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Jun 5, 2011 06:47 PM

North African Cookbook help?

I'm searching for a solid cookbook on North African cooking - Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian specifically. Can someone provide some recommendations?

Also, I realize that high quality spices are a mainstay of North African cooking - can someone also provide a good source for such spices. I'm in Minnesota, not a hotbed of N. African cooking, so obtaining the spices locally is a longshot. Thanks!

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  1. I am not sure that this will help you much, but you might want to check out some of the works by Jessica Harris? She tends to be more oriented to Northwest Africa.

    Have you checked out the books by the very well respected Paula Wolfert? She's written extensively on Morocco and northern Africa.

    1. I second DD's recommendation of Paula Wolfert. Another book I like is 'North African Cookery' by Arto der Haroutunian. Kitty Morse did a nice book 'Cooking at the Kasbah' which is Moroccan recipes. A UK writer Ghillie Basan seems to have written quite a few well-respected books on Moroccan food but I don't own any so can't recommend them personally. There is an Australian writer Hassan M'souli who has written several books on Moroccan cooking.

      There are also a few very good Mediterranean books that include North African cuisine - the Moro books from Sam and Sam Clark in the UK, 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' by Diana Henry.

      Hope you find what you want!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JaneEYB

        I like the Moro books - a good balance between the cooking of both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar

        Interesting how cuisines separated only by 14km can be so different, and so much the same.

      2. For spices I recommend:
        Savory Spice Shop
        The Spice house:

        I mostly buy from Penzey's but have ordered from the others as well. AFAIC
        they're equally good and the spices are fresh. Prices of each store differ, though.

        1. My husband is Tunisian, so I've been doing tons of research since we got married two years ago. I've found that North African cookbooks are hard to come by and are usually very Moroccan. I like Claudia Roden's, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food although it's not just North African. Her harissa recipe is spot on.

          For spices, I've been getting mine either at the coop or at Holy Land (I'm in MN too). Holy Land recently started making all their own blends and they are pretty good for the most part. Also, their bulk spices (cardamom for example) are cheap and fresh. You could also go to Penzeys (in Uptown).

          1. I highly recommend Copeland Marks' Sephardic Cooking. It was published in '92 on the anniversary of the Spanish Inquisition and resulting dispersal of the Iberian Jewish community. As such, it encompasses areas farther North and East than North Africa. Were I a carnivore it would get even more use than it does in our home. At Passover we only make Afghani and Moroccan Haroset, recipes for which both were found in this cookbook.