Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award

Winner of the Indie Excellence Award

Screenshot of the Winner mention. Source:

This past Friday night, before going to bed, I felt a strong urge to check my email, just so. And I did. I am so glad I did! There was a big surprise waiting for me. An email notifying me that my book “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan” became the Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award in the International Cookbook category! Wait. What? I literally read the email at least 10 times before I believed my eyes and broke the news to the family. What a great way to start the weekend!

The email came from Ellen Reid, President of the National Indie Excellence Awards. Here’s the excerpt:

“It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Winner in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work. The lists of winners and finalists are proudly displayed on our website, please log on to to see your name and book cover highlighted for all to see. The entire team at the National Indie Excellence Awards sincerely hope your participation in our contest will serve you well in your ongoing success. You have our deepest congratulations.”

Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award

Medal of the Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award. Photo Credit:

What can I say? I feel so honored, so humbled, and so grateful to see my cookbook recognized by the experts and listed among other wonderful books.

And I cannot help but telling myself again and again that those 7 years of hard work and pushing to self-publish against all odds and rejections were absolutely worth it. Every single day of that journey. Every lesson learned along the way.

This is the fourth award for “Pomegranates & Saffron.” It previously won Gourmand Best Eastern European Cookbook Award, Gourmand Best in the Word Award, and Living Now  Award (Silver Medal in Ethnic Cookbooks category).

If you would like to purchase the book, it is available on AZ Cookbook Shop and on Amazon.

Thank you, wonderful friends from around the world, for your continuous support of my work, be it my blog or my book. Always! You are the best! We did it again. Together.

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