A Fistful of Lentils

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9781558322189: A Fistful of Lentils

Syrian-Jewish recipes from Grandma Fritzie's kitchen.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Abadi inherited both Ashkenazi and Sephardic cuisines from her two grandmothers, and presents here the lesser known treasures from her Syrian Grandma Fritzie in a down-to-earth Middle Eastern cookbook that goes beyond the typical hummus and falafel. All recipes are kosher and many are suitable for holidays: Lamb with Lemon and Olives for Rosh Hashana or Stuffed Squash with Lemon-Mint Sauce for special Sabbaths. Many dishes, like Spinach-Mint Soup or Crushed Wheat with Chickpeas and Pot Cheese are easy for everyday light and even vegetarian meals. This well-rounded cookbook explains, in a glossary, ingredients such as tamarind paste and phyllo, provides a list of specialty stores and a menu planner, and guides the cook from appetizers, such as Eggplant Dip with Pine Nuts, to desserts (Flourless Pistachio Cookies, which are perfect for Passover), and from formal (Orange Chicken with Golden Raisins and Figs), to casual (Syrian Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mint). Never overdone, flavors appear in combinations surprising to the typical North American palate, such as Stuffed Baby Eggplants with Apricots and Meat, and Eggs with Rhubarb. For Syrian Jewish women, cooking is an art form, shared among neighbors and families but closely guarded from outsiders. Luckily, Abadi offers these secrets in her book.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Like others of her generation, Abadi realized that the cuisine she grew up with might disappear unless she recorded the recipes for the traditional dishes that her grandmother and mother had always served. There are fewer than 150,000 Syrian Jews worldwide today and close to 30,000 of them live in Brooklyn, where much of Abadi's extended family still resides, and in nearby New Jersey. Syrian Jews are Sephardic, and their food is Middle Eastern, with some ancient Asian influences, rather than the more familiar Eastern European cooking of Ashkenazic Jews. Abadi's recipes, collected with the help of her feisty grandmother Fritzie, feature lots of spices, sweet-and-tart sauces, flatbreads and flaky pastry doughs, and ingredients such as dates and pomegranates, pine nuts and pistachios. Her well-written, readable text provides historical context as well as family reminiscences and anecdotes; there are also boxes on the holidays and various other celebrations and rituals. For most collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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