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gfron1

Middle Eastern Cookbooks

63 posts in this topic

Better late than never, but I must highly recommend Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine by Nawal Nasrallah.

There isn't a single Iraqi dish I grew up eating that isn't listed in this book, and my mother and other relatives often refer to it to make some dish that they remember from their childhood in Iraq but were never quite sure how to make. There are books on Iraqi Kurdish food, Iraqi Jewish food, or even food from Mosul, but this is the only book that I know covering the archetype of the cuisine - that of the Arabs of Baghdad, as well as a few recipes dating from the Sumerian to the Medieval Islamic periods that the author unearthed in her research.

I may be biased because of my background, but I honestly think Iraqi (Baghdadi) is one of the most interesting cuisines in the region, as it's sort of a greatest hits - 2000 years of Persian cultural influence, 400 years of Ottoman rule, influences of the Indian chefs who worked in Iraq, and of course much food very similar to that of Iraq's neighbors in Syria. If you think of it sort of like spicier Persian food (several of the dishes are identical) with Turkish and Levantine influences, that's the right ballpark.


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Many good books but none receives my higher recommendation than Claudia Roden's

New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

The above plus:

Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook - Ozcan Ozan

Having spent much time in Turkey I wanted one that was more specific to Turkish interpretations of dishes that are common across the region. Turkish cuisine is a little different as it seems to be caught somewhere between Greece and the Middle East (just like the country itself).

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These are on my shelves and I like them all, each has a different style. I probably use the Ozan book the most.

Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook - Ozcan Ozan

Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen - Ayla Algar

Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean - Ana Sortun

I really do need to get one of Claudia Roden's books...



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The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan does a great job covering Jewish, Arab, and Christian cooking in Israel.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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As many before me in this thread have mentioned, Claudia Rodin, one of her first books was my first exposure to the cuisine of the area. At the time (20+ years ago) it suited my skills and needs wonderfully. I would also agree with previous posters that while North Africa, and Morocco might not technically be Middle Eastern their cuisines are similar, in taste and technique, with that in mind I would like to add New Moroccan, by Mourad Lalou into the mix. Have just received this book and have yet to make anything, but the writing and the updated style of cooking, the variations, and the sense of place that this book can impart make it a keeper for sure. While I am certainly no expert in the Cuisines of the area and the traditionalists might frown this is the kind of cookbook I really enjoy adding to my collection.

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Flavors Of The Nile On Your Budget is a perfect e-book for Egyptian and Middle Eastern food lovers. The book includes recipes that come straight out of the heart of Egypt. And the book is perfect for beginners.

Amazon Link

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I'm glad to hear there's now an e-book for Egyptian cooking. I'll have to check that out.

Since the last time I checked in on this topic, I've fallen in love with "Alice's Kitchen: My Grandmother Dalal & Mother Alice's Traditional Lebanese Cooking", by Linda Dalal Sawaya. It's the family cookbook, with bits of family history and photos, and charming artwork by Ms. Sawaya. It's a small paperback book, easily carried around and inexpensive to purchase. I particularly appreciate it now that I've gone to the trouble of putting together and distributing a collection of family photos with stories for our extended family. But best of all, the recipes work... and they work in the way that practical, practiced homemakers develop ways to cook meals for their loved ones. I now can make crackers, thanks to this book. I'm getting a grip on making 2 or 3 different styles of flatbread, and the thomeyya (Lebanese version of aioli) is closest to what I remember from a favorite Lebanese restaurant in Cairo.

I keep coming back to this book and digging deeper, and I'm a big fan. I'll add an Amazon link. Moderators, please feel free to make it eGullet friendly.

Amazon Link


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Flavors Of The Nile On Your Budget - a mere £1.88 on UK Amazon - didn't take a lot of buying.


Mick Hartley

The PArtisan Baker

bethesdabakers

"I can give you more pep than that store bought yeast" - Evolution Mama (don't you make a monkey out of me)

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$18.00 $USD! WTF? Dayum, not so cheap after all! Oooops, looked again, saw the "used" price; for .48 USD + shipping $3.99, I'll think about it! May need a Happy New Year to Me present, too!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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$18.00 $USD! WTF? Dayum, not so cheap after all! Oooops, looked again, saw the "used" price; for .48 USD + shipping $3.99, I'll think about it! May need a Happy New Year to Me present, too!

I guess it IS all relative, isn't it? I was thinking in terms of cost for a new cookbook, and you must have been thinking in terms of cost for a new paperback. :-) I've bought plenty of used books over the years and been just as happy with them.

At any rate, I think it's a great little book.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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$18.00 $USD! WTF? Dayum, not so cheap after all! Oooops, looked again, saw the "used" price; for .48 USD + shipping $3.99, I'll think about it! May need a Happy New Year to Me present, too!

Am I missing something? Wrong link? Try Biscuta's link, not Smithy's. On my pooter, it shows $3.00. Or free if you borrow under Prime membership.


