Similar in presentation and choice of recipes to Maideh Mazda's In a Persian Kitchen. Dr. Hekmal's includes basic dishes and variations from Iran, many of them common to Middle Eastern cooking and all of them adapted for the methods of preparation and kinds of ingredients familiar to American housewives. The first half of the book is devoted to the history of Persian cooking and interesting descriptions of the rituals and ceremonies which are the indigenous context for most of these recipes. The recipes themselves are relatively simple to prepare and certainly economical. They center upon basic rice dishes, marinated (the Iranian version of salad, usually based on yogurt and various vegetables), rich deserts, and a tempting variety of unusual preserves and pickles. A short on the history and behind each recipe is given in most cases; while the recipes are not too numerous, they offer endless variations to the imaginative cook.