Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review : Summers Under the Tamarind Tree

There are some cookery books that merit more than a quick glance and a once over of the recipes, especially ones which tell a story about life in a faraway land full of recipes handed down through generations. Karachi-born Sumayya Usmani has written such a book, with a lovely foreword by the iconic Madhur Jaffrey. Based in Glasgow, she is a former solicitor who wrote about her nostalgic childhood recipes on her blog My Tamarind Kitchen.  She has now written her first book : Summers Under the Tamarind Tree, a collection of recipes and memories from Pakistan which offers a great understanding of the spirit, passion and flavours of her homeland.

Part photo album, part cookery book, Summers Under the Tamarind Tree draws you into her family and her love of food.  She clearly explains the cooking methods needed to replicate her recipes at home and offers lots of helpful notes on spices - understanding both of these will ensure that your dishes will have a true taste of Pakistan.

My idea Pakistani food day would begin with Cholay ka salan (chickpea curry with tomatoes) for breakfast, a snack of Shakarkandi (baked sweet potato with chaat masala), Attock chapli kebab (minced beef flat kebab with pomegranate chutney), Hunter Beef and Tandoori roti for lunch.  Dinner would be a feast of Karhai ginger chicken, Lahori fish, crispy Bhindi and a Chapati kachumber salad with a cooling Peshawari falooda (pistachio icecream float) for dessert.

Intrigued?  Then I think you'll really like this book.

Summers Under the Tamarind Tree : Recipe and Memories from Pakistan by Sumayya Usmani is published by Frances Lincoln, priced at £20

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