Before I go on to critical remarks, I d like to note that people should own this book, mostly because there are few substitutes with anything resembling the same range and scale.
The book has far too many Greek and Moroccan and Tunisian etc recipes for its title to make sense This is the first problem Or not, cause the Greeks and Moroccans and Tunisians etc make really fucking good food.
The second is that the recipes given are often for boring, mundane versions of the dishes This is, of course, not always the case, but it is too often the case This is partly a result of Roden being from Egypt, the cuisine of which doesn t generally match up to the much sophisticated cuisines of Lebanon and some other parts of the Levant or Morocco etc The spices given are frequently a bit off, or lacking, for the relevant dish The syrups for the desserts are of the common, stickier, off putting kinds found in the region, not of the sophisticated and higher quality kind In short, if a recipe here is also to be found in books like those of Ottolenghi and Tamimi e.
g Jerusalem, Ottolenghi, etc for the love of God follow the recipes in the other books They re much better, much refined, and make for better eating.
But the thing is that most of these recipes are pretty hard to find in English language cookbooks, making this book a pretty damn good resource The cross cultural nature of the thing is also appealing.
You ll find recipes for tremendous vegetarian salads and main courses, lovely seafood, sumptuous meat dishes, simple stews, and beautiful desserts I d just recommend that you follow your instincts and maybe compare one or two recipes some of the time to arrive at the version that most suits your tastes and best reflects the dish s ability to shine There s a bit of pandering to orientalist dispositions, but I suppose that doesn t really matter.
Claudia Roden s A Book of Middle Eastern Food was a landmark cookery book, first published in 1968 At a time when most Britons were enjoying cauliflower cheese and soggy Spaghetti Bolognese on a regular basis, she introduced chick peas, sharp flavoured marinades, aubergines and her most popular recipe orange and almond cake.
She is a cookery writer whose love of cooking and exploration of culture through recipes has placed her in a unique role Jay Rayner of The Kitchen Cabinet describes her as One of the greatest British food writers working in Britain today one before whom the likes of Nigel Slater, Simon Hopkinson, Nigella and Delia will all willingly bend the knee Claudia was born in 1936 in Cairo She was a foreign food correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times Magazine Later, she hosted a BBC TV series, Claudia Roden s Mediterranean Cookery, and has won many awards and trophies.
With cameos from Yotam Ottolenghi and Claudia s granddaughter, Nelly Wolman, this entertaining dramatisation shines a light on an extraordinary global cook, still traveling the world sharing recipes and cultures.
Episode 1 Claudia remembers her early life in Cairo and the nostalgic dishes of her childhood The dramatist Anjum Malik is an established scriptwriter, poet and performer She is also a lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University She was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived in Pakistan as well several cities in England.
Tracy Ann ObermanNelly DouekAnn MarcusonCesar DouekDavid FleeshmanInterviewer Auntie.
Perveen HussainEpisode 2 Now at art school in London, Claudia despairs of British cooking Everything changes when her beloved parents are expelled from Egypt and join her.
Episode 3 Claudia s quest for Middle Eastern recipes takes her to embassies, carpet shops and any gathering where she might meet fellow Middle Easterners Cooking with her mother brings them even closer together.
Episode 4 Claudia s research takes her to the Medieval section of the British Library, for ancient Arabic recipes that she tries out on her children At last, she finds a publisher.
Episode 5 As Claudia continues to research and share recipes from all over the world, she is celebrated by fellow cooks and still cooks with her family this time her granddaugher, Nelly, rather than her mother.
This is one of my all time favorite cookbooks and it s one of the two or three that I consult almost every week I got the original edition as a gift when I was a teenager and had already been cooking seriously for several years Before this, I mostly followed the classical French style this was my introduction and my family s to ethnic cooking and I could not have had a better teacher than Claudia Roden I used the first book to the point where it fell apart and I was thrilled to discover the new edition Roden grew up in Eqypt so she knows her Middle Eastern cookery The recipes are clear, easy to follow and easy to adapt if you don t live near a good Middle Eastern grocer These days, for health and kosher kitchen reasons, this is my predominant cooking style there are lots of recipes that are low fat, vegetarian, and non dairy All are full of flavor and even the kids like it.
