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.