Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A decent selection of recipes, 5 April 2011
This review is from: Turkey (Hardcover)
The style of this book is a little imitative of works by Ms Kitchen's fellow Aussies Greg and Lucy Malouf (see for example the latter's publication on Turkish cuisine, Turquoise), which is to say it is not just a recipe book but a part travelogue and plenty of photographs of blokes lounging around drinking tea and smoking ciggies (the cover photo sets the tone a little). Thankfully this aspect is not anywhere near being over the top as it is in the Malouf oeuvre, and the food is largely allowed to take centre stage.

There are plenty of classic recipes here, for example Circassian chicken (which for some reason it simply calls "chicken and walnut salad"); muhammara (which is really Syrian, though may conceivably be eaten in the south-east of the country); a breakfast dish of spicy lentils baked with eggs and sujuk sausage; lahmacun, a quasi-pizza; pide, another pizza-like concoction; two recipes for manti, a dish similar to ravioli; the famous imam biyaldi, and the revolting sounding cig kofte which is a raw lamb mince mixture to be spread on bread.

There are a number of dishes and variations unfamiliar to me despite my extensive collection of middle-eastern cookbooks, for instance: topik, a sandwich-like creation with "bread" consisting of mashed chickpea and potato with an onion, raisin and pistachio filling; yoghurt and walnut stuffed eggplant with tomato and pomegranate sauce; perde pilav, a kind of pie with rice and chicken filling; a dish which it calls "pumpkin tray kofte", a savoury item with bulgur wheat, pumpkin and minced lamb which look likes baklava pieces divided into diamonds in the tray; clove and pine nut kofte with white bean salad and parsley and tahini sauce; lamb, fig and onion yahni, a stew; slow-roasted lamb with apples poached in pomegranate; vine-wrapped grilled quails with olive, walnut and pomegranate relish; and ali nazik, an aubergine and yoghurt mixture topped with a spicy lamb mixture.

Overall I'm quite pleased with this book, giving me as it does a number of new recipes. It's very well presented albeit with a few too many location photographs for my liking. The majority of recipes have an excellent accompanying photograph, and the instructions are generally clearly written though it would be advisable to read right through before starting. Measures are given in metric first with ounce/cup and Fahrenheit/Gas mark measures in parentheses. There is also very little here in the way of hard to find ingredients.

4½ stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars (28 customer reviews)
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