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Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover's Tour of the Middle East [Hardcover]

Sally Butcher
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

6 Oct 2011
VEGGIESTAN. Literally: land of the vegetables. There is of course no such word, and no such country. But in this upbeat guide to Middle Eastern vegetarian cookery Sally Butcher proves that the region more than merits the term, and that its constituent nations are simmering, bubbling, bursting with sumptuous vegetarian traditions and recipes. Written in her trademark engaging and knowledgeable style, Sally takes a fresh look at many of the more exciting ingredients available on our high streets today as well as providing a host of delicious recipes made with more familiar fare. From fragrant Persian noodle rice to gingery tamarind aubergines, pink pickled turnips and rose petal jam this book is filled with aromatic herbs and spices, inspiring ideas and all the knowledge needed to cook wonderful vegetarian food.

Frequently Bought Together

Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover's Tour of the Middle East + Snackistan: Street Food, Comfort Food, Meze: Informal Eating in the Middle East & Beyond + The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes
Price For All Three: 47.20

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pavilion Books (6 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862058849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862058842
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 19.8 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sally Butcher is an accidental and accident-prone shop-keeper, and before that that she was an accidental and accident-prone chef. But both experiences have given her a lot to laugh about and even more to write about.

When she is not writing books in the back room, she blogs and tweets prolifically, helps her husband run their corner-shop, Persepolis, and organises all sorts of extra-curricular pop-up stuff. She is what is known in the trade as 'a bit of a busy body'.

Product Description


Had us salivating over Persian-style jewelled rice, Moroccan-style beetroot and orange salad...Butcher writes like a dream, really know hers Middle Eastern foodstuffs and offers enticing recipes. An absolute must for the vegetarian on your gift list. --Delicious magazine, December 2011 issue

Veggiestan ranges across a number of Middles Eastern cuisines with flair and a sense of humour that makes it as much of a pleasure to read as it is to cook from. --The Indy Best 10 Vegetarian Cookbooks, 1st August 2014

From the Author

You can find lots more Veggiestan stuff (extra recipes, out-takes, general silliness) over at

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite cookbook 29 Jan 2012
I can't recommend this highly enough. Beautifully-flavoured, hearty, cheap, nutritious dishes from across the Middle East. Virtually no expensive or hard to find ingredients, just lots of fresh vegetables, pulses, and spices. I want to make everything in this book - a rare thing indeed with vegetarian cookbooks, a lot of which tend to focus on pastry and other non-proteinous things. The dishes I have made (Greek-inspired black-eyed bean hotpot, spicy mung bean casserole, uber-garlicky Armenian lentil and walnut stew, proper Persian rice with a golden buttery crust) have been amazing: warming, subtly spiced, full of fresh flavours, and very easy to make. The book is also an absolute pleasure to read. You can feel the love in every word - for home cooking, family, the culture and history of the Middle East. My partner, a committed meat-eater (who, erm, jokes that much of my cooking is 'veggie slop'), said the Armenian stew is the best meal he's had in a long time - so I'd recommend this for non-vegetarians too!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best vegetatrian cook book EVER! 16 Jan 2012
This book is jam packed with delicious and varied recipes. I have cooked a number of things already and every one has been a success. The Palestinian Upsidedown Cake - an aubergine/vegetable/rice concotion - is an absolute dream. Already a favourite in my kitchen. I would highly recommend this to everyone, vegetarian or not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant Book 8 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Had this book in German before (an excellent translation!) but gave it to a (German) friend who couldn't keep her fingers from it :-) Ordered in in English now, which helps me (living in the UK) when shopping.
Love (most of) the recipes, easy to follow and accurate instructions, good background info and lots of interesting facts and stories around vegetarian cooking in the Middle East. Very good book for all veggie-lovers!
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sally Butcher's debut Persia in Peckham received many rave reviews. Personally I thought it was okay, when measured against other Iranian cookbooks available, and thought the presentation lacking and the writing style a bit irritating at times.

