And so Yashim became a cook, as well as a sleuth. He is, as readers will know, the sultan’s confidential agent. No doors are closed to him, not even the doors of the harem.
The recipes in this book are inspired by the novels, where some of them first appear. When Yashim entertains his friend Palewski, Polish ambassador to the Sublime Porte, to dinner, he invites readers into the half-lost world of 19th century Istanbul. His digressions into food reveal the city and the civilisation surrounding it, down to the spices that scent the air of the Egyptian Bazaar. How better to evoke Ottoman multiculturalism now than by eating our way around it?