New Book Of Middle Eastern Food Enlarged And Revised

New Book Of Middle Eastern Food Enlarged And Revised

by Claudia Roden

Discover Claudia Roden's classic recipes in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. In 1968, Claudia Roden wrote her Book of Middle Eastern Food for readers who had never eaten an aubergine, let alone cooked one. Today, Middle Eastern foods are enjoying amazing popularity, largely thanks to her books. Since the publication of her classic bestseller, Claudia Roden has


Discover Claudia Roden's classic recipes in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. In 1968, Claudia Roden wrote her Book of Middle Eastern Food for readers who had never eaten an aubergine, let alone cooked one. Today, Middle Eastern foods are enjoying amazing popularity, largely thanks to her books. Since the publication of her classic bestseller, Claudia Roden has continued to collect recipes and culinary wisdom from the Middle East, as a result of talking and writing to many people, tasting their food and watching them cook. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food is Claudia Roden's ultimate collection of recipes from the subtle, spicy, varied cuisines of the Middle East, ranging from inexpensive but tasty peasant fare to elaborate banquet dishes. Praise for Claudia Roden: 'Claudia Roden is no more a simple cookbook writer than Marcel Proust was a biscuit baker. She is, rather, memorialist, historian, ethnographer, anthropologist, essayist, poet ...' Simon Schama 'Every one of Claudia's books introduced us to a delicious new world' Sam and Sam Clarke 'Roden's great gift is to conjure up not just a cuisine but the culture from which it springs' Nigella Lawson 'Claudia Roden's writing has the fascination of her conversation. Her books are treasure-houses of information and mines of literary pleasures' Observer As well as writing cookbooks and presenting cooking shows on the BBC, Claudia Roden is also a cultural anthropologist based in the United Kingdom. Born and brought up in Cairo, she finished her education in Paris before moving to London to study art. With the publication of her bestselling classic, A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968, Claudia Roden revolutionized Western attitudes to the cuisines of the Middle East. Since then she has published nine other books, including the award winning classic, The Book of Jewish Food, and has won no fewer than six Glenfiddich awards for her writing. Her other books include Arabesque, The Food of Italy, Mediterranean Cookery and The Food of Spain.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Bookseller's Report
James Beard called Caludi Roden's 1972 Middle Eastern cookbook "a landmark in the field of cookery," but in those distant days, most of these recipes from places like Tunisia and turkey seemed more like curiosities than like cuisine. this new, entire rewritten recipe book enters a world far more cosmopolitan and curious, and many of Roden's meals will appeal especially to vegetarians and other health-conscious cooks. The author's own reminiscences place these preparations within cultural contexts that we can all appreciate.
Our Review
This bountiful and definitive book is the fruit of 40 years of traveling, eating, listening to stories, recording recipes, and watching cooks all over the Middle East. Claudia Roden brings together the distinctive flavors of several cuisines, including North Africa's harissa and preserved lemons, Turkey's cinnamon and allspice, and Iran's pomegranate syrup. She also evokes the context of the Middle Eastern way of life: its conviviality, hospitality, traditions, sensuality, and reverence for food.

Roden's classic A Book of Middle Eastern Food, first published in this country in 1972, made available recipes that were traditionally passed down orally within families. At the time, the term "Middle Eastern food" was more likely to summon up images of sheep's eyeballs than of falafel and stuffed grape leaves. The book was a revelation to English and American audiences. This new edition updates and expands the original (an interim edition was published in 1985), with more recipes and variations, and a greater focus on simple dishes. Anticipating objections that she has meddled with tradition by reducing the amount of oil in the recipes, Roden tells us, "Cooking does not stand still: it evolves." Other dishes are now more authentic because Middle Eastern ingredients are more widely available, making substitutions unnecessary; if you don't have a Middle Eastern grocery nearby, there's always the Internet.

Scattered among the recipes are proverbs, brief folktales about a character Egyptians call Goha, notes about ingredients, and riddles. One sidebar discusses the "dadas," the black women who are the great cooks and repositories of culinary tradition in Morocco; another recalls a "fantastic, magical" symposium of regional Turkish food, traveling to factory and palace kitchens, with whirling dervishes as well as lectures. An extensive introduction explains the impact of Middle Eastern food upon European cooking, including marzipan and even British mince pies and mint sauce for lamb. It also traces influences upon the enormous variety of Middle Eastern food, from austere Bedouin fare to the Iranian dishes that were the haute cuisine of refined Muslim courts.

