Flavours of Babylon

A Family Cookbook by Linda Dangoor

Flavours of Babylon

A Family Cookbook by Linda Dangoor

My Mum and me

“Food for me is more than just nourishment and recipes. It is also a language and an identity.”

“Food for me is more than just nourishment and recipes. It is also a language and an identity.”

My mum and I

My mum and me

Food market in Baghdad

An extract from ‘Flavours of Babylon’

Iraqi food is aromatic, robust and spicy but it is not hot. Herbs and spices such as parsley, mint and coriander; cumin, cinnamon and cardamom; pepper, paprika and saffron are all used extensively but not chillies. Dates, tamarind and dried limes are favoured for sweet and sour dishes. Almonds and pistachios are included in most desserts and sweetmeats which are invariably perfumed with orange blossom or rose water. All Iraqis, whether Moslems, Christians or Jews, ate more or less the same food.

These different communities brought subtle and creative changes, diversifying the culinary tradition of Iraq. Added to this, geographical influences played their part too; communities in the north of the country eat more wheat than rice and their food is closer to the Kurdish and Turkish tradition. On the other hand, the staple food of those further south is rice and, in and around Basra, dishes have a definite Persian touch.

 

Flavours of Babylon does not pretend to be a comprehensive study of Iraqi food in general, rather, it is a personal collection of my favourite family recipes handed down from one generation to the next; Babylonian Jewish dishes that my grandmothers cooked for us in Baghdad and which my mother and many relatives continue to serve today in London.

In addition, I have included other recipes inspired by my travels and Middle Eastern background. Putting the two types of food side by side in the same book seems very natural to me. It is the way I cook on a daily basis and it epitomises who and what I am, a mixture of East and West, the result of moving countries many times and of settling in a country very different from my own, and the quality of ingredients varies from season to season and country to country.

Nigella Lawson:

"Linda Dangoor should have rose petals thrown in her path where'ere she walks for writing this book and sharing her recipes with us. I wouldn't want to be without this book in my kitchen." Buy The Book

Nigella Lawson:

"Linda Dangoor should have rose petals thrown in her path where'ere she walks for writing this book and sharing her recipes with us. I wouldn't want to be without this book in my kitchen." Buy The Book


Nigella Lawson:

"Linda Dangoor should have rose petals thrown in her path where'ere she walks for writing this book and sharing her recipes with us. I wouldn't want to be without this book in my kitchen." Buy The Book


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