This new book covering the wider Middle East would appear, from the title and strapline, to be targetted at vegetarians. Since meat is still a special occasion food for many in the region, any faithful book on its cuisine should be largely vegetarian anyway. It's only to pander to rich, Western eating habits that so many Middle Eastern cookbooks contain so many meat dishes. This is food too good to be the sole preserve of vegetarians.

The recipes here cover the range from the well known to the less familiar but still authentic, through to many 'Middle Eastern inspired' creations by Ms Butcher herself. There's plenty in here I would love to make, and it's not too often you can say that of the many cookbook offerings saturating the market these days. I particularly like the preserves section, and the 'muraba-e murch-e surkh wa piaz' (onion, chilli and mint jam) will probably be one of the first things here I will produce. It should be noted as a minor caution that there are a number of recipes involving ingredients which would undoubtedly be easy to source if you live down the Edgeware Road (moghrabieh, kashk, quroot, reshteh, pekmez and so on) but not if like me you live in deepest Devon.

This is a better presented work than 'Persia in Peckham', better laid out and with reasonably plentiful photographs of some of the dishes. The mildly irritating, 'jocular' (depending on your point of view) writing style remains. Nevertheless a recommended book.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst vegetarian cookbook on my shelf 11 Jan 2013
I really wanted to like this book as I received it as a present. The cover and pictures are very attractive, but that's as far as it goes. I have made 10 of the recipes in this book and I wouldn't cook any of them again. I consider myself an accomplished vegetarian cook, but my family rated two dishes from this book as "uneatable", 7 were "okay but don't cook it again", and one was rated excellent. The one rated excellent was 'melons with wings' which is a recipe that the author admits was stolen from one of her customers. But it took me so long to make it - 45 mins to cook the aduki beans, 25 mins for the cooker top part, and 30 mins in the oven, that it won't be gracing our table again. The barberry & almond casserole is described by the author in her intro as 'gloriously rich and tart, infused with the pungent flavour of dried limes' but it was so tart and sour that we couldn't eat it. It hit the compost bin and we had cheese on toast instead. A total waste of good ingredients. In mentioning ingredients, I should say that I live in Manchester which has many middle eastern and asian stores selling all range of exotic ingredients. But many of those included in the book were hard to track down - I couldn't find verjuice anywhere. I agree with the reviewer from Shropshire, that finding the ingredients will be difficult for anyone outside a major conurbation.

The author admits that she is a meat-eater, and I think this shows in the recipes. Many seem to be adapted from meat-versions, with little consideration given to nutritional values. For example she recommends that a casserole with a high potato content, should be served with rice. Carbohydrate overload! The best recipes in the book are those which she acknowledges as stolen from others.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The joys of food
A very beautiful cookery book, I purchased this for a vegetarian friend but then bought a copy for myself
Published 25 days ago by A. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A refreshing book and sooo good. Fantastic ideas for veggie food and zoo tasty.
Published 1 month ago by M. Beardsmore
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Book arrived damaged and was sent back.
Published 1 month ago by M. Beckwith
4.0 out of 5 stars I found the recipes were good, easy to understand and have dispelled...
As a recent veggie, I found the recipes were good, easy to understand and have dispelled the myth that veggies have to eat boring food
Published 1 month ago by edge of insanity
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Love it. A really beautifully presented book (ideal as a present) with great new recipes, and interesting ideas for old recipes with a quirky write up (liked the idea of putting on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
A fabulous selection of dishes worth spending time on. A beautifully presented book, I have also bought copies as presents for veggie friends. Read more
Published 3 months ago by louisecob
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I'm not a vegetarian but a veggie lover and this book is prob the best cookery book around! It's also quite an amusing book to read too. The author is very witty
Published 4 months ago by Simon P. Howes
4.0 out of 5 stars Veggie Tastic
This book is great and very very inspiring. Lots to see and try (though ingrediants slightly tricky to get ahokd of in some case) but a feast for the eyes and the ears for those of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by lisa gardner
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK
Its OK but a few recipes I've tried I just didn't like but I like how its written. I'll persevere!
Published 5 months ago by Ms J S Noles
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
very nice recopies , this book looks good with lots of nice food recopies ,Persian and middle eastern veggie food made easy
Published 5 months ago by Igoolo
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