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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different and brilliant
I've followed the blog that is behind this book for a few years after coming across it looking for some vaguely Middle Eastern recipe.

Since then I have made many of the dishes that Bethany has featured on her site - and they have always been delicious.

I knew nothing about this type of cuisine but I gather that her recipes mix the traditional Middle...
Published 13 months ago by Mr Ian Clifford

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cover encloses a very poor cookbook.
The cover will attract many; it is gorgeous. The contents are very disappointing indeed. There are exceptions but in the main this book is not going to get you an authentic experience, or practical help. We are experienced cooks who love recipes from all around the globe but have found that so far the recipes in the book are bland and not worth the necessary effort...
Published 7 months ago by flycatcher


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different and brilliant, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
I've followed the blog that is behind this book for a few years after coming across it looking for some vaguely Middle Eastern recipe.

Since then I have made many of the dishes that Bethany has featured on her site - and they have always been delicious.

I knew nothing about this type of cuisine but I gather that her recipes mix the traditional Middle Eastern classics, basics and methods with a little bit of modern interpretation. Wherever she is getting her ideas from, it's working. Refined yet simple to cook dishes full of new and tantalising flavours.

And, with the news that she had been asked to write a book, I was ready and waiting. If anything, the book is better than the blog. Stuffed with great food to dive into it's a visual feast of ideas. I only received it yesterday but have been drooling over it constantly since. Tonight I am tackling 'Auntie Anwar's Mansaf Risotto' a sharing plate of lamb and rice hopped up on spices. Can't wait, but there are many I want to try.

If you're open to new food experiences Bethany's cooking is a great window on a cuisine that we don't usually embrace in the west - and her book is a brilliant resource.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great traditional Lebanese food, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
Long-time food blogger Bethany Kehdy has long sought to bring Middle Eastern food to the British Isles. Forsaking the current fusion craze, Kehdy argues that delicious, basic Lebanese food has not been properly introduced to the British. As a result, The Jewelled Kitchen focuses on a broad range of the foods of Kehdy's childhood in Lebanon.

Kehdy branches out beyond the Middle Eastern appetizers that most people are familiar with (or mezze as it's called in Lebanon.), although the recipes for the obligatory hummus and baba ghanoush are in there, the variety of seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes shows that there's an amazing variety in flavours - definitely not the dry, bland food I would have envisioned from supermarket hummus.

Kehdy is the founder of Food Blogger Connect, the only specific food blogging conference outside the US, the creator of Taste Lebanon (a food tour of traditional and modern Lebanese cooking) and her blog Dirty Little Kitchen Secrets serves as a to-do guide for Middle Eastern cooking novices. She also represented Lebanon in 2002's Miss World competition. Only time with tell if The Jewelled Kitchen is at the forefront of a Middle Eastern cooking revolution - but it's certainly poised to become the go-to guide for Irish cooks looking for an easy and authentic Lebanese experience.

Stand out recipes: hummus (easy and authentic, Kehdy notes tinned chickpeas just won't do it), minced lamb and onion pasties (puts the Cornish pasty to shame) and mussels in arak (a lovely spiced taste on an Irish staple).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic addition to the Middle Eastern cookbook market, 6 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
Having grown up with a Greek Cypriot father above a Greek restaurant in London, I'm well versed in the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean. As such, it's a pleasure to find a book like this - taking the familiar yet adding the author's own personal touch, taste and flair into each and every recipe. Whether it be the duck shawarma, the venison nests with cherry, or the delightful orange salad which lights up the front cover, the flavours used are both nostalgic yet contemporary and fun.

What's more, the photography is fantastic throughout, bringing each recipe to life while the author's background introduction is a fascinating tale of ambivalence; longing for a homeland which has known so much conflict and using cooking as a way to express that feeling. Reading it brought shivers to the neck and an understanding of what the Lebanese might diaspora experience through the medium of food!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middle Eastern adventure, 30 July 2013
This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
For someone who is mostly used to East European cuisine, like me, this book will be a true adventure. It will most likely change the way you look at the Middle Eastern cuisine and might make you experiment much more.

You might not like sweet stuff with your meat, have no idea what `sumac' is or it might seem crazy to you to prepare rice dish with `crispy bottom' (not mentioning, that traditionally, it takes two hours to do that) and you say that parsley is good for soups only, right?

Well, get a bottle of wine (preferably lebanese), open this book, find some recipe with your favourite ingredient and cook it.

