A New Book of Middle Eastern Food

by Claudia Roden


Claudia Roden’s ‘A Book of Middle Eastern Food’ is one of the most influential contemporary cookbooks written. This 1986 edition of Roden’s 1968 classic was updated to include a host of new recipes. Read it as history, read it as a collection of memories, read it to find out how our love affair with Middle Eastern cuisine came to be. Above all, read it for Roden’s beautiful prose – and, whatever you do, take the time to cook her gorgeous, timeless recipes.

from the publisher

In 1968, Claudia Roden wrote her Book of Middle Eastern Food for readers who had never eaten an aubergine, let alone cooked one. Today, Middle Eastern foods are enjoying amazing popularity, largely thanks to her books.

Since the publication of her classic bestseller, Claudia Roden has continued to collect recipes and culinary wisdom from the Middle East, as a result of talking and writing to many people, tasting their food and watching them cook. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food is Claudia Roden's ultimate collection of recipes from the subtle, spicy, varied cuisines of the Middle East, ranging from inexpensive but tasty peasant fare to elaborate banquet dishes.

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The Gastrogays


We have lots of Ottolenghi books in our collection and we adore and admire him as the authority on modern, meat-light Middle Eastern cookery, however we’ve longer adored Claudia Roden as a deity of cookery writing. The way she writes and cooks food is so much more about feeding the soul and understanding culture than satisfying appetite. In particular her exploration and recipe reporting on the Middle East is the best we’ve found; her books are rich, resplendent and enticing every time our hand runs along the cookbook shelf seeking inspiration.

Jill Dupleix

Food writer

Each generation is defined by its cook books. I grew up with these wonderful kitchen ‘mothers’ through the English-speaking world: Madhur Jaffrey, Paula Wolfert, Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, Marcella Hazan, Diane Kennedy, Yan Kit-So, Anna Del Conte and Claudia Roden. I loved this book, it inspired me to travel, to buy a couscoussiere, to go to the Tunisian deserts, to love rosewater and olive oil and dried apricots and dates – and of course (deep bow) to cook my body weight in flourless orange and almond cake.

Susan Campbell

Writer and lllustrator

This book is based on the first of Roden’s cookbooks introducing us to Middle Eastern food, which was a revelation when it was first published. To be honest, I could have chosen any of her other cookbooks, but taking into the account that this is the most battered one of hers in my bookshelf, I take it to be the favourite.

Caroline Hennessy

Food writer

I used this as a guide book on a trip to Morocco years ago, reading it while travelling through dusty desert towns, exploring the souks of Marrakesh and eating all the street food that I could get my hands on. An invaluable introduction to the techniques, ingredients and dishes of the Middle East.

Cynthia D. Bertelsen

Writer and food historian

I bought this book in Rabat, Morocco, at a small English-language bookshop run by a grumpy ex-pat Englishman. A treasure, the book came in handy because it introduced me to Morocco’s sister cuisines.

Julia Platt Leonard

Writer and Food Consultant

Claudia writes with a beauty and joy that is unmatched. The recipes are fabulous but it's more than that -- it's a book you want to read and savour.

Paul Levy

Writer and former chair of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery

Enlarged version of the pioneering book that introduced the West to what is now one of our favourite cuisines.

Terry Durack

Restaurant critic, author, columnist

The Middle East became just that little less mysterious for me as a young cook, with Claudia Roden by my side.

Tom Jaine

Food writer

This gave us at least a dozen new things to do as part of our daily life: that's quite a high figure really.

Hayley Anderton

Blogger at Desperate Reader

For being so readable as well as inspiring to cook from.

Alistair Cameron

Coordinator for England of the Slow Food Chef Alliance and Ark of Taste

A scholarly subject, made accessible and fun to read.

Daniel Halpern

Publisher, Ecco

Nevin Halici

Chef and author

Denis Cotter

Founder and executive chef of Cafe Paradiso and author

Kevin Gould

Professional Food Lover

David Joachim

Food writer

Joanne Weir

Chef, cookbook author and television personality

Jordan Bourke

Irish chef, food stylist and best-selling author

Sri Owen

Food writer and cook

Lynne Curry

Food writer

Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire

Lecturer in the Culinary Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology

Sally Grainger

Food historian

Darina Allen

Owner and Founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School

Aglaia Kremezi

Food writer and journalist

Jill Norman

Author and editor

John Wilkins

Emeritus Professor

Andrew Langley

Food writer

Reiko Hashimoto

Cookbook author and founder of Hashi Cooking

Alison Swan Parente

Co-founder of School of Artisan Food

Sandor Ellix Katz

Fermentation revivalist

Caz Hildebrand

Creative Partner at Here Design

Ed Mottershaw

Head Chef, The Eagle Farringdon

Sue Hines

Group Publishing Director, Allen & Unwin/ Murdoch Books

Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

Honorary curator of the culinary collection at the Schlesinger Library

Gemma Croffie

Food writer

Harold McGee

Author and lecturer

Stephanie Alexander

Food writer, former restaurateur, food educator

Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia

Robert McCullough

Publisher of Appetite

Sue Lawrence

Food writer and novelist