33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Food too good to be the sole preserve of vegetarians,
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This review is from: Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover's Tour of the Middle East (Hardcover)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.