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The Malian Kitchen: Recipes Inspired by Moringa and the Nutritious, Delicious

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by Benedicto Marinas
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As in many cultures around the world, the diet of many people in Mali has changed with urbanization. Inexpensive, starchy foods predominate in many villages, and what little fresh produce there is, is sold to town and city markets to raise cash.

Living in Mali as part of a project to improve sustainable goat and sheep farming, professional chef Benedicto Marinas realized that several local foodstuffs where being neglected, despite their high nutritional value. Chief among these were parts of the moringa tree, which grows abundantly in West Africa; the leaves in particular are rich in a spectrum of B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, and K.

In this handsomely photographed book, Marinas offers 30 recipes, most of them adapted from traditional Malian dishes, that incorporate moringa products. Many of these products are available in West African markets in the US and throughout the book, Marinas offers suggested substitutes. Spinach and other dark leafy greens for moringa leaves; string beans or even asparagus for moringa pods.

There is more nutritional emphasis in this title than we usually favor, but this is an uncommon look at Malian cooking, as well as the country's geography, traditional ways of life, and common kitchen ingredients.

Paperback. Color photographs throughout.

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