Edited by Ttogull (log)

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$18.00 $USD! WTF? Dayum, not so cheap after all! Oooops, looked again, saw the "used" price; for .48 USD + shipping $3.99, I'll think about it! May need a Happy New Year to Me present, too!

Am I missing something? Wrong link? Try Biscuta's link, not Smithy's. On my pooter, it shows $3.00. Or free if you borrow under Prime membership.

I may have jumped to the wrong conclusion. I thought Judiu was talking about "Alice's Kitchen". If she meant something else, I apologize for the confusion.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I love this book. It has a variety of recipes, not just couscous recipes:
The Great Book of Couscous: Classic Cuisines of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia

Amazon Link


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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i always find myself referencing saha (greg malouf) and jerusalem (ottolenghi) and i'd recommend both of them in a heart beat. they're both great books.

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The three books by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ottolenghi - The Cookbook, Jerusalem, and Plenty all are really good. Ottolenghi came out in 07 in England I guess, was just released here in the US and is sitting 3 inches to my left right now, together with my shopping list for sumac, Za-Atar, rose and orange water. Which I'll get momentarily I hope, in the little middle eastern store here. Great looking recipes, fun little stories with most (all?) of them, which I love. Puts dishes in a nice context.

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"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I received an Amazon gift certificate for Mother's Day so I purchased this wonderful cookbook which has been discussed at length on a couple of foodie forums. I got it on the recommendation of people that I trust and it has certainly lived up to the promise.

Cookbook:Delights gard.Eden.jpg
It is a thick, heavy (570 pages) book full of stories, history and wonderful recipes.

I have been delving into it since it arrived on Wednesday and am so pleased I heard about it because this is the kind of cookbook that really stimulates my imagination and ramps up my ambition to cook something different.

At the Amazon site there is the "Click to look inside" option. Take a look at the Table of Contents, page IV, which lists some of the fascinating subjects, such as: The First "Recipe Book" in Human History. Or, Elements of the Medieval Baghdadi Cuisine and Affinities with Ancient Mesopotamian Cooking...

 

Hassouni mentioned this book in a post in this topic in 2011 - and I did purchase the earlier, self-published book from an online site but received a damaged paperback with several missing pages, which was grossly overpriced - I returned it for a refund (and received a rather snide message from the seller, which made me vow to never buy from that bookstore again). 

 

I forgot all about the book until I came across a discussion on a blog I subscribe to, also there was a mention on Facebook which noted that it had been updated and published anew in 2013. 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Hi andie,

 

I bought that cookbook recently and although it's fascinating, I haven't had much luck with the recipes. I've found them under seasoned and possibly under fatted :)

 

Please let me know what you've made from it that works!

 

Patrick

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I put in a library purchase request for Delights today.  Let's see if we buy it.

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I received an Amazon gift certificate for Mother's Day so I purchased this wonderful cookbook which has been discussed at length on a couple of foodie forums. I got it on the recommendation of people that I trust and it has certainly lived up to the promise.

attachicon.gifCookbook:Delights gard.Eden.jpg

It is a thick, heavy (570 pages) book full of stories, history and wonderful recipes.

I have been delving into it since it arrived on Wednesday and am so pleased I heard about it because this is the kind of cookbook that really stimulates my imagination and ramps up my ambition to cook something different.

At the Amazon site there is the "Click to look inside" option. Take a look at the Table of Contents, page IV, which lists some of the fascinating subjects, such as: The First "Recipe Book" in Human History. Or, Elements of the Medieval Baghdadi Cuisine and Affinities with Ancient Mesopotamian Cooking...

 

Hassouni mentioned this book in a post in this topic in 2011 - and I did purchase the earlier, self-published book from an online site but received a damaged paperback with several missing pages, which was grossly overpriced - I returned it for a refund (and received a rather snide message from the seller, which made me vow to never buy from that bookstore again). 

 

I forgot all about the book until I came across a discussion on a blog I subscribe to, also there was a mention on Facebook which noted that it had been updated and published anew in 2013. 

 

Nice! You'll love it.  Are there any major changes to the earlier edition?

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I don't know, Hassouni.  The one I got in 2011 was so messed up I really didn't spend any time looking at it.  I just repackaged it and sent it back to the book store.  I'm not even sure it was the original printing, it was spiral bound and many of the pages were wrinkled and torn.  It was certainly nothing like the picture on the web site which showed the cover as mostly green - the one I got had a brown cover. 

 

This is a hardback, beautifully printed, with beautiful photography and illustrations. 

 

I have used a bunch of Post-It notes to mark the recipes I want to try. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Which ones would they be?

Too many to list - so far I have 31 markers and am only half-way through the book. 

Spicy bread, bean stew, cauliflower casserole, eggplant rolls, spicy bulgar...


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Well, you caught my attention.  Love Middle Eastern food and will also ILL the book from our library.

 

ps.  Done.


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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