SYRIA: RECIPES FROM HOME is a book that I look forward to having in my cookbook collection. Syrian cuisine deserves a high place in our culinary knowledge and Itab and Dina, with their brilliant recipes and fascinating stories, are the perfect authors to do this
(It's a relief then to turn to) Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi's collection of recipes from refugees in Europe, collected in camps and far-flung places. It's a way for the displaced to create a sense of home when far away - one of the casualties of the war is Syria's food culture. But it's also a good selection of recipes from a country famous for its excellent cooking, ranging from simple vegetable dishes to quite fiddly pastries. Useful and poignant.
"Bulgar is coral but lentils are pearls." This is one of many pieces of Syrian food folk wisdom in Syria: Recipes from home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi. This book is full of the Middle Eastern flavours that - thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi - have started to taste like home to many of us in Britain: tahini and cumin, pomegranates and parsley. Azzam and Mousawi's version of smoked aubergine dip is one of the best and simplest I've ever tasted. But what makes this book unusual is the stories it tells of modern Syria: of people exiled, bereaved or under siege, for whom the comforts of food mean more than ever.
I loved the cumin-scented stories in SYRIA: RECIPES FROM HOME, as collated by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi from Syrian women on the refugee trails. So much more than a cookbook.
I give this to everyone as a present, whether they're 30 or 70, and it's always a total hit. The recipes are easy to follow, beautifully presented and perfect for anyone keen to experiment with oh-so-trendy Middle Eastern flavours.
I read a lot of cookbooks - a beautiful highlight was SYRIA: RECIPES FROM HOME by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi.
It's a wonderful book