BALADI: PALESTINE – A CEL­E­BRA­TION OF FOOD FROM LAND AND SEA

JOUDIE KALLA, QUARTO GROUP UK, H/B, $55

Cuisine - - REVIEWS -

Baladi means ‘my home, my land, my coun­try’ and for Joudie Kalla that means Palestine. It’s joy­ful fam­ily food, rooted in tra­di­tion, es­sen­tially Pales­tinian, but mixed with Jor­da­nian, Le­banese and Syr­ian as her grand­par­ents were forced to leave and adapt. It’s scat­tered with lo­ca­tion shots to give you a flavour, and that flavour is of stony olive groves, packed vi­brant mar­kets piled high with fresh-as fruit, veg­eta­bles and spices, glis­ten­ing fish be­ing off-loaded from bright fish­ing boats, and flat­bread cooked over coals. My copy is al­ready bristling with Post-it notes: I’m go­ing to start with gar­lic lab­neh and poached egg on flat­bread (all oozy-yolked creami­ness with a yeasty chew), pome­gran­ate and za’atar lamb chops with lemon, mint and yo­gurt will be on the bar­bie just as soon as we re­mem­ber to fill the gas bot­tle and I reckon wa­ter­melon juice with mint and or­ange blos­som will be this summer’s cooler. In a re­fresh­ing vari­a­tion from the usual, recipes are grouped by mar­kets and village life (in­clud­ing cheeses, pre­serves and drinks), the fields and earth, the bak­ery, the farm, the hills and or­chards, and rivers and seas. Cu­ri­ously there are lots of pic­tures of cute, long-eared goats, though no recipes for goat. TW

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