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Saha: A Chef's Journey Through Lebanon and Syria [Middle Eastern Cookbook, 150 Recipes] Hardcover – November 15, 2007


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Saha: A Chef's Journey Through Lebanon and Syria [Middle Eastern Cookbook, 150 Recipes] + Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey + Saraban: A Chef's Journey through Persia
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Periplus Editions (HK) ltd. (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0794604900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0794604905
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lebanese and Syrian cuisine gets an Australian accent in this half-cookbook, half-travelogue by the formerly married Maloufs. Greg, the chef, infuses the piquant classical flavors and age-old methods with new styling (Parmesan-Crumbed Quail), and sometimes vice-versa (Caesar salad with air-dried beef, Swiss Chard Risotto with Lobster), but he also presents many classics straight up, from Bedouin spinach and Lentil Soup to Lamb Shawarma and Crunchy Sesame Pistachio Cookies. Lucy's narrative of the pair's month-long sojourn in the Middle East provides a skeleton for the book, as her descriptions of their visits to dairies, butchers, bakers and preserve-makers precede recipes that incorporate yogurt and cheese, meats, assorted breads and condiments like the powerful red pepper paste or bitter orange marmalade. Her accounts of restaurants and sightseeing at times sound overly steeped in the tone of breathless articles from high-end travel magazines, but she also includes a good deal of historical information. Harvey's splendid photography of people and landscapes in addition to food give the book an authentic and lively flair. The recipe instructions frequently lack specificity, but experienced cooks intrigued by the rich traditions of cooking and culture (and not dissuaded by the price) will find a solid guide in this book. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Harvey's splendid photography of people and landscapes in addition to food give the book an authentic and lively flair. Experienced cooks intrigued by the rich traditions of cooking and culture will find a solid guide in this book."—Publishers Weekly

"I'm sold on him. I don't know of any other chef that can match Greg Malouf's versatility and talent who is working in the medium…I like his swing back and forth between old and new and his sensitivity with spices is brilliant…I say this because I cooked through his latest book. He is a brilliant chef. I like the way his food plays with my head."—Paula Wolfert

"There is no doubt that this is a country and a culinary tradition bursting with possibilities. All that's needed now, is for someone to explore them and share them with the rest of us. Fortunately, Greg and Lucy Malouf have."—Foreword by Anthony Bourdain

"Gorgeous photography makes this a coffee-table candidate, but the tour of these Middle Eastern countries, with the personal touch of this chef/writer team, will find you absorbing their words and recipes as well. You might even take this into the kitchen!"—Chicago Tribune

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I've ordered the book for a Christmas present.
Faten Habib
The book is a treasure trove for cooks who like to experiment and step outside the everyday.
Rob
A great travel story, wonderful photos, and excellent recipes.
Wanders C. Young

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob on September 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully created book that would do any coffee table proud. Having said that, it also works in the kitchen for cooks and chefs that are confident, adventurous and able.

Having had the pleasure of dining at Greg Malouf's MoMo Restaurant in Melbourne, I am aware of the love and affection he infuses in each dish he creates. This love of food and the culture associated with it comes across in every page of this book. The book is a treasure trove for cooks who like to experiment and step outside the everyday. The Pomegranate dressing is sublime on barbequed meats, the grilled sardines with lentil tabbouleh is exquisite and the zucchini and mint fritters to die for. I have cooked them all and enjoyed +++

This book is a testament to the fact that good food grows from the land and the culture of a nation and Malouf has chronicled a loving snapshot of Lebanese culture and cuisine.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Aceto TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I thought that characterizing hope as a weed was thoughtful and apt. That comment came from a book that was written about fifteen years ago on the frightful history. Now we have a splendid cookbook where weeds of hope persist.

The book itself is a wide format with heavy paper that handles the photographs and the expansive pages well. This book is not made for the kitchen shelf. Rather it is for exposition and enjoyment of the ample text. So for the cook, the book is not efficiently organized. This book is for a reader who will put it to kitchen use at will.

If you had to classify the book, you would call it middle-eastern. But Lebanon is highly developed on its own terms including their history of contact with many cultures. Chard, crisp-fried onion, lemon and all sorts of pickles and preserves await your inspection.

Try your hand at the yogurt cheese and be impressed with your results. Make Dijon feta dressing.

Beyond Lebanon, there is Syria, which has the oldest yeast cultures known. Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city. I was heartened to see that Armenia is included because we forget how they were almost exterminated even before the word "genocide" was coined.

So with all the bounty, there persists the bitter twinge. Read, cook and grow.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Moses on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was great, some traditional recipes, and some not so traditional twists on them as well. The one thing that bothered me was the chapter on breads. They talk and talk of Arabic Bread in the chapter, yet there is no recipe for it in the book..., anywhere. Still worth the purchase though, lots of good info and background history.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. Trujillo on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent for chef's. Easy to follow, and great results. So far I have used five recipes, and all have had great results.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Khalil Makdah on July 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
WOW, being from the region and living in the US, this book took me back to all the great places in Lebanon and Syria to eat! Having the recepies too made it even all the more mouthwatering.

The photography put me right there in the middle of it all too.

Even if you never have been or are not sure about going. I highly recommend this book.

K
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victoria on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Because Syrian cuisine is little known to many Americans, this combination cookbook/travelogue by Greg & Lucy Malouf of their journey through Lebanan and Syria is very welcome, not the least because of the evocative photos of historic ruins, architecture and people. Most of the ingredients are readily available & when they call for something like Taklia, there is a recipe for it, although a few ingredients may need to be obtained at a special market. In the Storyteller of Damascas chapter, I learned there is a Syrian desert truffle, known as Chama with two varieties - both black and white. I love the photos of the great pyramids of sweets & the recipe for Alison's Peach Yogurt Pannacotta with orange blossom peach caramel would be right at home at Le Bernadin, as would the recipe for Shellfish Soup with Fennel and Saffron. The recipes for Warm Shredded Lamb Tongue Salad with Pickled Lebanese Cucumbers, Celery & Lemon Mint Dressing, and for Lamb's Brains with Fennel, Lime and Sumac Crumbs, reminds us that lamb is more popular & readily available in the Middle East than the U.S., where it is quite expensive. The Rose of Damascus desert is unique & would be an interesting recipe to make if you have a lot of time - you have to make Turkish delight ice cream, filo pastry flowers and toffeed strawberries. A nice gift for anyone who appreciates Middle Eastern cooking & likes reading about other cultures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise Mcshea on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend of mine was recently in Lebanon and upon her return she recommended this beautiful book. As someone from Lebanese descent I bought it and have started making the recipes! They are wonderful and top of that I have a beautiful picture book that I keep on my coffee table! It's fun for me to make Lebanese recipes that are alittle finer that what I am used to making. I can't wait to prepare them all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fun Cooking on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't cooked my way through this cookbook, but some of the recipes have been real winners! For instance, the Manoushi bread recipe is amazing! We've made it quite a few times. It puffs up so well and tastes great. I've used it as a pita for chickpea sandwiches and to dip it in hummus. I've made this recipe with all-purpose flour and with half whole wheat half all-purpose flour. That was great, too. We also enjoyed the pull-apart cheese bread dinner rolls and we're looking forward to making the manoushi bread pizzas.

I haven't really read much of the cookbook except the recipes, so I don't know about that part of the book, but I've enjoyed all the recipes we've made so far.
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