I bet, you'll end up like me - finishing very easily portion for four people of Stuffed squid with fennel - all on my own, with no shame and great pleasure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook I have ever owned!!, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
Bethany Kehdy has created a beautiful cookbook with great illustrations and easy to follow recipes.

This is so important to me when trying to cook something I have never cooked before. Mouth watering dishes with wonderful exciting ingredients.

I just love all the recipes and will en-devour to work my way through the whole mouth watering dishes.

Thumbs up for this book and I cannot wait for the next one!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!, 25 July 2013
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
Just received this today. Really good book with lovely recipes and detailed explanation of the various sauces, spices mixes, pickles, etc. to get you going. I have Ottolenghi's Jerusalem; along with this book, I think I'm pretty much sorted for Middle Eastern and North African cooking!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through a culture, 17 July 2013
This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
I've always been fascinated by Middle Eastern cuisine and I had been searching for the perfect book to start cooking. When I first opened this book I could instantly feel a love for a culture by the author. The recipes are inviting and authentic, a true journey through Middle Eastern culture. In the back of the book are easy to follow recipes for the basics like herb mixes and breads, you only really need one book on Middle Eastern food and that is this one, and maybe a sequel if there were to be one!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Middle Eastern cookbook to have and cook from, 30 July 2013
This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
Although I photographed this book and might sound biased for that reason I can honestly say it's a book to have if you want to learn about Middle Eastern cuisine. Written with passion and pure devotion, backed up by deep knowledge this book will take you on a journey through out the region, exploring spices, flavours and techniques of authentic and traditional recipes, some of them with a modern twist.

I tested many of the recipes (some of them many times) before the book was published, but now when I finally have my own copy, I continue discovering wonders of the cuisine with a child-like excitement. It's really hard to pick a favourite recipe. Stuffed squid, kishk soup, venison and sour cherry nests, tuna tartare with chermoula, dynamite chilli cigars, meaty ratatouille or teta's smokey musaqa'a are just a few to mention. Every time I cook from the book my list of favourites expands. My latest addition is Sea bass with spiced caramelised onion rice. Even my boyfriend who doesn't like spices like cinnamon and allspice is savoury dishes devoured the rice and went for seconds. What I really appreciate about this book is that the recipes are easy to follow and they work! If you want to impress your friends or family with new flavours and delicious Middle Eastern food, this book should be on your bookshelf.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A choice collection of (fairly) authentic recipes, 11 July 2013
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
The time has perhaps not yet come for Middle Eastern cuisine to go mainstream. We're still waiting for some celebrity chef to do a television series in order to popularise it. In the meantime while we wait, there continue to be published plenty of cookbooks.

This new offering by Bethany Kehdy spans a geographical region from Morocco to Iran, and the recipes are mostly based on authentic recipes, with relatively few outlandish new concoctions, though Ms Kehdy does often introduce her own variation on the original whilst remaining reasonably true to the spirit of the dish. So for example with fesenjan (which she simply calls "braised duck legs" - she seems afraid to use the original Arabic or Farsi name in recipe titles, instead either using more familiar terms from Western style dishes or trying to be clever with quirky soubriquets) the pomegranate and walnut sauce in which the duck would usually be cooked becomes a kind of 'chutney' to be served alongside.

There is relatively little in the way of hard to source ingredients in you are in range of a town with 'ethnic' grocers. Even if not, most things should be available by mail order at a push (there are a few listings at the back). Alternatives are substituted or suggested for the most difficult to find items.

Each recipe gives number of servings, preparation time & cooking time. Ingredient lists are given in both metric and imperial. The cooking instructions are well presented in clear steps. Every recipe gets a page to itself (the odd one spanning two, but these are on opposing pages rather than having to turn the page over - nice one from the book designers - they've clearly been thinking, unlike some other cookbook designers), and three out of five of the recipes have a colour photograph of the finished article on the opposing page. I would have liked a photo for everything, but it seems rare to find that luxury in cookbook land. Thankfully there are no filler photos of Middle Eastern locations nor of the grinning author which are the bane of so many cookbooks.

There are a few introductory pages about Ms Kehdy's own culinary background and about Middle Eastern food in general, and at the back there are a number of pages of standard recipes for spice mixes, accompaniments and so on referenced in the main text.

From my own viewpoint, already possessing no end of Middle Eastern cookbooks, there's not really a great deal in here which is new to me, but for newcomers this provides a great introduction to the kind of food to be found across a broad stretch of territory from Tangier to Tehran, not necessarily entirely authentic but very much retaining the essence.

