Over the past several months I’ve mentioned my cookbook a few times in a few different posts, but I finally wanted to take the time to give you a little more info on it all in one place. But before I do, I want to say thank you, dear readers. You are a never-ending source of inspiration and encouragement.
Without further delay, here are the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions that I’ve received (feel free to contact me if you have additional questions that you don’t see answered below):
Where can I buy the book?
The book is now available for purchase in certain bookstores across the US and online! If you can’t find the book at your local bookstore, please feel free to request it from the store manager.
Here’s where you can buy it online:
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
Tell us about the book!
It has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant (i.e., Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. Recipes are authentic Middle Eastern (mostly taught to me by my mother-in-law), but streamlined just a bit for the way we cook today, with unique ingredients demystified and cooking techniques anyone can follow.
I’ve also included a bit of culture in the book (because it’s so tightly intertwined with cuisine), including some of my own travel experiences in the Middle East.
(For a glimpse into my travels, you can explore Middle Eastern spices, take a peek at shopping in Middle Eastern markets, take a virtual tour through Old Damascus, check out what the locals eat, and even learn more about the famous Middle Eastern shawarma.)
Who’s writing it?
I wrote the cookbook with help from my fabulous Syrian mother-in-law, Sahar, who is renowned in certain circles for her amazing food. And I’m ecstatic to say that the lovely Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella wrote the foreword!
Will there be pictures, and if so, who’s taking them?
I took all the photos for the book, and I am absolutely thrilled that there will be a pretty picture of every single recipe, as well as photos of most things in the non-recipe chapters (i.e., the chapters on cooking tips, cooking tools, and Middle Eastern ingredients).
Who’s publishing the book and when will it be out?
Tuttle published the book, and it was released on November 6, 2012!
What do you love most about the book?
The thing I love most about the book (and about Middle Eastern cuisine in general) is how healthy the food is: beans and legumes are staples just as much as meat is, veggies are always abundant, and healthy fats like olive oil are commonplace; because of this, there is something for everyone, from vegan, to vegetarian, to meat-lover.
Another thing that really impresses me with Middle Eastern cuisine is that it’s not just about cooking to eat; cooking is actually transformed into an art form and will make anyone who cooks it an artist. And if Middle Eastern food in general is an art form, then dessert is the masterpiece. No one forgets an amazing dessert.
Can we hear about how you got your book deal?
I wrote a short series of posts on the entire process: