I am a huge fan of Claudia Roden’s books. The Book of Jewish Cooking is one that is highly treasured in my miniature cookbook library. It is one of my first cookbooks and remains to this day a book that I turn to not just for recipes on Jewish cooking but more importantly, an education on all culinary aspects of Jewish culture. In fact, there are many interesting facts inside that even my Jewish husband is unaware of and I like surprising him with little tidbits now and then.
Because of how well written and thoroughly researched I found her book, I added The New Book of Middle Eastern Food to my collection without hesitation. I now depend heavily on these two cookbooks to inject a middle eastern flair to my family dinners. How awesome is that, being able to take your kids on a culinary journey right in your own kitchen?
The latest dish I tried from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food is Kisir. It is a Turkish salad that is reminiscent of the ever popular tabbouleh. In fact, save for the ratios, the ingredients, and taste, are chiefly the same. I am not going to publish the recipe here but if you wish to give it a go, use your favourite tabbouleh recipe with bulked up amounts of bulgur and tomato – I would venture about at least three times more. It is the amped up bulgur that sets this apart from tabbouleh, making this an astringent grain salad that can be a refreshing side yet at the same time is filling enough to be a standalone as a light dinner main.
It’s no direct magic carpet ride to Istanbul for sure, but I like pushing the limits of my kids’ taste buds and expose them to cuisines of different cultures. Our mealtimes become more interesting just like that.