The full recipe listing is as follows:

Mezze:
Silky chickpea & lamb soup
Kishk, lamb & kale soup
Spiced naked mini sausages
Eggs poached in tomato and pepper stew
Kafta snugged scotch eggs
Minced lamb & onion crescents (sambousek)
Whipped hummus with lamb
Lamb & bulgur torpedoes (kibbeh)
Venison & sour cherry nests
Tuna tartare with chermoula
Artichokes with couscous
Mixed greens frittata (kookoo sabzi)
Spinach and sumac turnovers
Dynamite chilli cigars (briwat/raqaqat)
Red-hot roasties (batata harra)
Shipwrecked potato boats
Corn on the kobab
Jewelled rice (morasa polow)
Carrot salad with cumin and preserved lemon
Monk's aubergine salad (baba ghanouj/salatet el raheb)
Courgette and sumac fritters
Warm hummus in a cumin and olive oil broth
Swimming chickpeas (hummus musabaha)
Chargrilled sweet pepper and walnut dip (muhammara)
Smokey aubergine dip (baba ghanoush)
Spinach & labneh dip
Tabbouleh salad
Fattoush salad
Shaved beetroot, radish and grapefruit salad
Pomegranate & cucumber salad
Yoghurt, cucumber & mint salad
Undressed herb salad
Moroccan citrus salad

Poultry:
Chicken basteeya
Sumac scented chicken parcels
Slumbering chamomile chicken
Wild thyme chicken
Sumac chicken casserole
Chicken & spinach upside down cake
Chicken with caraway couscous
Chicken and preserved lemon tagine
Jew's mallow with cardamom chicken
Chicken stuffed with cherries
Mandaean duck stuffed with nutty ginger rice with date & apple compote
Duck shawarma with fig jam
Braised duck legs (fesenjan)

Meat:
Chickpea flour quiche
Aubergine-wrapped fingers
Leafy lamb kebabs
Caramelized onions stuffed with lamb
Baked kafta
Herbed kafta with dukkah tahini
Spiced lamb flatbread pizzas (lahmacun)
Lamb rice with crispy potato base
Freekah with lamb & rhubarb
Auntie Anwaar's mansaf risotto
Meaty ratatouille
Lamb & herb stew (ghormeh e-sabzi)
Baked spiced lamb tortellini
Quinces stuffed with veal and wheat berries
Aubergine veal and yoghurt crumble
Veal shoulder with butter beans
Oxtail with oozing okra

Seafood:
Almond crusted scallops
Mussels in arak
Slow braised spiced squid
Prawn, spinach and bread crumble
Spiced prawn and coconut rice
Sea bass with spiced caramalized onion rice
Veiled sea bass with a spicy surprise
Salmon with herby butter and barberries
Tamarind & herb mackerel stew
Spicy snapper in the Tripoli manner
Blackened sea bream
Monkfish tagine with chermoula

Vegetarian:
Pan-fried squares
Falafel & tarator wraps
Sabich salad
Koshari
Lentil, bulgur & tamarind pilaf
Upside-down cauliflower rice cake
Courgettes stuffed with herb rice
Vine leaves with bulgur, figs & nuts
Broad beans with yoghurt tahdeg
Mixed bean & herb noodle soup
Broad beans, peas & fennel tagine
Slow-cooked broad bean and tomato stew
Smokey aubergine & split pea stew
Mess of pottage
Teta's smokey musaq'a

Desserts:
Semolina pancakes
Fruit cocktail with clotted cream and nuts
Lebanese clotted cream with dulche de leche and caramelized bananas
Pomegranate & rose quark summer cake
Evaporated milk pudding with crushed Arabic coffee
Middle Eastern cheesecake
Fritter threads with mulberry swirl ice cream
Saffron rice pudding
Cardamom scented profiteroles
Tahini & chocolate brioche
Egyptian spiced bread pudding
Wild orchid ice-cream in filo cups
Ginger & molasses semolina marble cake
Baklawa
Ma'amoul shortbread biscuits
Date fudge
Date & tahini truffles
Turkish delight
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes..., 11 Nov 2013
I thought I'd treat my Kindle library to a new cookbook, and went for this as this type of cuisine is close to home in terms of my background. It's a lovely book, however there are many recipes that do not have accompanying pictures. This is very important to me as I like to have an idea as to what the end result should look like. I'm debating whether to return this and get a hard back copy instead.
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