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The Arab Table: Recipes And Culinary Traditions

It is one of the world's oldest and most intriguing cuisines, yet few have explored the diverse dishes and enchanting flavors of Arab cookery beyond hummus and tabouleh. In 188 recipes, The Arab Table introduces home cooks to the fresh foods, exquisite tastes, and generous spirit of the Arab table.May S. Bsisu, who has lived and cooked in Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, England, and now the United States, takes you along a reassuringly down-to-earth and warmly personal path through exciting culinary territory. The Arab Table focuses intimately on the foods of Arab countries such as Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria.The book offers a bountiful range of appealing dishes: cold and hot mezza, or little dishes; vibrant salads and fresh vegetable preparations; savory soups, stews, and hearty casseroles; baked and grilled meats, poultry, and fish; cooling drinks; and ambrosial desserts. There are recipes for familiar dishes including Falafel, Chicken and Lamb Kebabs, and Baklava, as well as a diverse selection of lesser known delights greatly enjoyed around the world, such as Eggplant Pomegranate Salad, Zucchini with Bread and Mint, Grilled Halloumi Cheese Triangles, and Arab Flatbread. Celebration dishes, the cornerstone of Arab cuisine, include Moroccan and Lebanese Couscous, Baked Lamb with Rice and Chickpeas, and Baked Sea Bass with Rice and Caramelized Onions. No Arab cookbook would be complete without an ample selection of soups and stews, the customary way to break the fast at the end of each day during Ramadan. The Arab table is also well known for its sweets: Semolina Pistachio Layer Cake, Milk Pudding, and, of course, date-, nut-, and cream-filled pastries perfumed with rose and orange-blossom water are just a sampling of the desserts included here.Along with these treasured recipes collected from May's extended family, friends, neighbors, and her own discoveries, The Arab Table is also a resource for learning about the traditions and customs associated with this time-honored cuisine. Throughout, essays on Arab holidays, from Eid Al Adha, the feast celebrating the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, to Ramadan and Mubarakeh, the celebration for the birth of a baby, are explained and menus are provided for each. May enlightens readers as to customary greetings (How do you say Happy Ramadan?), gifts (What do you bring to an Arab home during Ramadan?), and wishes (How do you acknowledge the birth of a baby?) that are traditionally extended during these special occasions.Now you can bring the abundance and flavors of The Arab Table to your table.

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; First Edition edition (September 6, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0060586141

ISBN-13: 978-0060586140

Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 10 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #170,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #56 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Middle Eastern #98 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > International

After perusing several cookbooks on Middle Eastern cuisine, this is the one I chose. For specifically two reasons: it contains two universal favorites: chicken schwarma and fattoush, which are the leading dishes served in all the Middle Eastern restaurants here in Michigan, specifically those in Dearborn. I was astonished to discover in so many like cookbooks that failed to contain schwarma and fattoush. Therefore, "The Arab Table" is definitely the one to have.May Bsisu has done a splendid job, backed by all her friends and family, in giving us the pure basics of classic Middle Eastern fare. These are the recipes of dishes which are recognizable to the world at large. They are especially conducive to home kitchens, and are clear, easy to follow, and tantalizing. After you get started on these recipes, you may find yourself - as I did - at the outset making this cuisine a few times a week, rather than in a month, to savor all the riches of flavors, textures and colors.In addition, Ms. Bsisu provides an excellent glossary, explanation of ingredients, and, as well, sources to obtain some of these, if there aren't any suitable markets in your area.Best of all, though, in keeping with the generosity of spirit, there are histories, anecdotes, and background information about all that which surrounds the illustrious history of Middle Eastern cookery and traditions; therefore it makes a terrific reading companion as well. The author invites us (delightfully so) into her own family and her inheritance of their traditions. Laudably, Ms. Bsisu keeps these facts and lore to the basics, providing just enough details to both inform and entertain.

This book is without any doubt the best and more comprehensive cooking book about arabic cuisine.It focuses mainly on the "bladi al sham" kitchen, which encompasses cuisines of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.Thus, if you are looking for a variety of moroccan/algerian/tunesian dishes, you probably should buy "Moroccan Cooking" by Alia Al-Kasimi.DO NOT BUY this book, if this is your FIRST ARAB COOKING BOOK or if you haven'T eaten arabic food very often before.For this, it really just lacks pictures and it is difficult to imagine how the dish would taste or how it should look like at the end.AND DEFINITELY BUY THIS BOOK, if you have lived in the middle east for a while and are familiar with many dishes...........if you are an Arab American !! (this book is pretty much a MUST!!)....or if you are Israeli/Jewish American!!! (also a must, since the kitchen is so similar, if not the same)....or if you visited jewish/arab restaurants a lot before....or you have many arab/israeli friends.....or if you have an Arab or Jewish husband/wife for whom you wanna cook (MUST!!!)I have already about 9 different middle eastern cooking dishes in different languages from authors of different countries.4 Turkish (whose cuisine is also very similar in many ways) and 4 Lebanese/Palestinian and 1 Moroccan.)And let me be honest,this is by far the most comprehensive !!There are others, which are very authentic too.But this one has basically EVERY (!!!) arab dish that you will encounter.And this is perhaps also why it does not include too many pictures.It is simply too comprehensive to put a picture to each recipe.It already has about 400 pages.

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