A Saveur Magazine choice for their ‘top ten’ best cookbooks in 2013
Best Book on Arab Cuisine in the UK, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2014
This is a concise version of the award-winning and highly acclaimed second edition published in 2013. It is luxuriously illustrated throughout with colour photos, paintings, medieval miniatures and sketches and displays the diversity of the region’s traditional culinary practices, delicious and enduring. This edition book contains 300 of the original 400 recipes, all tested and easy to follow, and covers all food categories with ample choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers, and many that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained.
Unlike the majority of cookbooks, the book uniquely traces the genesis and development of the Iraqi cuisine over the centuries, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians, through medieval times and leading to the present, aided throughout by the author’s intimate native knowledge of cookery. Of particular interest are the book’s numerous food-related folkloric stories, reminiscences, anecdotes, songs, poems, excerpts from narratives written by foreign visitors to the region, and cultural explications of customs, all interwoven with the recipes. The book is supplemented with detailed menus and an extended glossary to familiarize the reader with the indigenous ingredients used in creating authentic Iraqi meals.
The book is a valuable addition to the shelves of specialized and general libraries and a must-have for food lovers everywhere.
About the Author
Nawal Nasrallah was a professor at the universities of Baghdad and Mosul, teaching English language and Literature until 1990. She is an award-winning researcher and food writer.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Iraqi Food in Perspective
Chapter Three Vegetarian Appetizers, Side Dishes and Salads [+]123-149
Chapter Four Snacks and Street Food [+]150-172
Chapter Five Soups [+]173-181
Chapter Six Stews [+]182-202
Chapter Seven Rice, and other Grains and Beans [+]203-230
Chapter Eight Lamb and Beef, and Ground Meat dishes [+]231-253
Chapter Nine Stuffed Foods [+]254-282
Chapter Ten Poultry [+]283-301
Chapter Eleven Fish [+]302-318
Chapter Twelve Savory Pastries [+]319-333
Chapter Thirteen Desserts [+]334-381
Chapter Fourteen Jams, and Syrups for Sherbets [+]382-388
Chapter Fifteen Pickles and Sauces [+]389-398
Chapter Sixteen Beverages [+]399-411
Reviews of this Second Concise Edition:
Beautifully illustrated throughout, and displaying the diversity of Iraqi traditional culinary practices and cuisine, “Delights from the Garden of Eden” showcases 300 original and authentic Iraqi recipes that are tested, easy to follow, and covers all food categories. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained, with practical ways for making them in the convenience of a modern kitchens, such as baking the Iraqi flat tannour bread and sammoun, and grilling fish masgouf way. “Delights from the Garden of Eden” uniquely traces the genesis and development of the Iraqi cuisine over the centuries, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians, through medieval times and leading to the present, aided throughout by the author’s intimate native knowledge of cookery. Of particular interest is the inclusion of numerous food-related folkloric stories, reminiscences, anecdotes, songs, poems, excerpts from narratives written by foreign visitors to the region, and cultural explications of customs, all interwoven with the recipes. “Delights from the Garden of Eden” features a comprehensive glossary that will help familiarize American kitchen cooks with the indigenous ingredients used in creating authentic Iraqi meals, with substitutes suggested without compromising taste or tradition. “Delights from the Garden of Eden” is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.
Wisconsin Book Watch
Reviews of the Second Edition:
A fine introduction to the history and diversity of Iraqi cuisine. Lavishly illustrated, supremely informative, and deeply personal, Nasrallah’s publication is far more than an average cookbook or culinary history; instead, it’s an adventurous exploration of Iraq’s colorful past through food history.
Ancient History Encyclopedia
The book, its illustrations, photographs and design, is generous and thoughtful and guides your historical journey through Ms. Nasrallah’s personal lens.
Offers an excellent history of food in the Middle East. …At the other end, the book’s extensive glossary and references make this a useful resource. …An additional note to please cooks is that the book sits flat on every page… .A splendid achievement, Delights from the Garden of Eden is obviously a labour of love, and the author has done readers, cooks and non-cooks alike, a great service in producing such an impressive book. Each page shows erudition; every recipe a passion for food.
Times Literary Supplement
Already respected among food historians for her translation of the 10th-century Baghdadi cookbook Annals of the Caliph’s Kitchen, Nasrallah is sure to gain more acclaim with this significant contribution to the culinary history of the Middle East.
If you’ve ever had even a shred of interest in the cuisine from this part of the world, I recommend taking a look at this book. For curious and adventurous cooks, it has enough to inspire our meals for years to come.
Fascinating, thorough and delicious.
Ms. Nasrallah has done for Iraqi cuisine what Julia Child did for French cooking, but to the nth degree. There are over 400 recipes to be explored, hundreds of beautiful images, and text so meticulous and thoughtful, it could have only been written by someone with incredible knowledge and passion. Immerse yourself with endless plates full of delicious food and stories of a land and its people so rich with history it will astound you. A delight indeed.
The Kitchen Journals