Thursday, July 26, 2012

Delicious New Titles: India: A Culinary Journey and The Iraqi Family Cookbook

Whether you've had Indian food before or not, chances are you've missed out on a great deal of this expansive country's myriad culinary offerings—there's simply so much to be had. In India: A Culinary Journey, author Prem Kishore takes on the task of concisely yet thoroughly leading you through India's cuisine, history, and culture. Specific dishes represent the various regions and styles of cooking: Punjabi makki ki roti, Mughlai biryani  and gravies, dhals of Rajasthan, Kerali appams, dosas of Tamil Nadu, chutneys from Andhra, wild pork of Coorg, and fish from Bengal.

Have no fear that these won't be feasible in an American kitchen. Kishore has adapted each delicious recipe to be workable for those who may not know very much about Indian spices and ingredients, and a handy glossary quickly sums up the most important ones. Born in India and having lived in England, the Middle East, and the United States, Kishore entertains and educates with personal stories and a guide to Indian festivals, celebrations, and customs. You'll quickly learn that the richness of India is not restricted to its food.

This new cookbook is available now in bookstores, and online on our website, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

From somewhat further west comes the equally diverse cuisine of Iraq, detailed in Kay Karim's The Iraqi Family Cookbook, a new edition of the book that won a World Gourmand Cookbook Award in 2007. It features color photographs alongside the over 150 recipes from Karim's family and the various regions and eras of Iraq, home to the world's oldest cuisine (dating back 5,000 years to Ancient Mesopotamia).

You'll be using beans, rice, fish, and lean meats alongside allspice, dried lime, sumac, saffron, and turmeric (among other spices listed in a detailed guide) to create the healthy and flavorful dishes of this Middle Eastern country. There are also delicate sweets like Baklawa (Baklava) and Shakar Lama (Cardamom Cookies), which we sampled first hand thanks to a generously-stuffed box that arrived at the office last holiday season. Kay's perfectly spiced walnut (not pistachio) baklava disappeared at an alarming rate!

Anthropologist and historian Dianne King says, "To read this book is to be transported to the gardens and kitchens of Iraq, breathing in the scents of mint, dates, apricots, citrus and pomegranates." It's a sensory and cultural experience not to be missed.

Purchase The Iraqi Family Cookbook at your local bookstore, on our website, or through Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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