking forward to the second volume. If people pre-ordered and pre-paid for the second volume could that help support you with completing it? Best wishes, Alice

  10. Hi Alice:

    Many thanks for your kind words. . .

    No, unfortunately, people paying forward will not help – I have a household to support and run and it requires both money and time. I am really hoping to get the next book into production in 2012 – that would be great.

    Please, come back and read and comment on the blog regularly.


  11. Dear Laura

    Believe or not we hosted a dinner party from your recipes in your honour! the guests just love the food! thank you so much for sharing the knowledge! Throughout the year, your recipes are frequently appear on our dining table, we would like to thank you for enrich our life!
    any expected dates volumn two will be on the market? we are checking amazon everyday … would love a professional guidance on central Asian food!
    thank you!

    • Dear Elena and Carlos:

      Thank you so much for letting me know! I cried to know it was enriching the lives of people I’ve never even met.

      I hope to get the second volume out by the end of the calendar year (2010) or at least be far enough along with it to be “in production”. I have a lot of travel this spring, but I think I can do that. (Some of the travel will be on the Chinese side of the Kyrgyz border).

      What I can offer is a few more Central Asian recipes on the blog to help. If you have requests – please ask, otherwise, I will offer a few of my favorites.

      Please check back here, or subscribe to posts, to get some Central Asian mojo working.

      Thank you for the incredible words,


      P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please enter a few good reviews at Amazon and any other bookstores or venues where you might buy books. Those do matter to readers and reviewers and it helps us independent authors out a lot – THX.

  12. As all who have commented here, I love your site – right down to the design. I must have your book. I live in South Africa and will somehow find a way. Amazon no longer delivers to SA – but I’ll check with them, perhaps they have sorted out that issue. Kindest regards, Maureen

    • Thanks Maureen:

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the nice comments!

      I have some good news for you – several stores in South Africa carry the book – including and Exclusives is charging 286 Rand for it, which if I remember your currency, seems reasonable. Links to international retailers are on the right sidebar of the site.

      I hope you get a copy soon!


  13. Dear Laura,

    thank you for this wonderful book! I came across the Armenian meatballs recipe on Traveller’s lunchbox and then I just had to order it. It is amazing to discover new ingredients and combining stuff I never thought its possible. Coming from Central Europe where our cuisine is rather conservative this book is a proper eye opener:) Making those fragrant and delicious dishes is always a special occasion for us and a bit of an adventure. The book gave me not only inspiration but also cooking confidence:) So thank you again!
    I can’t wait for the next volume!

    Greetings from Austria!


  14. Liebe Zuzana:

    Many thanks for your lovely comment and praise! Please spread the word about the book! I hope you come back to visit the site to follow the posts as well – it would be great to hear more about your views.



    P.S. I have family in the Stieiermark

  15. Hi Laura

    Hope you are well.
    Still loving your Volumn 1 and cooking all the recipes repetitively ! Our family, including our 3 children and friends just love it! Looks like its the end of the year, we are getting excited about Volumn two now? Any sneak shot on when it’s going to be on the market?
    Have a great day! Thanks again for your book bring so much joy to us!
    Love you E& C xoxo

  16. Howdy from Australia!

    Just got your book in the mail today and I’m so delighted with it! I visited your site here a *lot* over the last few months, as part of research I was doing for a novel set on the Silk Road in the mid-twelfth century. I’ve finished writing the first draft now, but I wanted to let you know that I found your site invaluable and I can’t wait to read the book.

    And I’m very excited that there’s a volume 2 in the works. That’ll be an insta-buy for sure!

  17. Dear Laura,

    I just picked up a copy of Silk Road Gourmet, vol. 1 from the Sackler Gallery shop on the mall. I’m getting VERY excited to try some of your recipes. The Georgian recipe for beets with sour cherries was the deciding factor for me, because the beets from our CSA present me with a bit of a challenge every year. I invented a pretty good beet chutney that burns up quite a few of them, and I have a new recipe for a Goan beet pickle that I’ll probably try along with your recipe when the first large beets come in.

    I am also very interested in your approach, with your attention to the ties between the various cultures and foodways on the Silk Road. Following a recent trip to Spain, I’ve been very interested in the blending of food cultures there. I’m an art historian, so the blending of art and architecture in Spain has always had its appeal, and now that I’ve traveled a bit and eaten traditional dishes, I really love the way in which that same blend can be tasted in the food.

