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Jan 19, 2007 06:41 PM

Mediterranean / Middle Eastern cookbook recomendations?

To be a little more specific, more Moroccon influence than anything else would be ideal. I've flicked through a few in stores and never seen anything that grabs my attention. At the moment I'm hooked on 'Mangoes and Curry Leaves' and the other book on Asian food by this couple, so anything along those lines would be great.

The books I've seen are either a little two text heavy (I can live with limited photo's, but a few would be good) or the photo's do the food no juistice - can't stand cookbooks with poor photography.

Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      for this Paula Wolfert is the best - look out though - not all of her books contain moroccan dishes if that is your specific interest.

      Recipes are sometimes relatively complex but carefully explained and not hard to execute. You may have to find ingredients though (I like doing this so its not an issue) You can really trust her though, and the results are justification enough

      Ive cooked out of Roden's first book, which was at the simplistic end of the spectrum ingredientwise and also in terms of her relatively scant descriptions of technique (admittedly she was writing in London and there were not a lot of resources for an ethnic cook then) but not the new one - if you want delicious special food I would go to wolfert first.

    2. Paula Wolferts' books are not heavily into photography (the cost of producing a cookbook with colour photos is huge!), but she really, really knows what she's talking about and, best of all, her recipes work.

      I, too, am a fan of Naomi Duguid and Jeff Alford. They're an enormously talented team, and reading their books is like immersing oneself in an anthropological culinary journey.

      1. I'm going to do a little research on Paula, like I say I can live without the photo's as long as I can feel that the recipes and accompaning test can interest me. Thanks

        1. Have you seen Arabesque by Claudia Roden? It's a beautiful book with simple, honest recipes. It covers Turkey, Morocco and Lebanon. A lot of the dishes are surpisingly clean and light.

          As for Duguid and Alford, they're currently working on a book about China, which I'm greatly looking forward to. It's a huge genre to tackle but they always do justice to their subjects with style.

          4 Replies
          1. re: gingersweetiepie

            I also like Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food. It actually covers N. Africa (Morocco, Egypt) as well as the Middle East. It also contains some great history about Mid. Eastern cuisine and cooking. She's great!

            1. re: nyclibkat

              Do you mean there is actually something better than the original Roden book? :-) Her text is a lot more informative than a bunch of glossy pictures.

              1. re: nyclibkat

                Agree. This is my go-to book. Paula Wolfert's wonderful, but to me, the Roden recipes are more intuitive/accessible/easy.

                1. re: Notorious EMDB

                  I love Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food. I've had it for several years now and use it very often with great success. It is one of my favorite cookbooks.

                  She provides excellent instructions and also provides lots of suggestions for modifications to recipes reflective of different regions. She actually has a new cookbook out called Arabesque or something like that which might have more Morroccan recipes. I don't have it yet.

            2. Another Paula Wolfert fan here. I think I have all her books which, as already said, are full of recipes that work. Also check Claudia Roden. Her New Book on Middle Eastern Cooking is heavy on text but solid with information. Her more recent book, Arabesque, has more pictures but again is full of good facts.