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4.4 out of 5 stars36
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2010
I can't really add anything new here, but just to second 'girl on a bus' on how the recipes can look so similiar but taste so different. Also like others I'd have loved pictures, and I usually avoid cookbooks with no photos, but even so this book is well worth having. The recipes are no fuss, short ingredients lists and simple techniques, this is everyday coooking but with interesting flavours. I tend to grab this book off the shelf on those days when I think I haven't anything in and somehow I'll find something I can make. It's great for using store cupboard items like pulses and grains and if you only have just one or two veggies in the house then you'll find something to use them in, provided you have a selection of herbs and spices available of course. A useful addition.
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on 26 July 2008
Arto der Harotounian's book is far more than a collection of recipes - it is an introduction to the culture of the Middle East.

The recipes themselves - backed up with serving suggestions, proverbs, anecdotes and reminiscences - sound mouth-watering and are easy to follow.

The author's obvious love of his subject makes this book a delight.
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A wide ranging collection of vegetarian recipes, from the Caucasus, Turkey, the Arab countries & Israel, and Iran, collected by the late Arto de Haroutunian, who by all accounts seems to have been a very talented chap in a number of fields. We get here not only plenty of classics such as mutabal and imam bayildi, but some very modern and up-to-date dishes too. There are quite a few things here which I have not previously seen in my large collection of middle-eastern cookbooks.

This publication has a couple of negatives for me. Firstly the lack of any photography. OK, in a book this size and this many recipes it could end up being an infeasibly large book, but I always like to see what I am trying to make, as well as it being an aid to choosing candidate dishes to make when you are flicking through - appearance is as important as taste for me when composing menus. The latter issue of difficulty choosing easily while flicking through is compounded a bit by the use of a 'quasi-Armenian' font in a light green colour in the recipe titles which is sometimes hard to read.

Nevertheless despite my gripes, this is a good resource and a welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone cooking Middle Eastern food, whether an old hand like me or a newcomer to the region's cuisine.
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on 1 November 2007
This is one of the first cookbooks about middle eastern cookery (or any cuisine) that combined interesting and informative points about history and culture to give a real flavour of the middle east. The recipes are easy to follow, work really well and use ingredients easily available in the UK. Those adapted from recipes with meat into vegetarian recipes, are delicious and do not leave you feeling you need a meat accompaniment. My friends all enjoy the food and want to buy copies of the book. Alas, it seems to be out of print and I only have a second-hand copy. It's about time the publisher issued a reprint, as no changes are needed to this perfect book.
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on 18 April 2009
I ordered this book and when it first arrived I was disappointed that there were no photos and on flicking through the recipes I thought 'what a cheat' just lots of similar salads and recipes remixed again and again. However when I actually started cooking form the book I had to eat my words. What wonderfully simple dishes that are so delicately flavoured, the subtle variations of ingredients in each recipe really do create a totally different dish. I LOVE THIS BOOK and eat form it all the time. SO delicious, SO simple and SO healthy to boot!
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on 8 July 2008
A great and refreshingly different vegetarian cookery book. Beautifully presented with fantastic, easy to follow recipes for authentic, substantial and very tasty food which is out of the usual veggie cookbook norm. A great one for a dinner party menu with a difference. I would definately recommend this as a great pressie to buy for someone, vegetarian or not!
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on 29 July 2008
A must in every food enthusiast's kitchen. The recipes are simple and from a multicultural and multisocial part of the world. Serving a combination of dishes from the different cultures brings harmony to the table, to the eys and to the tastebuds. Very informative and easy to follow recipes. Arto shows a deep understanding of the cultures of the region. I look forward to the publication of his other books.
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on 9 July 2008
What a fabulous book - not only for it's easy to follow & interesting recipes but the taste is something else!
Love the illustrations & quirky comments too.
How refreshing to find something completely different but where you don't feel you have to be an Egon Ronay Chef to achieve the results.
Can't wait for more to be published!
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on 14 September 2010
I have made various recipes from this book and have found them to be in most cases delicious and easy to make. Many of the recipes are quite simple food, which is inexpensive and the sort of thing that can be incorporated into day-to-day eating as well as being made for a special occasion.

One of the huge plus-points of this book is that lots of the recipes include only a few basic ingredients (vegetables, eggs, rice, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, nuts etc.), which you are likely to have in already. There are a some specialist ingredients included (e.g. sumac, pomegranite juice, matzo meal etc.), but these have not been difficult to find and also occur in several recipes throughout the book so they can be reused for other things.

My only criticism is that the author hasn't stated how many portions each of the recipes make, but I have found that in general most recipes produce enough for 4-6 people, depending on how many dishes and what accompaniments you are making (and how hungry people are).
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on 17 July 2008
This critically acclaimed book is packed with fantastic, inspiring recipes and it's hardly surprising that it has recently received such excellent reviews. A unique and enlightening insight into Middle Eastern cookery, the book includes extensive, easy to follow recipes and is a must for vegetarian and non-vegetarians alike. Artos distinctive way of combining his mouth watering recipes with interesting stories makes this book a must for those who simply enjoy the experience of cooking great dishes. The copy I was given many years ago has seen extensive use and I'm very please to see that his `Middle Eastern Cookery' book will shortly be available.
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