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The Iraqi Cookbook Hardcover – 9 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Stacey International (9 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905299699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905299690
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 3.4 x 26.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Iraqi food is often simple, homey and thanks to this rather sensibly presented cookbook, easy to prepare. Author Lamees Ibrahim - who was born in Baghdad and now lives in London - presents more than 200 recipes in what was initially an attempt to capture in written form the cooking traditions handed down orally through the generations for her children, but which has evolved into a formal compendium, illustrated by color photographs. There are earthy bean soups accented with cumin, turmeric and vermicelli; dense breads stuffed with ground meat, cheese or dates; and a host of light vegetable salads accented with lemon juice, parsley and olive oil. Ibrahim devotes an entire chapter to kubba, cracked wheat or rice flour domes that are filled with all manner of stuffings and then deep-fried, boiled or baked in sauce. Fried fresh-water fish, ground meat kebabs and cinnamon-spiked rice biryanis are other staples, followed by date and almond sweets and rosewater-doused pastries. With the easygoing style of a casual home cook, Ibrahim describes her dishes and ingredients in an appealingly narrative manner, encouraging a relaxed approach to preparation while explaining the customs and rites of Iraqi eating. Fresh and simple, Ibrahim's cookbook is a welcome addition for those interested in exploring an intriguing cuisine through its most authentic flavors. --Publishers' Weekly

The Iraqi Cookbook is an important contribution to the still small volume of literature on Iraqi cookery available in English. --Banipal magazine

This is not the first book on the subject to be published in English, but previous works are rare.The author is a Baghdad-trained medical doctor who now lives in London. The book started out as a project to collect cherished recipes for her children, but ended up being collated on a grander scale. Ibrahim says that the book was written for Iraq's diaspora population, but the recipes are wide-ranging enough to interest food-lovers of all stripes. As well as collecting recipes, the author subtly outlines the social changes that have taken place in Iraq in recent decades, particularly the changing role of women in society and the political turmoil of the recent past and how these changes have affected the cooking. It's a fascinating look at a country through its food. --Time Out

About the Author

Lamees Ibrahim was born in Baghdad, and now lives in London. This is her first collection of recipes.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had this book bought for me but felt the need to leave a review here to address the negative reviews...

This is a very good cookbook overall. The people who say you can't use it as a beginner are only partly correct. If you are a complete novice you may find problems with most cookbooks. This is not at all a complex book though and as long as you are capable of following recipes you can give it a good go and most of the time you will have no problems ending up with a pretty decent meal.

Someone also said that she adds incorrect ingredients. I am also an Iraqi and my family and I all understand that different regions of Iraq make each dish slightly differently. My blend of Baharat spices is different to anyone else's and my mother's version of aubergine stew is slightly different to the one in this book and her friends all do it slightly differently too. Middle Eastern cooking is all done to taste and this also explains the lack of quantities on certain spices etc. It is NOT the ULTIMATE guide to Iraqi cooking and I don't believe it tries to be. The author shares with us the recipes from HER kitchen. The way she learned to make them. How many different recipes for Toad in the hole or Lasagne have you seen?!

There are a couple of recipes where I think there may have been a missed step because of printing errors. This is why I gave it 4 stars rather than 5. If you are a seasoned cook though it's nothing you can't figure out by yourself (or with a quick call to your mother if you're me and like to cheat ;)

Other than that, I am very grateful for this book because it is MUCH more precise in measurements and steps than the recipes my mother wrote down in a book for me for my wedding present! It's gorgeous food and very helpful to people from Western and Eastern backgrounds alike. I have changed a couple of recipes slightly to suit what I am used to and prefer but it's a very good base, from which to try out Iraqi/Middle Eastern food.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nadia Gattan on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hard to make mistakes if you follow this book. All the products I tried were so delicious. Very clear recipes and photos. Great idea for newly married couples and gifts as well. Good to see something positive about our country in the media at last. Thank you so much Lameess and the publisher(s).
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jane Fowler on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Recipes include ingredients which never get used or referred to in instructions. Unusual ingredients do not appear in the very brief glossary eg "Jireesh". Pictures of completed dishes show ingredients which do not appear in the ingredient list. Lack of detail - eg "dilute" no indication by how much. A most annoying book badly in need of specialist food editing by the publisher.

I love this style of food and, as an experienced cook will probably manage to approximate most of the dishes. This book would be totally useless to a beginner cook.

Lovely design and pictures (why I bought it).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Baklava on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book because unlike the previous books it has the exact proportions of ingredients in kg/oz. I tried few recipes after a couple of weeks of buying it and they turned out good (not bad for a beginner like me!). I also bought a second copy as a wedding gift. I highly recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By a reader on 15 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am baffled by how amazon-reviews forum is being rampantly used these days by authors' friends and relatives to promote and demote books sold on amazon. Here is an example, which I stumbled upon in one of my many visits to the site, regarding two books with which I happen to be familiar: Delights from the Garden of Eden and The Iraqi Iraqi Cookbook. It attracted my attention that a reviewer was grilled in several readers' comments for writing a rather negative review of The Iraqi Cookbook. One of the comments goes as follows:

"Elizabeth Anderson says:
Sounds to me like Zaynab wishes she had written such a book herself ;) The book is a phenomenal work and a comprehensive guide to Iraqi cuisine. It is my bible.
I myself am happy that one of our countrywomen has presented Iraqi culture so beautifully. The research is accurate - but perhaps Z is out of touch, as she lives in the UK? إنت نايـِم; ورِجْل;يك بالشـَ;ّمِس
Zaynab: I hope you learn to enjoy Iraqi cooking, including learning from your fellow Iraqis. Iraqi food is wonderful. Squish those sour grapes and make merry!"

Now, that same Elizabeth Anderson, who obviously knows the book well for she highly recommends it as being her cooking bible, and on that same day 28 Aug 2012, she wrote a review on Delights from the Garden of Eden which goes:

"2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad., 28 Aug 2012
By Elizabeth Anderson "Liz" (UK) - See all my reviews. This review is from: Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine (Paperback)

Nice idea, and cute title, BUT the book lacks pictures. When cooking, I find I really really needed visuals.
If L. Ibrahim's The Iraqi Cookbook had not sold out I would have gotten that one but guess I should have been patient and waited!"

I have previously reviewed The Iraqi Cookbook on amazon.com and gave it 2 stars. The one star here is for attitude.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SEAlsoodani on 13 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am British married to an Iraqi and found this book really helpful in instructing me how to make Iraqi food. There is a great variety of dishes, the pictures help to create the sense of how the food should be presented, and the book is well-structured and easy to follow. I have certain favourites that I make now, and my husband is a happy man! I really recommend this book to anyone who is in a similar position to me.
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