“Yasmin Khan draws on her vast experience as a storyteller, cook, human rights activist, itinerant traveler and writer to create a moving, empathetic, hugely knowledgeable and utterly delicious book.”
– Anthony Bourdain
Amidst the olive groves of Nazareth, the spice markets of Jerusalem and the fishing ports of Gaza, travel writer and cook Yasmin Khan falls in love with the flavours and fragrances of modern Palestinian cuisine.
Her journey takes her from the pomegranate juice stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, to the home kitchens of refugees, surrounded by the Wall in Bethlehem, via the knafeh sweet shops of bustling downtown Nablus. On her travels, she learns how to hand-roll maftool, the plump Palestinian giant couscous, harvests black olives from the groves of Burquin in the West Bank and even finds time to down a pint with workers at the Taybeh brewery who are producing the first Palestinian craft beer. As she feasts and cooks with Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds, she learns about the realities of their everyday lives, witnessed through the act of breaking bread over a kitchen table.
Featuring over 80 accessible recipes, with a special focus on vegetarian versions of Palestinian classics, Khan’s recipes include herb-filled salads, quick pickles, fragrant soups, tender roasted meat dishes and rich desserts, surrounded by a chorus of stories from those who live, love and cook with Palestine in their hearts.
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‘A big bowl-full of delicious Palestinian recipes, plus lots of insightful and moving stories… Great stuff’
‘A zingingly evocative collection of personal stories… Calling it a cookbook does it a disservice. Zaitoun deserves to be read as much as cooked from’
-Observer Food Monthly
‘This is a politically engaged and hungry travelogue, and it is also an inspirational recipe book, and one that anyone who loves food will want to cook from, will need to cook from’
‘This is so much more than a compilation of recipes, gorgeous though they themselves are. This is a book that tells a story, both cultural and personal, and her voice is as engaging as her food’ Nigella Lawson
‘Yasmin’s recipes are a mouthwatering showcase of a beautiful country’ Yotam Ottolenghi
‘Not just a great cookbook but a book full of stories – a love letter to Iran and its people’ Diana Henry
“Yasmin Khan has lived and traveled widely in Iran, and The Saffron Tales… reflects traditions she knows intimately. But she has the rare gift of being able to translate her personal heritage into recipes even newcomers will be able to pull off.” (The New York Times)