'Heavenly Bites' Cookbook - Muslim Home Cooking From Bangladesh To Morocco
Heavenly Bites is one of the first multinational Muslim cookbooks that features a variety of Muslim home cooking found in Morocco to Bangl...
I bought this book as an Eid gift for my eco-sister, the Muslim vegetarian and food lover. She critiqued Karimah's cookbook for The Eco Muslim and remarked that the Eastern-Western fusion which some of the recipes have, is a good introduction to learning new 'halalified' dishes of contemporary British Muslims. Most of the recipes are suitable for beginners while a few require intermediate knowledge in ingredients and flavours.
Heavenly Bites assembles 50 dishes, including flavoursome soups, salads, smoothies, main courses and desserts. Each section is colour-coded and most recipes contain health tips, a brief history, the background inspiration and basic nutritional information. Bold images accompany each recipe which makes it easier to flick through and see exactly what your meal is supposed to look like.
I would have liked to have seen a few instructional photographs to see the methods involved in some meals, for example the meat dishes. Eco-sister Salsabeel mentioned that a glossary of the Islamic words would be useful for non-Halal eaters, such as translating alhamdulillah as 'praising God'.
Each recipe is rich in culture and looks very delicious, even if only on paper. Karimah utilises her multicultural experience and culinary know-how from Muslim cultures around the world so that her book is like a huge opportunity to explore what halal food other people eat and how.
A few recipes are missing detailed discussion on what the non-English words mean and origin of herbs but this doesn't reduce the overall value of the book at all. In keeping with an eco lifestyle I also looked forward to learning more about organic produce and alternative ingredients (for example, replacing whole wheat for white flour).
The recipes include lovely heart-warming and simple snacks like Pakistani chaats and Mediterranean salads. A few cakes and sweets are in here too although some of the ingredients sound quite heavy to eat. They remind me of Nigella Lawson and her need for cream, chocolate and lots of sugar. I'm probably being biased though as I haven't baked/fried any of those yet!
The Layout + Information
I like that there is an introduction to each recipe. A good structure is followed throughout the book to help you plan a complete meal while keeping in mind how many you are serving and how long it will take to cook. A great idea for volume 2 would be to create a menu planner so readers know which starters, main courses and desserts compliment one another.
There isn't much information on allergens and the author doesn't go into too much detail about the types of cheeses, green veg nutrition or alternative ingredients. I think I and my sister would have liked just some extra explanations on nutrition and cooking methods. On the other hand, this is a straight-forward cookbook with a balanced amount of information.
All the recipes have a step-by-step bulleted instruction list. Measurements have been provieed in the metric and imperial system. The book has a personal touch from Karimah Bint Dawood as you can 'hear' her personality on each page. She's vivacious and quite humorous. This makes it a more enjoyable book to read from.
Get this Muslim cookbook
+ Heavenly Bites, The Best of Muslim Home Cooking
Learn More About Halal Food
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+ Halal In Russia Means 'Good Food'
+ 10 Eco-Muslim Tips For Food Management