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Samarkand: Recipes & Stories From Central Asia & The Caucasus

Over hundreds of years, various ethnic groups have passed through this city, sharing and influencing each other's cuisine and leaving their culinary stamp. Samarkand is a love letter to Central Asia and the Caucasus, containing travel essays, beautiful photography and recipes that are little known in the West that have been expertly adapted for the home cook. There is an introduction to the region (explaining the ethnic groups – Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russian, Turkis, Koryo-Saram, Jewish, Caucasus, Afghan) with a useful pantry of essential ingredients, followed by an array of delicious dishes. These include Lamb Kebabs with Cinnamon, Cloves & Hot Hummus, Pumpkin Stuffed with Jeweled Rice, Pomegranate & Vodka Sorbet and the all-important breads of the region – non, flatbreads and pides.

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Kyle Books (June 7, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1909487422

ISBN-13: 978-1909487420

Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.9 x 10.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #18,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #31 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking #259 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International

It is rare for me to read through a new cookbook and not find a recipe or two I want to try immediately. But in this case, I want to try them all, now - okay there are a few with a bit lower priority but ... at university, I knew a number of students of Central Asian languages and a couple of graduate students from the region. I trust that these recipes as reasonably authentic as they are similar to the dishes I was served as from the region. The only ingredient I see missing that was always spoken of nostalgically is melons ... I kept hearing of a hundred types of melons being available. I fear they don't even make an appearance in that variety even in the gorgeous photos spread throughout the book.The recipes all are built around ingredients that are available without prowling specialty and ethnic stores. Pomegranate molasses is a difficult as it comes ... and, yes, molasses in milk is fed to children around the world according to my experience tracking down pomegranate molasses. The directions are detailed and clear; they do not assume that you are familiar with the final product. This makes it ideal for someone exploring the cuisine without any experience with it.The first recipe I looked for in the book was for the Georgian cheese bread - there is a Spinach Khachapuri along with a beautiful photo and an amusing comment about the Khachapuri economic index - the price of the ingredients is a local measure of inflation. And the Azerbaijan Buttern rice under a Shah's Crown which is a buttered saffron rice with chestnuts, raisins and apricots in a lavash crust is there.But the recipes which really caught my attention were not ones that I was familiar with or that were complex. They are simple family fare.

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