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14 Middle Eastern Cookbooks (For Aromatic Home Cooking) in 2021

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Whether you’re looking to learn Persian, Turkish, Israeli, or Arab cuisine, these Middle Eastern cookbooks will take you on a culinary journey as you learn to recreate the same fragrant, spiced dishes that we know and love.

Growing up in an Egyptian household, I’m no stranger to the delights of Middle Eastern cuisine, but even that background barely scratches the surface with eighteen countries making up what we call the Middle East.

While you’ll find similarities in ingredients or similar dishes between the individual cuisines spanning these countries and continents there are also hundreds of years of history and culture that have shaped each country’s food into something special and unique.

Here we’ve tried to give a good overview of what the region has to offer in terms of its food and drink with collections dedicated to particular countries and books which encompass the region overall in interesting ways.

The Best Middle Eastern Cookbooks Available Now

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply here to learn about some Arabic desserts, these are the essential Middle Eastern cookbooks for you.

Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond & Simply Easy by Sabrina Ghayour

Persiana is a wonderful cookbook that could almost serve double duty as a coffee table book; the images are that beautiful. It is packed with mouth-watering recipes, from lamb and sour cherry meatballs to chicken, preserved lemon, and olive tagine.

Persiana is a must-buy for people who love Middle Eastern food, want a range of different country’s cuisines to choose from, and are looking to authentically recreate those flavours in their own homes.

Ghayour has also recently released a new book, Simply, in which she details some of her favourite recipes that combine both the spectacular flavour profile of Middle Eastern food and the simplicity of a great weeknight dinner.

We love both of these books equally, depending on how we’re feeling! One recipe that we can’t wait to try is the chilled pistachio and cucumber soup — perfect for a warm summer’s day!

We love using Sous Chef to buy our cooking ingredients. From staples like rice, to harder to find specialties and spices. You can find everything you need here. We can also offer ten pounds off your first purchase with this link.

New Feast: Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian by Greg Malouf & Lucy Malouf

New Feat is a wonderful cookbook that well-and-truly delivers modern takes on classic Middle Eastern dishes. And it provides one of the best vegetarian Middle Eastern cookbooks if you don’t eat meat but still love Middle Eastern food.

There are some great recipes in there with twists that we wouldn’t have even considered, and some of our favourites are on the sweeter side. We really love the look of Malouf’s orange baklava cigars — what’s not to love about that wonderful name alone?

Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan

This book not only has some of the most stunning cover art we’ve ever seen on a cookbook, but it also has recipes packed with the freshness and brightness that you’d associated with Levantine cuisine. The recipes in the book are deeply fragrant, healthy, and utterly delicious.

zaitoun palestinian kitchen

This book does a great job of helping you to learn about different spices that are used in middle eastern cooking, whether in a blend or on their own. Laying the groundwork for you to embark on your own culinary journey.

Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day by Eden Grinshpan

This great cookbook from Eden Grinshpan makes Middle Eastern cooking incredibly accessible, offering recipes that are easy to conjure up in your own home.

The author’s Israeli heritage and laid-back style really come through in the book, allowing you to feel like you’re getting to know a person as well as a range of dishes.

eating out loud arabic cooking

We love how this book takes on veggies that ordinarily may be underappreciated. For example, there’s a great recipe for roasted whole heads of broccoli, topped with a herby yogurt and a crunchy, well-spiced dukkah.

Read More: Amazing Asian Cookbooks for Inspiring Home Cooking

The Sultan’s Feast: A Fifteenth-Century Egyptian Cookbook by Ibn Mubarak Shah

We love a good historical cookbook, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. The book contains over six hundred recipes, all of them informative and delicious.

This is the first time that a historic Arab-Muslim cookbook, and it has been made available in English translation. This classic cookbook is certainly worth picking up a copy.

sultans feast traditional arabic cooking

Historically speaking, cookbooks have much longer been a part of the Arab-Muslim world than they have the Western world, so this book is packed full of old recipes that you’re likely to have never heard of before. Check it out!

SUQAR: Desserts & Sweets from the Modern Middle East

There’s nothing quite like an indulgent Middle Eastern dessert to make you feel satisfied, and this gorgeous Middle Eastern cookbook offers over a hundred recipes to tempt you. Suqar translates to sugar in Arabic, which is a quick and easy way to let the reader know exactly what they’re in for.

