Date & Chami
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This collection of home cooking recipes from Dubai reflects that city's long status as a coastal trade hub. Arabic, Persian, and Indian influences overlap and author Maryam Mubarak uses recollections of her parents' cooking to help make it clear how eating has changed as the city has grown into an international metropolis.
Part of the book's appeal is that it clearly written for cooks in or with connections to Dubai or nearby regions, so recipes are sometimes scaled according to what's commonly available in markets there. For example, instructions for chami, a fresh cheese, call for two 500 gram yogurt boxes. It's easy for a cook to measure accordingly, but it's worth knowing that such adjustments may be needed.
Among the dishes that caught our eye: oat soup with dried shrimp; quzi, a celebratory rice and meat dish which the author remembers being made using an entire sheep, though she now calls for lamb thighs; and lumi, a tea made from dried limes and rosewater.
Here and there throughout the book, photos contrast gleaming highrises with narrow, stone-lined streets where colorful benches suggest neighbors conversing in late afternoon shade.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.