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by Anas Atassi


The recipes in this heartfelt book by Syrian-born Anas Atassi were written to help him reconnect to family life in Syria. His dishes are full of vivid flavors and colors. Many are made with sumac, the characterful spice of the book’s title, and all rely on a typically Syrian concept: ‘nafas,’ which means “the art of cooking where ingredients combine harmoniously.”

from the publisher

Bordering six countries, Syria is a focused area of diversity that has seen countless influences over the centuries.

Syrian Arabs, Kurds, Tuerkemens, Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks and Sunnis, Christians, Alawites and Yazidis have all left their mark on Syria, not least to the country’s food culture.
Modern-day Syrian dishes vary immensely, from those that seem Mediterranean (in Tartus), that have Turkish or Armenian flavours (in Aleppo), or that are kept simple and subtle (in Damascus). But one shared ingredient through all of these cultures and influences is Sumac. This deep-red spice is the ‘red thread’ that connects every dish and is the red thread that will guide you through this book.

A tribute to his homeland, Anas Atassi’s Sumac is an exquisitely photographed cookbook full of recipes that have been passed down through time. Featuring everything from the wonderful Friday breakfasts Anas often ate in his grandmother's garden and his mother's sfeeha (small savoury pies) to za’atar flatbread, batata harra (spicy potatoes), sayadiyah (spicy fish pilaf with caramelised onions) and Zahra (spicy roasted cauliflower) which he enjoys making for his friends.

Each of the 80 traditional and contemporary recipes in this cookbook retains the heart of Syrian family life―a family life shared by the majority of Syrians before the war cast them out across the whole world.

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Original Publisher
Murdoch Books
Date of publication