The Jewelled Kitchen: Bethany Kehdy
Pub. Date: 23rd August 2016
A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan, and Persian Recipes
Kehdy's cookbook is an inspired collection of classics and innovative dishes from a part of the world which, at the moment, is enjoying its overdue place in the sun. Her contribution and original, thoughtful and delicious. Go get it! --Yottam Ottolenghi Bethany Kehdy is renowned for the contemporary Middle Eastern and North African recipes that she publishes on her blog (dirtykitchensecrets.com). A Lebanese-American born in Houston, Texas and brought up in Lebanon, she spent countless hours learning to cook with her perfectionist teta (grandmother), her vivacious dad and her spirited aunts. Her recipes are a harmonious balance of classic and contemporary, as she draws upon her childhood roots while adding her own personal twist to these iconic recipes
The cuisines from the Middle East and North Africa share many diverse influences and gorgeous key ingredients and spices, such as pomegranates, figs, pine nuts, saffron and sumac. Passionate about food and her heritage, this former Miss Lebanon showcases the sheer brilliance of the dishes of the Levant. Try a fragrant Fish Tagine with Preserved Lemons from the Moroccan chapter; fiery Lamb Shanks with Butterbeans and Tomatoes from the Lebanese; or delicately spiced Chicken, Walnuts and Pomegranate Stew from the Persian. All the cuisines of the regions are covered, including Egyptian, Palestinian, Syrian, Turkish, Iraqi and Jordanian, and all the recipes are easy to make. You'll find yourself drawn into a whole new world and a whole new way of cooking.
A lovely book that brought back memories of a Lebanese friend I met when were both working in Wales in the 1980s. He would phone home to his mother and his first question was to ask her what she was cooking for dinner, he missed the food and her cooking so much, particularly dolmas. He would tell me all about the food and now, here they all are!Nicely laid out with chapters according to food type. Some of the ingredients sound so very exotic, yet I am familiar with some but mostly because of food programmes on the television.
I was pleased to see a lovely recipe authentic recipe for tabhouli which calls for masses of parsley and just a small amount of bulgur wheat, so different to our Australian version.
There' is a very useful Pantry section with a very good description of all the ingredients. The author has gone to much trouble to make these recipes as easy as possible for Western cooks to follow, as she explains, she never was taught precise measurements, that cooking for her is more of a sensory experience.
I loved reading her bio, what an interesting life she has so far lived. In fact the only thing I didn't like was the font used for the headers
Copy kindly provided by NetGalley and Nourish in return for an unbiased review