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Taste explosion…

In a kitchen rut? Bye-bye boring, hello spicy … we’ve found a trio of cookbooks to get your tastebuds tingling.

Sumac is a deep red spice with a citrusy hit much used in Middle Eastern cuisine, that adds a vibrant lift to all kinds of foods. And the recipes from Sumac will certainly provide a lift to your meals … be they breakfast (Jazmaz – eggs in tomato sauce with chillies), lunch (Mujaddara – lentil pilaf with caramelised onion) or dinner (Shorbat ameh – tomato soup with barley and lamb shank). The book has recipes for sharing mezze platters, street food (brilliant Toshka – a toasted sandwich with spicy meat and cheese), meat, chicken and fish options as well as more than a dozen amazingly tempting desserts and drinks (is there anyone, ever, who said no to a slice of baklava?). With recipes celebrating Anas’ family food traditions, along with the travels, celebrations and memories of loved ones, as well as personal anecdotes and snippets of really interesting info, the book is evocative and inspiring and beautifully illustrated … delicious in every way! Murdoch Books

‘This book’, says Cape Malay cooking queen Fatima Sydow, ‘is a dream come true. It has provided me with wonderful opportunities – from the people I’ve met and the memories I’ve made to the recipes I’ve shared. My heart is full’. And the book – Fatima Sydow Cooks – is full too … of wonderful local dishes we all love. Think vetkoek, to be filled with mince or apricot jam, crayfish curry (head, legs and all), slow cooked beef brisket (inexpensive, flavourful and perfect for a cold Winter day), and banana fritters (light and golden and sprinkled with cinnamon). Loads more too. For more, click on fatimasydow.co.za. Human & Rousseau

Curried is a joyful homage to one of the world’s most beloved and versatile dishes – the curry . Inspired by author Cariema Isaacs’ memories of the slow-cooked Cape Malay curries of her childhood, as well as the fast-paced landscape of the Middle East, where she now lives, Cariema celebrates the nourishing comfort of pulses and legumes in a multitude of wholesome and delicious vegetarian curries for everyday cooking. For special occasions, there are meat and seafood curries from around the globe. Rice and condiments are not overlooked, and there is also a selection of breads, as well as delectable desserts. On our shopping list are the ingredients for the dal and beetroot curried stew, ( rich in colour, it looks almost too good to eat), the Sunday curried roast chicken (to give our tradional roast a twist), the no-rise blikbeker broodjies (bread in a tin mug – perfect for a braai) and Arabian Delights Mouhalabieh (a Middle Eastern version of panna cotta – beautifully decorated so perfect for a dinner party). Penguin

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