Interestingly, the book combines the voices of Claudia Roden of 30 years ago and the Claudia Roden of today, a woman in her prime. As she notes, the first edition reflects an idealistic young Egyptian woman's longing and passion for the Middle Eastern food and culture from which she felt exiled. Roden today is more restrained and pragmatic, less nostalgic. She wants the recipes to live in use, and she encourages readers to adapt them to taste, as Middle Eastern cooks have always personalized their dishes. For us to receive these recipes -- traditionally passed from mother to daughter -- from Roden in both stages of her life enriches the book's conjoined sense of history and intimacy. Middle Eastern cuisine is steeped in tradition, and yet, because it is a human art, also various and evolving. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food is Roden's lifework, and what a splendid and savory life it is.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Roden published The Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1972, the cuisines of Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Egypt and their neighbors were mysteries in this country. Today, their fresh flavors are better known, and much loved, and Roden has expanded and updated her classic to meet modern needs. The new version includes more than 800 recipes, as well as folk tales, tips, anecdotes and just about all the information anyone needs to reproduce foods from that part of the world. Miraculously, Roden manages to be this thorough while never sacrificing her personal tone--this is a book that is both encyclopedic and intimate. Much of Middle Eastern food is light tasting and vegetable-based, and the recipes reflect these qualities without neglecting more complex and unusual preparations. A chapter on appetizers and salads includes a Moroccan Lettuce and Orange Salad, Tabbouleh, Lemony Chicken Jelly and even a Brain Salad. While Roden is no stickler for starting from scratch, she always provides plenty of options for those who wish to do so. In a section on yogurt--a key ingredient in many recipes, such as Tagliatelle with Yogurt and Fried Onions, and Chickpeas with Yogurt and Soaked Bread--she gives both guidelines for buying yogurt and instructions for making your own. A sub-section on Persian sauces for rice is outstanding, as is another on stuffed eggplants. Desserts include Egyptian "Bread-and-Butter" Pudding and Arab Pancakes with various filings. Roden won a James Beard award for The Book of Jewish Food in 1997. She will certainly be in the running once more with this impressive work. 24 pages of color photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin UK
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt


In every Middle Eastern household, the making of yogurt is a regular activity -- at least it used to be. With a little experience one lears the rhythm of preparation and the exact warmth required to turn milk into yogurt. The actual preparation is extremely easy, but the right conditions as necessary for success. If these are fulfilled, the "magic" cannot fail.

Yogurt is an essential part of the Meiddle Eastern diet. In al-Baghdad's medieval manual it was referred to a "Persian milk." In Iran today it is known as mast, in Turkey as yogurt. Syrians and Lebanese call it laban, Egyptionas laban zabadi, whle Aremenians refer ito it as madzoon. In parts of the Middle East, as in the Balkans, yogurt is believed by some people to have medicinal and therapeutic qualities. Longevity and a strong constitution are attributed to a daily consumption.

More recently the Western world discovered the healthful qualities of yogurt, but it is too often restricted to a minor role as a dessert, usually sweetened or synthetically flavored. Yogurt has yet to be allowed the versatility it enjoys in the Middle East, where it is, in turn, a hot or cold soup, a salad, a marinade for meat, or the basic liquid element in a meat-and-vegetable dish. The West has still to discover the vast number of dishes which are refreshed, soothed, and glorified when accompanied by yogurt, and the splendid drink called ayran or abdug, which is a mixture of yogurt and water.

The best yogurt I have ever eaten was in Turkey. It was made with water buffalo's milk and was thick and deliciously rich and creamy. A goodsecond is the thick sheep's-milk yogurt product of Greece, which has been drained of its whey.

To Make Yogurt

If yogurt is to be adopted as an important element in cookery, it is worth learning to make it at home. All sorts of equipment have been recommended as being required: cake pans lined with padding, feather cushions, thermometers, different-sized bottles, jars, corks, tops, to name but a few. Commercial firms sell sets of equipment, but you can do perfectly well without them. All that is needed is a large earthenware or glass bowl, a plate to cover it entirely or plastic wrap, and a small woolen blanket -- I use two shawls.

The proportions are1 heaping tablespoon of starter or activator (culture of the bacteria bulgaris) or fresh. Live yogurt (I use ordinary, commercial plain whole-milk yogurt) to each quart of whole milk. If you increae the quantity of milk, increase that of the starter accordingly, but do not use too much of the starter, or the new batch of yogurt will be excessively sour.

Bring the milk to the boil in a large pan. When the froth rises, lower the heat and let the milk barely simmer for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow the milk to cool to the point where you can barely dip your fingers in and leave them there while you count to ten. Ten is the tradtitional count, but the milk must still be hot enough to sting. If you have a thermometer, the temperature should be 106-109 degress F. If the milk is much cooler or hotter than this, the yogurt is likely to fail.

Remove any skin that has formed on the surface of the milk. Beat the acticator or plain yogurt in a large glass or earthnware bowl until it is quite liquid. Add a few tablespoons of the hot milk, one at a time, beating vigorously, between all the additions. Then add the rest of the milk slowly, beating constantly, until thoroughly mixed.

Cover the bowl with a large plate or with plastic wrap. Wrap the whole bowl in a wooledn blanket or shawl and leave it undisturbed in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard, for at least 8 hous or overnight. It should then be ready, thick like a creamy custard. Do not leave the bowl in the warmth too long., or the yogurt will become too sour.

As soon as the yogurt is ready, you can cool it in the refrigerator. It will keep for a week, but it is preferable to make a new batch every 4 days, using some of the previous one as an actrivator.This will ensure a cconstant supply of sweet, fresh-tasting yogurt.

Meet the Author

Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She finished her education in Paris and later studied art in London. She writes about food with a special interest in the social and historical background of cooking. With the publication of the bestselling A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968, Claudia Roden revolutionized Western attitudes to the cuisines of the Middle East. Her books include the international award-winning classic, The Book of Jewish Food, as well as The Food of Italy and Arabesque. Claudia has won six Glenfiddich awards for her writing, and in 1989 was awarded Italy's two most prestigious food prizes.

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