Thursday, 28 April 2016

Summers Under The Tamarind Tree, Review & Giveaway

Summers Under The Tamarind Tree is the debut cookery book by food writer, Sumayya Usmani. I think this cookery book is a first of it's kind as it documents recipes from Pakistan. Many of us are familiar with Indian cooking and the fiery curries that are associated with that country, but what about Pakistan, what dishes are associated with this country? For some reason, unbeknown to me, Pakistani cooking is somewhat of an unknown entity. Luckily, for you and I, Sumayya has shared her family recipes, a combination of Arab, Persian and Indian influences. I think the publishers, Frances Lincoln have done a wonderful job here, there's stunning on-location photography with some mouth-watering photos of the finished dish. Having flicked through several of the pages to and fro and book marked several, I think that this cookery book will be considered to be a "classic" in years to come. Not only for introducing the reader to Pakistani cuisine, but also for the breath of the recipes that are covered and beautiful food writing. This is my favourite sort of cookbook, one which is personal, a narrative and contains do-able recipes.


This cookery book gets a big thumbs up for a whole chapter on breakfast - one of my favourite ways to start the day.So far, I've only tried two recipes, the khagina (spicy scrambled eggs with tomatoes and coriander) and Lahori Fish (in chickpea batter and ajwain seeds) but I plan on making much more. The recipe I choose to share is the Lahori Fish, coated in gram flour, this gives a traditional haddock more of an unusual, interesting and delightful take, one which I loved.
Lahori Fish

Spicy Eggs with Tomato and Coriander.


Lahori Fish, In Chickpea Batter and Ajwan Seeds
Preparation - 20 minutes, Cooking 10-15 minutes, Serves 4-6
Ingredients
4-6 haddock fillets
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
100g generous gram flour
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp dry-roasted chin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
100ml rice water (made by boiling 1 cup wear, straining and reserving the water.

Method
Rub the fish with the lemon juice, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix the gram flour, rice flour, cumin, ajwain, red chill flakes and remaining salt together in a bowl. Pour the rice water into another bowl. Dip the fish into the dry gram flour mix then in the rice water and repeat again. Continue until pall the pieces of fish are covered. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan over a medium heat and fry the fish for 4-5 minutes each sir until cooked through with a crisp coating.

The lovely people over at Frances Lincoln are giving one lucky reader a copy of Summers Under The Tamarind Tree. To be in with a chance of winning a copy, follow the below instructions:
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44 comments

  1. I haven't tried it before, but I do like the look of the khagina (spicy scrambled eggs with tomatoes and coriander, so I would start with that :)

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  2. No I haven't tried Pakistani cuisine but have heard Keema is very good!

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  3. ive not actually tried it before

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  4. I have never tried Pakistani cuisine before but I love the sound of khagina

    Kirsty Fox

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  5. have never tried it but would be eager to find out more; anything with rice would be a good start

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  6. I haven't tried it before but the Lahori fish looks yummy.

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  7. never tried it before, but the Lahari Fish sounds good xx

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  8. I haven't tried it before but look forward to trying the Lahori Fish

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  9. Never tried it but I love all different foods and I will try anything I'd love to try a curry

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  10. I have never tried it before but the spicy eggs with tomato and coriander sound lovely

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  11. Don't think so, but always happy to try different spicy recipes.

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  12. That fish batter looks really good. Bet my partner would love it.

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  13. No I've not tried it yet but would try the khagina first.

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  14. I have and it was very good

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  15. Yes, I have - I've tried Biryani

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  16. The fish batter looks awesome

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  17. I haven't had it yet but it looks really nice and i would like to try the fish first

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  18. I don't think I've tried it but I would probably like something like a chicken patties.

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  19. I love Pakistani Mangoes, does that count?

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  20. I dont think I've ever tried it, but I'd like to try the khagina

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  21. I have, their fish dishes are amazing!

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  22. I have not tried this cuisine but would like to give it a goo.

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  23. I've never tried it, but I'd like to try the khagina

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  24. I have never tried to cook Pakistani cuisine and would start with the khagina.

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  25. I dont think i have tried it before, but im always interested in new tastes

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  26. I've never tried it before but I'd love to give it a go. It sounds delicious. I'd like to try the Lahori fish.

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  27. No I haven't but I'd love to try some it all sounds delish

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  28. No I haven't tried it yet, but must

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  29. Never tried Pakistani cuisine, however the khagina sound great

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  30. Haven't tried before but would love to try Lahore fish

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  31. No, not tried specifically Pakistani dishes I don't think, but would love to! I'd try a seafood recipe first.

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  32. No I haven't but I'd love to try some.

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  33. I've never tried it but this would be a good recipe to start with because I have some of the ingredients in my cupboard and freezer.

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  34. ive not actually tried it before but would like to try the keema

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  35. I had Aloo gohst when a doctor made some for the night shift.

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  36. I don't think my mother-in-law would want to call her cooking Pakistani, but I think some of her cooking would likely be similar to modern Pakistani cooking. The city where she was born, Lahore, is now in Pakistan, having been part of the British Empire at the time she was born. She left Lahore as a teenager during the partition of India & Pakistan, She is now in her 80s and has continued to cook some of the dishes that she had learned in Lahore, for example she makes a rice dish with pomegranate seeds which seems to me to have a Persian or Moghul influence and is not something that is typically Indian.

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  37. No, I have never eaten Pakistani cuisine and I would love to try it

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  38. I adore saag dishes and would love to try more as I love Asian cuisine.

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  39. No I haven't, nor do I have much knowledge of the food so I don't know what I would try.

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  40. I have never tried Pakistani cuisine before and to be honest I wouldn't know what counted as such - but the khagina sounds nice, so I'd love to try that!

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  41. Never tried it but am always open to new cuisines.

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