I have been a big fan of Masterchef Australia since it’s very first season. In spite of being a vegetarian, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the strangest of meat varieties being cooked, tasted and presented. There were chefs from ‘Michelin star’ restaurants and ‘hatted’ restaurants who fueled the aspirations of the participants with their magical cooking and kind words. How lovely would their world be, I would wonder, and the next step – google them! I read all about them and their favourite food, their signature recipes and the food books they recommended. That was my introduction to the wonderful world of food books, and there has been no looking back. My sister once mentioned to me that she reads food books before she goes to bed and that they are therapeutic! I laughed then, but sometimes you just have to experience something to believe it!
Some of the books that I have enjoyed reading or am coveting to read (just by reading about them) are
I thoroughly enjoy Middle-eastern cuisine, in fact I taste it in every city I visit. Delicious, and a large vegetarian variety. The middle-eastern cuisine food books I have throughly enjoyed reading are:
1. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem
This book is generously sprinkled with stories, about 120 recipes and beautiful photographs. Enjoyed reading about the Hummus wars and the humble aubergine. The recipes are fairly simple and straight forward to follow. Try the hummus recipe – you’ll never get back to the store-bought one.
2. Tess Mallos’s The Complete Middle East Cook Book
This book gives an in-depth insight into the food, lifestyle and cooking methods of various regions, as each chapter unfolds. There are over 500 recipes with drool-worthy pictures. The best Baklava recipe you can find as per one of the online reviews I read. You can get it from Amazon – a tad expensive, but the photographs and recipes are well worth it!
3. Sam & Sam Clark’s Moro East
I read about community gardens for the first time in Moro East and how such incredible produce comes from them, in this food book while traveling. Beautiful pictures and interesting recipes – some that I have tasted, but since this book was borrowed, I didn’t get a chance to try the recipes. To research Muslim Mediterranean cuisine, the chef-couple – Samuel and Samantha Clark spent some months traveling – driving around Spain and Morocco in an old camper van, going to markets and cooking with people they met along the way. Incredible! Still not available in India, so try the kindle edition if you enjoy incredible recipes (some that I heard for the first time) with locally grown produce.
Are there any other favourite food books on middle eastern cuisine that you have read? Tell us about them.