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My Egyptian Grandmother's Kitchen: Traditional Dishes Sweet and Savory Paperback – November 28, 2006

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My Egyptian Grandmother's Kitchen: Traditional Dishes Sweet and Savory + Nile Style: Egyptian Cuisine and Culture: Expanded Edition + Authentic Egyptian Cooking: From the Table of Abou el Sid
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Magda Mehdawy

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press (August 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9774249275
  • ISBN-13: 978-9774249273
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By P. Shaker on March 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
The four star rating I gave this book is for the beautiful colored pictures - they are on each and every page! The range of recipes is quite encompassing but I do have some concerns in regard to the directions and flavoring of the dishes. You will need to have some basic knowledge of Middle Eastern cooking/spice mixes, etc., to have these recipes come out as they should. The pictures are a great help to show the completed product. One example of poor instructions/spices is the recipe for Macaroni Bechamel. It originally is quite a tedious recipe and the recipe contained in the book is not clear. Also, there are problems with translations; tomato juice is listed in numerous recipes when it should probably read "tomato sauce", the recipe for veal sweetbreads is shown as "thyroid glands" instead of thymus glands. Also, it lists ingredients like "gullash", "rugag" and "quata'if". Gullash would be the same as our phyllo (filo) dough. But, rugag is a type of cracker bread and quata'if is a small pancake. It's too bad that she didn't include recipes on how to make these. Fortunately, I have recipes for both these items but the reader new to this cuisine would be confused. I would only give two stars for the recipes themselves. It's a wonderful book to read for the "armchair cook". I am happy with my purchase!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mayflower Girl on July 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm married to an Egyptian (and am not Egyptian), so I've been collecting Middle Eastern cookbooks for some time. I was quite excited to find "My Egyptian Grandmother's Kitchen" because it is a translation of an award-winning Egyptian cookbook. I guess I expected more from the AUC translation...as they did not really translate it for a non-Egyptian market.

Pros:
1. Photos of nearly every recipe. A definite change from most Middle Eastern cookbooks, including Claudia Roden.
2. Very authentic recipes...although some may be too authentic for the average American. Tripe, brains, spleen, tongue, etc. are all included.

Cons:
1. Not specific directions. Lists spice mix, but doesn't tell you how to make it. If you have a Middle Eastern market, you may be able to find some premade spices...but they vary based on Brand and the country of origin (Lebanese is not the same as Egyptian--although it's better than nothing.) Claudia Roden, Sally Elias Hanna's excellent "Dining on the Nile," and May Bsisu's "Arab Table" all can give you ideas of which spices you really need.

2. No specific oven instructions. Perhaps in keeping with her Grandmother's way of doing things, she says "medium-hot" oven rather than 350 degrees or whatever. Rather frustrating, but you can get cooking times/temps from other cookbooks. Some rough estimates:
Hot 425 degrees F
Medium 350 degrees F
Warm 325 degrees F
Low 300 degrees F

3. Some recipes include Arabic names, some do not. Some ingredients are translated (often poorly so, making things more difficult), some are not.

In general, I would not recommend this cookbook for the average American cook. Instead, I'd recommend Sally Elias Hanna's "Dining on the Nile.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M.S. on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I am Egyptian by origin but never lived there, and my mother only knows how to prepare a few of the traditional dishes. However, having been in Egypt every year, I can say with conviction that this is the most authentic Egyptian cookbook I have seen so far. Claudia Roden, for example, is a wonderful cook and knows a lot of Middle Eastern cuisine, yet her books a more of a mixture of Middle Eastern than Egyptian food. For those interested in Egyptian food itself, this is the best reference in terms of scope and variations. Samia Abdennour claims to cook Egyptian, yet you will find half of the book strange to any Egyptian - it's Palestinian, I found out, and no wonder, since Abdennour is actually Palestinian.

On Mehdawy's instructions:
I love the many photos, which give you a good idea, and I find her instructions clear enough. She gives measurements and temperature explanations on page 4, so please don't complain that oven instructions are unclear. She also explains ingredients in the first chapter and in between - in case of confusion, check the reference. You will find an explanation.
The recipes are very tasty and sometimes with interesting twists.
So, if you're looking for a comprehensive guide to Egyptian cooking, this is the one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brie on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book just did not deliver. I was looking for an Egyptian specific cookbook to make traditional dishes for my father-in-law. This book has no instruction and odd amounts of ingredients. I am a fairly advanced cook, and I do a lot of Lebanese cooking. This book literally feels like ingredients were poorly translated from grandma's memorized recipes without being adjusted and tested for english readers. This seems to be a common problem with Arabic cookbooks written in English. I'm sure there are countless recipes for Kushari but this one is just ridiculous and how can this be a good Egyptian cookbook without an amazing recipe for Kushari?? Best general Arabic cookbook I own so far is The Arab Table by May S. Bsisu.. No Kushari but a solid cookbook with very traditional recipes and excellent cultural information.
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