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A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie's Kitchen Paperback – December 21, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Abadi takes the reader on a culinary journey that includes her family s photographs and an overview of the history of Syrian-Jewish culture. Along the way, you learn about the aromas of the kitchen and its allspice, cumin, mint, lemon, tamarind, and rose water. --The Boston Globe

For Syrian Jewish women, cooking is an art form, shared among neighbors and families but closely guarded from outsiders. Luckily, Abadi offers these secrets in her book. --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jennifer Felicia Abadi's recipes have appeared in the Daily News and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. She hosts monthly food tastings and teaches cooking courses centered around Jewish and other Middle Eastern cuisines. She also assists others in writing and preserving their own family recipes. A Fistful of Lentils is the first book she has authored.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; 1st edition (December 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322196
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This recipe collection is full of history as well as useful cultural information and comparisons. I've been reading it nightly like a novel because it's so interesting. Makes up for the lack of photos. I have tried several of the recipes and intend to work my way through a broad representation of the rest. The clear instructions are easy for the beginner, and there are more advanced recipes for the accomplished cook. This book will not get lost or forgotten on the shelf!
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Format: Paperback
I love this cookbook. I've had it for about 4 years now - and it is one of my go-to cookbooks for great-tasting, easy to prepare meals. I love the family stories interspersed with the recipes - and I get the strong sense that these recipes were put together by a woman who did not spend all her time in the kitchen. Great for moms who want to prepare home cooked meals that don't involve a lot of fuss. Love this one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife and I often use recipes from this book to make our Sabbath meals. Last week we made several dishes from the book, including a stew and a rice-based dish, and we are still enjoying the leftovers several days later. They are delicious! All of the recipes have turned out well, with the possible exception of the M'jedrah, though I suspect that the difficulties I had with that recipe were due more to my own shortcomings as an amateur cook than with any flaws in the recipe itself. I should add that my wife and I are vegetarians, and that the book is great for vegetarians and vegans. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first checked this book out from our local library and fell in love with. Knew we wanted to have it as a permanent part of our cookbooks. My husband is from Syria, though not Jewish or from Aleppo, he was familiar with most of the dishes and delighted with the previously unfamiliar ones. (He emphasized how well-respected and trustworthy the Jews are in Syria, and how they have had a good relationship with the Muslim majority. He could not remember ever hearing of a negative incident regarding a Jewish family.)
We have made several things from this book and find them to be delicious, easy to prepare, and love that she is so easy to read. Her family photos are a neat bonus, though I wish she could have included some photos of the prepared recipes. This is a keeper!
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Format: Paperback
Fistful of Lentils is so much more than a cookbook. The introduction is beautifully written and gives a lot of information on the history of the Jews in Syria. I would compare this cookbook to the feeling you get when you watch the movie Moonstruck - in Moonstruck you feel part of Rose's family in that Italian-American kitchen as she frys up the egg on the bread, and with Fistful, you feel like you are also part of the quick-witted Grandma Fritzie's kitchen. The recipes are easy-to-read and illustrations are provided when needed. I have incorporated many of the recipes into my Mediterranean tapas parties. My Spanish family loves the twists! I can't stop looking at this book, and I own lots of cookbooks. This is the kind of food I wish we could see on the Food Network!
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