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

Sally Butcher
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 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: 43.55

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,067 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

From the Author

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

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 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 25 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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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully produced and fascinating to read 8 Nov 2011
This book is both well-written and lovely to look at. As well as the practical recipes, it's packed with interesting snippets of background information, history, literature, folk tales and cultural info of all kinds, which makes it wonderful to browse through. The best cookery book I've read for an awfully long time, thoroughly enjoyable and insightful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delicious vegetarian tour of the middle east. 19 Mar 2013
I'm really not sure when Sally Butcher found the time to write this follow up to Persia in Peckham - between three blogs, an active twitter and facebook presence and running a shop, she has also somehow found the time to write two cookbooks. It makes one feel positively exhausted and/or completely inadequate.

Veggiestan is a big book - 263 pages - with ten chapters of vegetarian recipes: bread and pastry; herbs and salads; dairy and eggs; soup; legumes and pulses; vegetables; cooking with fruit; saucing, pickling and preserving; and desserts, and when flicking through pretty much everything looks like an interesting dish worth trying. For example, Palestinian upside-down rice, the swooning imam, smoky aubergine dip, baked stuffed quinces, to name four, but really pulling out ones that look particularly interesting is supremely difficult. Basically, they all look good!

Recipes aren't confined to one part of the Middle East: as Sally says in her introduction, Veggiestan isn't a real place, and the food is an amalgam from across the region.While there are plenty of photos, not every dish is accompanied by a picture. And the traumas of deciding which recipes to leave in and which to leave out have been alleviated by the Veggiestan blog, which has plenty of further recipes to try.

This is a really enticing book: beautifully written, and the flavour combinations and dishes look both delicious and out of the norm for us. It's found a rare place on our bookshelf: I'm sure it will be a book that we reference frequently.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! 16 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait to thumb through the pages of this book and dipped into it as soon as I arrived. It more than lived up to my expectations and I thought 'this book deserves to win a prize!' then I turned to the back cover to see it already had! And been Sunday Times cook book of the year. I'm not suprised.

The recipies are wonderful, they're tasty and easy to make. You need a few specialist ingredients but I rang Sally at her shop and she put a few together for me by mail order. The photography is stunning, there are interesting asides in the text that relate to the food which makes it a little like 'Arabian Nights' and really help us understand the culture and add to the mood.

There are also a few articles that explain specific parts of middle east cooking, such as how spices are grouped together etc. It's wonderful to try food which isn't hotly spiced like indian but is very different from mediterranean. It also has a lovely 'voice' throughout it which explains things and adds the odd funny aside, it's like having a knowledgeable, funny middle eastern friend next to you!

The photographs are a treat too, it must have taken a long time and a lot of care to put together, but it was well worth it!

All that remains is to ask the BBC to make a telly programme of it. Imagine the scene, it's a cold, grey day in the UK, you settle on the sofa with a cup of tea and switch the telly on. You see pictures of the middle east, with Sally cooking jewelled rice, treats doused in pomegrante, lush meals of rice, aubergine, figs.... I think that's the perfect tonic and I'm off to email the BBC! Its a love letter to the country really, Sally obviously really loves the land and it's food and loves telling us all about it. Let's have more Sally!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vegetable loves and vegetarians alike 5 Dec 2011
Sally knows her stuff. I'm lucky enough to be able to buy the ingredients in her shop around the corner, but I've bought a few books for the vegetable lovers in my family. Especially good for those who are enthusiastic about growing their own, as lots of ideas for many ways to avoid the boredom of a glut of one veg.

Great for meat eaters too; everyone can enjoy the variety and breadth of this book. Yum
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 day 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago by Igoolo
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Recipes are not too difficult though some of the ingredients have been hard to get. Would recommend it though as well put together and lovely to look at too.
Published 3 months ago by irish reader
5.0 out of 5 stars If there was 10 stars it would get this
Great food, makes you want to go food shopping. The writing is superb and recipes easy to follow. Do it!
Published 3 months ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Cover, disappointing range of dishes for me.
This book has a beautiful, textured cover. From the title, one gets the impression that there will be dishes from all parts of Middle East - which is a big region. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rehana Ahmed
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant Book
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... Read more
Published 5 months ago by K. Stumpf
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book
love this book! lots of really different and itneresting recipes for vegetarians. Love the way of cooking rice. Easy to follow recipes .
Published 6 months ago by F. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Good presentaion substantial and easy to follow-Covers a wide area in the Middle east and offers just the right variety
Published 7 months ago by A. Stamboulieh
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