Eat the world: globally-inspired cookbooks

Makloubeh, Swedish meatballs, and Masala chai. To us, tasting the local food and drink while we travel is an integral part of our journey. There’s something about eating as a local that offers a whole other insight into a country’s culture. And if you can bring some of that back with you, even better. But, for those times when you’re not on the road, here are some of our favourite cookbooks that will make you feel like you are, even if just for a meal or ten. We’ve selected these cookbook as the authors all really know their culinary specialty from the inside, ensuring they share with you not only the true roots of the cuisine, but also a journey through the country and culture it originates from.

Joudie Kalla Ballade cookbook

Baladi: Palestine, a Celebration of Food from Land and Sea, by Joudie Kalla

Joudie Kalla is Palestinian by heritage, and has long had a love for the food of her homeland. Baladi: Palestine, a Celebration of Food from Land and Sea is a follow up to her last cookbook, Palastine on a Plate. With both, Joudie aims to not only showcase middle-eastern food to the world, but also to teach others about Palestine, her homeland. Indeed, ‘Baladi’ translates to ‘my homeland’ and the book beautifully portrays Palestinian lifestyle and culture, with on-the-ground photography weaved throughout. With a 16 year culinary-career to date, and some wonderful recipes passed down through her family, it’s no wonder she’s quickly gained celebrity-chef fans such as Nigella Lawson.

Black Sea, by Caroline Eden

Caroline Eden Black Sea cookbook

This book not only shares some of the region’s great dishes, but also takes the reader on a journey through three cities; Istanbul and Trazbon in Turkey, and Odessa in Ukraine. With beautifully descriptive cultural writing and photography, Caroline Eden transports you to the region introducing its people, cultures and ways of living, as well as some of the region’s dishes. Caroline is a journalist with a self-described ‘Black Sea obsession’, who has been visiting and writing about travel for many years so it comes as no surprise that this makes an equally good coffee table book as cookbook; it is as inspiring to read, learn and understand a culture from, as it is to make and taste from. We’ve got our eye on the Toyga Soup, made with chickpeas, yoghurt, wheat and mint, as well as the manti.

Mira Manek Saffron Soul cookbook

Saffron Soul, by Mira Manek

Mira Manek’s love for healthy Indian cuisine is evident in many facets of her life, most recently in her new café opening, Chai by Mira, appropriately situated within a yoga studio at London’s Kingly Court. Thankfully for us, she’s combined some of her favourite recipes, many passed down from her mother and grandmother, in this fantastic Indian vegetarian cookbook. Mira combines generational family recipes with regular foodie-research trips to India, resulting in some wonderful dishes fusing tradition and modernity. Our favourite from Safrron Soul so far is the Masala grilled aubergine. Mind you, we haven’t tried making them all just yet.

Lagom: The Swedish art of eating harmoniously, by Steffi Knowles-Dellner

Steffi Knowles-Dellner Lagom the Swedish art of eating harmoniously cookbook

Born and brought up in Sweden, Steffi Knowles-Dellner herself claims that the word ‘Lagom’ is notoriously hard to translate to English, but concludes ‘fairness, consensus and equality’ and a ‘manifestation of equilibrium - work and play, light and dark, hot and cold, wealth and poverty, tradition and modernity’, come close. Evident throughout Steffi’s book is the focus on food as healthy nourishment, and the importance of eating in harmony with the seasons, without denying yourself the pleasure of decadent foods from overseas. Think fresh, healthy Nordic cuisine, with flavourful overseas twists.

And, not forgetting dessert (we never forget dessert…):

Greg and Lucy Malouf SUQAR cookbook

SUQAR, by Greg and Lucy Malouf

We first met Greg Malouf, a chef renowned for his mastery of middle eastern cuisine, during the run up to the highly anticipated launch of one of his restaurants, Clé Dubai. What was as evident then as it is now, is his love and passion for Arabic food. The restaurant launch went off in true Dubai style with A-list celebrity attendees, yet all of Greg’s focus was on the food; elegant and taste-packed canapés filled the room, keeping guests happy throughout the evening. Fast-forward a few years, and Greg has teamed up with Lucy Malouf for the second time, to take the cookbook world by storm. This time they’re sharing sweet dishes, as Greg himself admits that ‘a lifetime of working in restaurants has taught me that nothing makes people’s eyes light up the way desserts do’. SUQAR includes delights such as Arabic five-spice pineapple with saffron ice cream, pistachio shortbread, and kunefa with apricot and sweet cheese. We can’t wait to bake up a storm and impress friends and family over the coming months.

- By Katie Silcox

- Discover more global food to delight in Food meets art: Europe’s most imaginative chefs

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