This article was originally published our sister site, Scene Eats. Main images procured from Zaitoun and Palestine on a Plate.
Middle Eastern recipes are more popular than ever, making waves all around the world with their flavours and unique textures. From Palestine's famous olive oil-drizzled courses to Egyptian favourite moloukhia, Arab cuisines are as flavourful as they are reflective of the cultures that bring them to life.
And women have been at the forefront of the global movement to popularise Middle Eastern cuisine and place it in historical context, not only showing its complex history, but the ways it has travelled across the region, from one place to another, creating ripples and connections beyond our imagination. One way that women have been making that conversation louder and more resonant for years is through detailed, contextual cookbooks that make Middle Eastern cuisines accessible and transferrable to the average person's home kitchen. Scroll below for our 7 picks of cookbooks by Arab female authors.
The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis
Giving us up close and personal insight into the Palestinian family kitchen, native Reem Kassis blesses us with 150 recipes of breakfasts, salads, festive meals and desserts. Apart from the delicious food, Kassis covers parts of local Palestinian traditions in a witty way mixing them with her personal anecdotes transporting the readers to the streets and markets mentioned. With a simple ingredient list, this book is suitable for everyone to try.
Zaitoun by Yasmine Khan
Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan combines storytelling, travel photography, and recipes in just one book. The book is a work of art that celebrates Palestinian cuisine by featuring over 80 authentic and scrumptious recipes. A feel good, eye-feasting, and tummy-filling read composed and written with grace by Khan...
Palestine on a Plate by Joudie Kalla
This book by Palestinian-born and London-based chef Joudie Kalla explores the relationship between food and cultural identity through a journey of beautifully compelling and flavorful recipes from her motherland in memory of her mother’s kitchen. Palestine on a Plate is about identity, unity, and family, all connected by food. Kalla gives us the recipes as they are; she does not dilute or modernise them, and brings us into real Palestinian households.
Al Healthy by Nourhan Kandil
Who said healthy is boring? Health coach and nutritionist Nourhan Kandil makes it sound fun as she explains in her book Al Healthy how to be conscious about what we consume and, ultimately, become healthier. This is NOT a diet book, which is all the more reason to grab that book off the shelf.
Appetisers by Rachida Amhaouche
Bite-sized food, salty treats, and appetizers are always going to be crowd-pleasers, and now is your chance to learn how to make them with the help of Rachida Amhaouche’s book. From canapés and pastries to mini pizzas, this easy-to-follow cookbook will come in handy on all occasions; it is every Arab household’s secret weapon.
Manal's Kitchen by Manal Al-Alem
Featured in the 33rd Kuwait International Arabic Books exhibition, Manal’s Kitchen might be an oldie, dating back to 2009, but it stays relevant. Al-Alem takes us step by step to the preparations of essential Middle Eastern dishes, from traditional to modern ones.
Authentic Egyptian Cooking by Nehal Leheta
Interior designer and food enthusiast Nehal Leheta has brought together famous Egyptian restaurant Abou El Sid’s recipes straight to your home. Compiling 57 of Egypt’s most traditional and beloved recipes in a book, Leheta really did us all a favour producing a visually attractive and easy to follow authentic cookbook.