So a cookbook might seem an unusual thing to read and review, and honestly, I own very few cookbooks Most of my recipes are from friends or family members, or I find them on allrecipes.
com Having grown up a military brat, I have always tried a variety of new foods and cuisines After college, I discovered a couple middle eastern recipes on allrecipes quite by chance I was searching for ways to use some of the many tomatoes and cucumbers friends had given me from their gardens As a result, I learned how to make Fatoosh and Tabbouleh Fast forward a few years later, and I had taken up belly dancing as a hobby This led to an increased interest in the food, culture, and languages of the middle east, I found a few recipes for mainstream standbys like Kofta, Dolma, and Falafel Past that point, the internet hasn t helped me much with finding authentic middle eastern recipes to try I saw this book at Barnes Noble and decided to check it out from the library to read through it at length I love it This book is like an encyclopaedia of middle eastern foods It covers everything from salads, soups stews, meats, vegetables, rice and couscous dishes, desserts, and drinks I was especially delighted to find a recipe for pickled eggplant, which one of my favorite local restaurants recently ceased offering, due to a lack of popularity When a recipe has multpile variations in different countries, the author includes the variables by country at the tail end of the recipe, so you can experiment with different versions until you find what you enjoy best She also includes snippets of parables, folk stories, and songs with the recipes Language, food, and fable are three things that closely tie cultures together, and I love the extra insight these additions bring to the book I will be buying this for my own personal library, and cooking many of the recipes For an experienced cook, who enjoys new things and exploring different cuisines, this would be a great resource.
In This Updated And Greatly Enlarged Edition Of Her Book Of Middle Eastern Food, Claudia Roden Re Creates A Classic The Book Was originally Published Here In And Was Hailed By James Beard As A Landmark In The Field Of Cookery This New Version Represents The Accumulation Of The Author S Thirty Years Of Further Extensive Travel Throughout The Ever Changing Landscape Of The Middle East, Gathering Recipes And StoriesNow Ms Roden Gives Us Than Recipes, Including The Aromatic Variations That Accent A Dish And Define The Country Of Origin Fried Garlic And Cumin And Coriander From Egypt, Cinnamon And Allspice From Turkey, Sumac And Tamarind From Syria And Lebanon, Pomegranate Syrup From Iran, Preserved Lemon And Harissa From North Africa She Has Worked Out Simpler Approaches To Traditional Dishes, Using Healthier Ingredients And Time Saving Methods Without Ever Sacrificing Any Of The Extraordinary Flavor, Freshness, And Texture That Distinguish The Cooking Of This Part Of The WorldThroughout These Pages She Draws On All Four Of The Region S Major Cooking Styles The Refined Haute Cuisine Of Iran, Based On Rice Exquisitely Prepared And Embellished With A Range Of Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, And Nuts Arab Cooking From Syria, Lebanon, And Jordan At Its Finest Today, And A Good Source For Vegetable And Bulgur Wheat Dishes The Legendary Turkish Cuisine, With Its Kebabs, Wheat And Rice Dishes, Yogurt Salads, Savory Pies, And Syrupy Pastries North African Cooking, Particularly The Splendid Fare Of Morocco, With Its Heady Mix Of Hot And Sweet, Orchestrated To Perfection In Its Couscous Dishes And TaginesFrom The Tantalizing Mezze Those Succulent Bites Of Filled Fillo Crescents And Cigars, Chopped Salads, And Stuffed Morsels, As Well As Tahina, Chickpeas, And Eggplant In Their Many Guises To The Skewered Meats And Savory Stews And Hearty Grain And Vegetable Dishes, Here Is A Rich Array Of The Cooking That Americans Embrace Today No Longer Considered Exotic All The Essential Ingredients Are Now Available In Supermarkets, And The Rare Can Be Obtained Through Mail Order Sources Readily Available On The Internet The Foods Of The Middle East Are A Boon To The Home Cook Looking For Healthy, Inexpensive, Flavorful, And Wonderfully Satisfying Dishes, Both For Everyday Eating And For Special Occasions This is an amazing book, a wide ranging cookbook, with lots of social historical context, snippets from literature and charming personal anedoctes I am sure I will pick this up many times.
The recipe writing style is also precisely to my taste The range is amazing and inspiring.
I have only two small personal quibbles with this first, my edition this precise cover has american units I hate american units and always prefer to avoid them second, the photos instead of being spread out through the book are concentrated on a few extra pages in the middle of the book It is inspiring to have the recipe close to the photo Cooks who really have to have photos on their cookbooks should be warned, there are photos only of a couple dozen of the recipes, though there are some very useful drawings and schemes within the text when necessary.
I love Middle Eastern food, and I love this book While this book is not for beginners, those experienced in the kitchen will love trying new and exotic flavors and cooking techniques I made a fantastic feast of kebabs, baba ghanouj roasted the egglpants under the brioler myself , hummus, tabouli, and HOMEMADE PITA BREAD took a few days, no joke But that s just the beginningthe book is full of so many delicious recipes that most AMericans have never heard or conceived of, regardless of how many gyro restaurants you ve been to Every recipe is so authentic, rich, delicious