My Spiced Kitchen: A Mid­dle East­ern Cookbook

  • Review
By – December 2, 2019

Turmer­ic is very pop­u­lar in recipes, dish­es, and tales of the last few years. Yaniv Cohen, the author of My Spiced Kitchen: A Mid­dle East­ern Cook­book, tells a sto­ry from his child­hood in which a neigh­bor helped stop a bad­ly bleed­ing cut on his hand with turmer­ic, That encounter is the inspi­ra­tion behind this book and con­tin­ues to fuel my love of spices to this day.” Cohen is fas­ci­nat­ed by the health aspects of spices as he shares notes on their uses through­out time and in var­ied cul­tures around the world. Now with the inter­net, Cohen declares that the world is a glob­al spice market.

Cohen’s instruc­tions for cook­ing and using spices are help­ful and include when to use a cer­tain spice and how to store them. The spices are dis­cussed in alpha­bet­i­cal order from A (all­spice) to Z (za’atar); addi­tion­al­ly, there is a list of resources at the end of the book, a clear Index, and a glos­sary, which defines cer­tain ingre­di­ents and terms used in the book. For exam­ple, we learn that, S’chug is a hot sauce orig­i­nat­ing in Yemenite cui­sine.” Cohen notes that late­ly silan is also mak­ing an appear­ance in a num­ber of dish­es. The author describes it as A thick, dark and sweet syrup extract­ed from dates.”

One of the many delight­ful dish­es in this book is the Beet and Baharat Kibbeh which Cohen adds that, When I was a child, this sweet-and-sour meal was unique to Jews from Iraq. Today it’s well-known through­out Israel.” A cou­ple oth­er recipes of note were the Za’atar Coconut Pop­corn and, of inter­est to many, Za’atar-Scented Carb-Free Tahi­ni Bread — an easy dish which can be assem­bled very quickly.

Danièle Gor­lin Lass­ner (wife, moth­er, grand­moth­er) retired after 35 years at Ramaz where she served as Dean of Admis­sions, For­eign Lan­guage Depart­ment chair and teacher of French and Span­ish. She owns hun­dreds of cook­books. She has trans­lat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books from French into Eng­lish. She has recent­ly trans­lat­ed “ A Mem­oir of Sanc­ti­ty “ by May­er Moskowitz (Mazo Pub­lish­ers, Jerusalem, Israel) from Hebrew into Eng­lish. No mat­ter the lan­guage, food is a con­stant.”

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