    I’m lucky enough to be married to someone with an adventurous palate and our four-year-old is following in daddy’s footsteps (our son’s latest love is squid, thanks to a recent paella dinner). So both of my boys will probably be enthusiastic helpers and tasters as we work our way through your cookbook (and subsequent volumes). That said, I noticed that one recipe seems to be duplicated in the text, which means that there’s a missing recipe. Baked Fish with Pomegranates and Oranges (p. 134) is duplicated under the heading of the very next recipe (Lamb and Rhubarb Stew). So I’m wondering if I could get the missing recipe from you? We’re real rhubarb fans, and we often use rhubarb in an adapted Persian stew based upon the Chicken with Peaches recipe in Najmieh Batmanglij’s A Taste of Persia. I’d love to have another version to work with.

    Thanks in advance,


  18. Congratulations on a beautiful book! Someone RT’d this on Twitter yesterday – am so glad that they did. Love your book and all the gorgeous pics on your site. x s

  19. Laura,

    We thoroughly enjoy the cookbook and have tried several recipes. And we have liked them all. Thanks for putting this together. We look forward to Volume 2.

    We were looking at our next recipe to try when we came across Lamb and Rhubarb Stew on page 135. I’m sure you’re aware of this but it appears that the recipe is the one for Baked Fish with Pomegranates and Oranges from page 134. Could you send the correct recipe? the lamb and rhubarb cmbination sounds intriguing.

    While we are waiting for rhubarb to come into season here in New England, what would recommend for a Tuesday night dinner?

    Thanks and we do look forward to the next volume.

    Tom Weaver

    • Hi Tom:

      Yes, unfortunately the Lamb and Rhubarb recipe is a glaring editorial error. I recently wrote a piece about rhubarb for Zester Daily ( that included the recipe ( I also think it is somewhere on the Silk Road Gourmet site as well.

      As to Tuesday night’s dinner, perhaps page through the, “My Favorite Recipes,” in the introduction and see what jumps out and bites you. The Georgian chicken with the garo is great, and any meat with pomegranates or sour cherries is recommended. (The Azeri lambchops with sour cherries are super easy as well). I hope that helps!


      Laura Kelley

  20. Dear Laura
    Any updates from volume 2? Been anticipating for years…..thanks!! Would it be on the market soonish ?

  21. My husband tracked down a copy of vol 1 for me and I sat on holiday in Fiji reading from cover to cover. We have tried multiple recipes and love them and luckily have a persian food store near home( Melbourne, Aus). Please tell me that vol 2 is due soon, can’t wait. Thanks

    • Hi Robyn:

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you like volume 1. Volume 2 is delayed for want of money to publish or a publisher who wants to fund the project for me. It is coming, however, and you can cook thru some more recipes from vol. 1 as well as the unique ones posted on the website as you wait. Hope to hear more from you – its always nice to hear from folks who like the book and site!

  22. I just purchased the Silk Road Gourmet (v1) and am looking forward to trying the recipes. How many people is each recipe intended to serve? Sorry if I missed this somewhere in the book…

    • Hi and thanks so much for buying the book! You didn’t miss anything. I don’t use serving sizes in recipes, because the number of servings in a recipe depends largely on the number of dishes in a meal. In an elaborate meal with many dishes, people may only eat a small amount of each dish. In a smaller meal with a main dish and some sort of ground (rice, potatoes, millet, noodles, etc.), diners may eat a lot.

      I don’t like to make assumptions about how people will use the recipes. I just hope that they like what they cook and are curious to learn more about the foods and cultures presented.

  23. Hi, I recently bought 2 copies of Vol. 1 (one for me, one for a friend). I’ve been looking through the Iran section and noticed a problem on pp 135-136. The ingredient list and instructions for the “Lamb and Rhubarb Stew” are actually just a duplicate of the previous recipe (“Baked Fish with Pomegranets and Oranges”, pp 134-135).

    Could you please post the Lamb and Rhubarb Stew recipe, as I am eager to try it?


  24. I have a question about the Lamb in Pomegranate cardamom sauce (Fesenjan)
    It says a 2-21/2 pound lamb roast. Do you mean a roast with the bone in or out?
    I have a lamb shoulder roast that has the bone in and I’m trying to figure out the cooking time.

    • Hi Susanna:

      I usually use bone-out. You could use bone in and cook it a little more. It will also feed fewer people. I hope you enjoy the recipe AND the meal! Good luck, Laura

  25. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for your delicious work in the wonderful Silk Road Gourmet, volume 1. Any word on when the next one will be out? It sound like funding was a problem in the comments. Have you thought about trying to fund it through Kickstarter? Seems like you have plenty of people interested who might be willing to help with funding. Thanks again!

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