Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 9, 2014 05:13 PM

Spices to accompany gift of Ottolenghi books?

My sister's birthday is coming up, and she has been talking about cooking from Ottolenghi books. I do not own the books, but would like to order spices from Penzey's to give her along with one of his books.(Which do you recommend, Ottolenghi or Jerusalem?). I'd like to order the spices ASAP, and then just pick up the book at a local bookstore.
So, which spices would be useful to have when cooking from Ottolenghi books?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If I had to choose one I would go with Jerusalem.
    For spices : za'atar, cumin, cardamom seeds, sumac.

    Nice gift!

    1 Reply
    1. A good Turkish or Aleppo chili pepper, if you have a source.

      1. Great suggestions so far. I'll also suggest saffron.

        2 Replies
          1. re: smtucker

            One of the best recipes in Jerusalem is the lamb meatballs. The recipe calls for dried barberries, or zereshk, which may be difficult to find in local markets. I would try to get your hands on these, as they really add to the dish. You can find them online; Kalyustan's in NYC sells them.


        1. Jerusalem is my favorite of the three.

          For non Penzeys spices, you may want to post in your home board to find which stores will carry the barberries and pomegranate molasses. I would also add a nice jar of tahini as well as a bag of pine nuts.

          All three of the books were cotm at some point. If you are really motivated, you can go through the threads of the book you choose and make notes in the margins. Specifically, I'm thinking of Jerusalem since it is my fave. But the chicken with cardamom and rice dish which is so delicious, I found that there was too much rice for the chicken. Others found the rice cooking time to be under so it had to be cooked longer. Or the front cover recipe is soooo delicious.

          What a wonderful gift this will be.

          5 Replies
          1. re: beetlebug

            Great idea.
            I did just that!!. Thanks for the suggestion. We'll see what my fellow NYers suggest.

            1. re: bxgirl

              Also, look for date molasses. I've found I use that more then the Pom molasses.

              1. re: beetlebug

                They have both at Whole Foods.
                I would order from Kalyustan's in preference to Penzey's.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  I got barberries and all kinds of exotic things at Kalyustan's the last time I was in New York. They're on 28th &Lex - worth a visit.

                  1. re: janeh

                    I do visit when I go to the city, which is rare. But their online selection is amazing also.