Recipes from Home
By Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi
A sumptuously illustrated celebration of one the world's greatest and least-known cuisines
'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' Ruth Rogers
'So much more than a cookbook' Evening Standard
'I give this to everyone as a present... 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.' Harriet Addison, The Times
Syria has always been the marketplace for the most delicious ingredients from East and West, a meeting-point for travellers and traders, where spices and sweetness collide. Nothing unites and inspires Syrians as much as food. Even now, in possibly the country's darkest hour, Syrian families in tiny flats from Beirut to Berlin are searching out the best tomatoes, lemons, pomegranates and parsley to recreate the taste of home.
Friends and passionate cooks Itab and Dina met Syrian women in the Middle East and Europe to collect together the very best recipes from one of the world's greatest food cultures. They spent months cooking with them, learning their recipes and listening to stories of home. From hot yoghurt soup with turmeric to cherry meatballs, this is a delicious celebration of the unique taste, culture and food of Syria - and a celebration of everything that food and memory can mean to an individual, to a family and to a nation.
Itab Azzam was born in Swaida, Syria, and lived in Damascus until 2011, when she moved to the UK. A filmmaker and theatre producer, she was part of the team behind BBC Four's SYRIAN SC HOOL and the multi award winning BAFTA nominated BBC Two Documentary Series Exodus: Our journey to Europe (RTS, Broadcast and Liberty). In 2013, she produced the award-winning film QUEENS OF SYRIA and followed it up in 2014 with ANTIGONE OF SYRIA, a theatre project bringing together Syrian women in Lebanon in a reimagining of Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy.
Dina Mousawi began a career in the arts at the age of ten. Her extensive work in theatre has taken her on both national and international tours across Europe, America and the Middle East. After working in Beirut on ANTIGONE OF SYRIA in 2014, she produced and directed TERRESTRIAL JOURNEYS, with Syrian women living in Beirut's refugee camps. Dina grew up in Baghdad, surrounded by the food of her Iraqi family where her passion for food began. Before joining world renowned theatre company Complicite, Dina baked at Mouse & De Lotz, her sister's cafe, and cooked at Park Road Kitchen, her brother's rotisserie and deli.
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- Publication date:
04 May 2017
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It's a wonderful book — Nigella Lawson
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 — Ruth Rogers, co-founder of the River Cafe
"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. — Bee Wilson, TLS
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. — Richard Godwin, EVENING STANDARD
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. — Harriet Addison, THE TIMES
(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. — Melanie McDonagh, EVENING STANDARD
I read a lot of cookbooks - a beautiful highlight was SYRIA: RECIPES FROM HOME by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi. — Lucy Davies, THE OBSERVER