Middle Eastern, anyone?


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Middle Eastern, anyone?

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Mar 19, 2007, 2:46 pm

I have a week spot for Middle Eastern food...Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian, and recently Persian. I'm currently building a mainly Middle Eastern cookbook collection just for fun. So will you share what your favourites are?

Mar 19, 2007, 2:53 pm

Claudia Roden's The Book of Middle Eastern Food. The revised edition is expanded and includes photographs but the original is quite useful. I just took her Arabesque out of the library - it's more focused than the first book and I am curious. I've eaten some wonderful Persian food but haven't specifically sought out a cookbook.

Mar 19, 2007, 3:01 pm

Thanks! I own one of Roden's books and liked it so far. Last year I bought New Food of Life, which is said to be one of the best books on Persian cuisine, and I adore this book, although it has a little less pictures than I would like.

Mar 19, 2007, 5:41 pm

The first middle eastern cookbook I bought is still one that I go back to: Tess Mallos The Complete Middle East Cookbook (The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos. Hardcover, 1995. ISBN 1898697361 - since the touchstones SUCK right now :( ). If you are looking for a basic book that covers most cuisines pretty well (weaker on Gulf States, but that's my observation), this is a good place to start. As for Persian, New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies is lovely and interesting from the perspective of foodways and culture as well, but I still like Maideh Mazda's In a Persian Kitchen: Favorite Recipes from the Near East which is older than I am!

Mar 20, 2007, 9:55 pm

The first book we buy/cook out of often becomes a favorite reference, no? I've flipped through the Tess Mallos, liked it and have others in that series (Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Cookbook for one) but don't do enough middle eastern cooking to justify another book.

6jllucci Primeira Mensagem
Mar 20, 2007, 10:28 pm

I vote for In a Persian Kitchen by Maideh Mazda. My edition was printed in Japan in 1975. I use it all the time. My taste buds were influenced by the persian families I know and so I modify the recipes slightly. The most frequent changes: I skip the cinnamon & nutmeg, sometimes add tumeric and/or dried limes. I also stew the meat longer than suggested, maybe I use cheaper cuts. ;-)

Mar 20, 2007, 11:57 pm

I also have Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Cookbook but don't use it nearly as much as Tess Mallos' for whatever reason.

Abr 9, 2007, 3:08 pm

I quite like Crazy Water Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry. It is a modern, good looking cookbook, organised around the different flavourings that are used in the Middle East. All chapters have an introduction that tells you someting about the use of the flavourings in the Middle East. Also, every recipe has a short introduction.

Abr 9, 2007, 5:12 pm

Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou is excellent. It includes Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.

Abr 10, 2007, 9:44 am

Oh, I was looking at Mediterranean Street Food earlier! I just bought her book on Lebanese cuisine.

Dez 17, 2007, 6:04 pm

I've just bought Persia In Peckham and Arabesque - looking forward to trying them out!

12morsels Primeira Mensagem
Dez 27, 2007, 12:55 am

Julie Le Clerc's Taking Tea in the Medina because it's such a beautiful inspiring book. The recipes are from all over the Middle East and Northern Africa and the pictures are just gorgeous. I've already cooked quite a few recipes from it and all tasted fantastic. It's my favourite cookbook of the moment.

Jan 16, 2008, 7:41 am

wandering_star, I have both. Arabesque didn't teach me much news, though, but I like Persia in Peckham.

Abr 23, 2014, 2:31 am

I see that I am very late in picking up this thread, but, if anyone is interested, I absolutely vouch for Claudia Roden's work. She relates the food to the culture in which it is prepared. Accordingly, one gets a deeper context and a more enriched understanding of Middle Eastern food. To this end, and from cover to cover, I have read, cooked from and adore: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York and Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. Clear instructions mean that your results will be successful. Slightly less scholastic but no less enchanting, and definitely a pleasure to read and cook from, is Diana Henry's magnificent Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. You cannot go wrong with these books.

Editado: Abr 23, 2014, 9:49 am

Some other favorites:

Lebanese Mountain Cookery, and the Middle Eastern section of Flatbreads and Flavors.

Abr 23, 2014, 6:22 pm

Anything by Greg Malouf. Moorish is worth buying just for the guide to making your own spice mixtures and pastes. Several of his other books - I have Saraban - are in coffee table format, beautiful photographs and tales of his travels, but not so practical in the kitchen. Just to confuse the reading public, he has also published a book titled Arabesque!

Malouf tends to modern Middle Eastern (if you want classic you can't go past Claudia Roden), and I loved his cooking when he worked in Melbourne. I'm not that keen on Indian food, rarely buy it and never cook it, but I do like Middle Eastern flavours and get through quite a lot of baha'arat and ras al hanout.

Out 4, 2014, 2:47 am

I have been meaning to acquire Greg Malouf's cookery books for a while. In particular, I've had his Turqouise: A Chef's Journey Through Turkey on a wish list for a while. It is a shame that, as you say, his books might be difficult to work with in the kitchen.

Jan 5, 2015, 4:01 am

I have Saraban, Turquoise, Saha (I think those three kind of belong together, covering Persian, Turkish and Lebanese food in the same style) and New Middle Eastern Food by Greg Malouf. I really want his new vegetarian book (New Feast or something?) too. I don't mind a not so practical cookbook as long as it gives me inspiration.

Jan 5, 2015, 4:02 am

I have Saraban, Turquoise, Saha (I think those three kind of belong together, covering Persian, Turkish and Lebanese food in the same style), Moorish and New Middle Eastern Food by Greg Malouf. I really want his new vegetarian book (New Feast or something?) too. I don't mind a not so practical cookbook as long as it gives me inspiration.

Jan 5, 2015, 3:57 pm

I got New Feast for Christmas. It's a big and beautifully produced book, but less decorative and more practical in its focus. Among other things there are suggestion for menus.

Jan 20, 2015, 3:58 pm

Like others, I'd also recommend Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food - certainly the best mix of recipes, cultural context and readability that I know. I'd also add Margaret Shaida's The Legendary Cuisine of Persia as a key work if you're after authenticity. The most practical new books I have used are Ottolenghi's Jerusalem: a Cookbook and Sabrina Ghayour's wonderful Persiana.