A sugar high of the finest quality, laced with spices like cardamom and cinnamon, citrus flavours, and nuts. From classics like halva and kanafah to fresh and contemporary offerings like honey sorbet and cardamon cake.

With a good range of difficulty, there’s something here for everyone.

suqar arabic cookbook desserts

This book is also incredibly friendly gluten-free cookbook due to there being less of a reliance on flour in Middle Eastern desserts which is a bonus for those of us who usually have to resist.

The Taste of Egypt: Home Cooking from the Middle East by Dyna Eldaief

This wonderful book encompasses not only the unique and delicious food of the Middle East but also what it’s like to be an Egyptian-Australian food blogger, and the perspective on the culinary world which that gives you.

taste of egypt cookbook

This is a great cookbook for Egyptian food specifically, allowing you to learn about rich Egyptian culture while also eating some of the best food you’ve ever tasted.

Whether you’re looking for your new brunch staple of full al medames or you’d love to have a go at making your own stuffed vine leaves, it’s all right here.

Read More: 9 Best African Cookbooks for Amazing Home Cooking

Vegan Recipes from the Middle East by Parvin Razavi

This beautiful Middle Eastern vegan cookbook treats fresh fruit and veg with the amount of reverence that they are typically given in the middle east. As such, there’s a great sense of respect to all the recipes, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves.

vegan middle eastern cookbook

This book does a great job of combining traditional recipes with contemporary approaches, marrying the two together in a wonderful harmony of delicious food.

You need never miss out on Middle Eastern flavours as a vegan ever again. We love the delicate preserves and pickles in this book — they truly bring the flavours of the middle east, or any dish, to the forefront.

Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant recipes from the heart of Lebanon by John Gregory-Smith  

This book, with its stunning cover art, is a wonderful introduction to Lebanese food and culture, one which is among the most delicious in the world.

saffron in the souks

We love to see books like this take a deep dive into the wonderful flavours of a place, from classic street food to decadent pastries. To finish this wonderful tome, there is a flurry of beautiful photography that adorns nearly every page. Perfect!

Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Eating by Somer Sivrioglu & David Dale

This book prides itself on embracing the theatricality of a good dish. As such, a good many of the traditionally and wonderful Turkish meals found throughout the book are wonderfully named, from The Priest Fainted to The Sleeping Figs.

turkish eating culture

We love embracing this aspect of a great meal, so this book gets a huge thumbs-up and is perfect for anyone who loves the variety and wholesomeness of Turkish cuisine.

Casablanca: My Moroccan Food by Nargisse Benkabbou

Benkabbou’s exciting debut cookbook offers an impressive number of wonderful Moroccan recipes throughout. In true Moroccan style, they are all decadent, delicious, and many are surprisingly simple to recreate — the sticky ras el hangout and peach short ribs being an excellent example.

We love any book that introduces us to flavours and combinations that we hadn’t heard of before, and this book certainly ticks that box. We’ve loved trying out these Moroccan recipes at home!

Read More: The Best Japanese Cookbooks (from Starters to Sake)

TLV: Tel Aviv: Recipes and stories from Israel by Jigal Krant

TLV focuses on some of the best aspects of Tel Aviv, and how better to do that than through food and photography? Throughout this book, there are recipes for unabashed classics such as hummus and falafel, which are ideal to make your own Israeli-style fast food at home.

israeli cookbook

There are also dishes common to fancier restaurants, which are common and popular spots all over the city. The book beautifully captures the zest for life that is present in Tel Aviv and helps you to add a dash or two to your own days.

Parwana: Recipes and stories from an Afghan kitchen by Durkhanai Ayubi 

This book not only sports stunning family recipes, but also a generous amount of heart and love. Parwana is a family-run restaurant in Adelaide from which the culinary delights of Afghanistan have been shared for a decades.

Using book, you’ll be able to recreate some of that Afghan magic in your own home. We love the look of the wonderful Afghan pasta for its simplicity and use of traditional flavours.

Read More:

Delve into some middle eastern literature with these short story collections.

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Whether you're looking to learn Persian, Turkish, Israeli, or Arab cuisine, these Middle Eastern cookbooks will take you on a culinary journey as you learn to recreate the same fragrant, spiced dishes that we know and love.
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