If you know me at all, you know that I love food. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a very wide palate, or that I’ve tried very much in the way of cooking on my own. However, my mom lived in Turkey when she was younger, and she has always loved Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, so when I saw The Jewelled Kitchen, I knew I wanted to give it a try.
I’ll go ahead and say that I was not able to make any of the dishes in this book, because I also have a full-time job. However, the photos in this cookbook are beautiful and look like things that could come out of my kitchen, if my kitchen was ever this clean and organized. I can only imagine how great that photoshoot must have smelled.
As you’ve heard many others say, cooking is meant to be fun, not serious. Run with your senses and, most importantly, enjoy yourself. Cooking and eating are among life’s greatest pleasures and as my uncle always says to me, “Kelé w nsee hameek” – “Eat and you shall forget your worries.”
Kehdy does a great job of explaining what ingredients are that may not be commonplace to people not familiar with Middle Eastern recipes, and what you can replace them with if you can’t find them, which is awesome. She also gives you a short explanation of the etymology of the names, and explains where these recipes are traditionally eaten. The glossary in the back was extremely helpful, as was the basics and recipes section at the back.
This book also makes sure to include vegetarian recipes, as well as notes in many of the meat-added recipes on how to make a vegetarian version, which I thought was great, because they still sounded just as delicious as the omnivorous meal options.
Some of these recipes, like the oxtail, I could tell at a glance were not going to be something I enjoyed, but others made my mouth water as I was reading. Chris and I will be trying some of these recipes the next time I get a chance to cook, because I really want to try them!
I think this would be a good addition to any household wanting to learn some simple and delicious recipes from Moroccan, Persian and Lebanese cuisine. The Jewelled Kitchen came out on August 23, so go find it wherever you buy your books, like Indiebound!
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through that link, I will make a small amount of money off of it.