The Yemenite Cookbook

Zion Levi, Author, Hani Agabria, With Seaver Books $22.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0394-9
Levi, the owner, and Agabria, the chef of a Yemenite restaurant in Tel Aviv, beautifully illuminate an exuberant cuisine that is rich in both Arab and Jewish traditions. Low in cholesterol, sugar and fats and high in protein, the versatile peasant Middle Eastern fare relies heavily on inexpensive cuts of meat and stuffed fruits and vegetables seasoned with fiery spices. Included here are light sauces for meat dishes that shun butter and cream in accordance with Jewish dietary laws; however, lamb in a pastry, stuffed with mushrooms, mint and tuna fish, breaches the longstanding rabbinic taboo of not mixing meat and fish in a single dish. Yemenite preparations that would make enticing additions to a Western table include: persimmons stuffed with mushrooms and vine leaves, artichoke hearts stuffed with chicken livers, baked fish with anchovy sauce and radishes with a sweet date sauce. Jewish and Moslem legends and lore are sprinkled throughout the book, and a chapter is devoted to ancient culinary medicinal tips, providing dimension to this intriguing cultural portrait. (February)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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