Book Review – Bahari by Dina Maki

bahari book cover

Bahari – Recipes from an Omani Kitchen and Beyond by Dina Maki

Bahari oozes unique qualities, from the book cover design to the wonderful layout and interesting recipes.

This is a very original cookbook written by Dina Maki – a first Omani cookbook written by an Omani. Dina spends her time travelling across Oman and Zanzibar, finding regional foods and cooking recipes from her heritage. You can choose from 100 recipes, including meat, fish and vegetables homemade breads and dips and a selection of desserts and drinks.

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bahari book cover

If you regard this cookbook as not just a collection of recipes (more Dina’s journey through Oman) then this is an ideal book for you. The reader can become an armchair traveller through wonderful non-fiction story-telling, with excellent travel photography, family history and delicious recipes.

I did enjoy the section Cook’s Notes, an amazingly helpful addition, whether you are a novice or an experienced cook. This section gives you lots of good advice on using different spices, choices of meat and seasoning.

I have chosen a delicious vegetarian dish to share with you (adapted from Bahari).

Mutrah Corniche Chutney Burger

Mutrah Corniche Chutney Burger

Makes 8-9 patties

Ingredients

1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
100g (3 ½ oz) broccoli florets
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste,
2-3 tbsp olive oil
215 g (7 ½ oz) canned or jarred butter beans (drained weight)
100g (3 ½ oz) jasmine rice
150g (5 ½ oz) cashew nuts
25g (1 oz parsley), chopped
60 g (1/2 cup) panko breadcrumbs
3 large eggs

For the chutney

30g (1oz parsley)
60g (2oz) coriander (cilantro)
20g (3/4oz) mint leaves
Juice of two lemons
2 hot green chillies
½ – 1 tsp sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan/400 degrees/Gas 6) and line a baking tray with baking parchment (parchment paper).

Begin by combining the onion, sweet potato and broccoli in a food processor. Add the cumin and black pepper and season with salt, then whiz to chop the vegetables into small pieces, almost like big breadcrumbs. Tip this mixture onto one side of the prepared tray then drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and use your hands to mix through. Add the drained to the other side of the tray. Roast for 20 minutes until the vegetables begin to turn brown then set aside to cool slightly.

In a saucepan, bring the jasmine rice to the boil with 300ml (1 ¼ cups) of water. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and leave for 25 minutes until the water is fully absorbed and the rice is cooked through and fluffy.

Combine the cashews and parley in the food processor and pulse slightly, then add the cooled vegetables and beans, along with the panko breadcrumbs and eggs. Pulse a few times to bring it together. Tip the mixture into a large bowl, along with the cooked rice. Use a spatula to fold in the rice until everything comes together. Transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to cook, separate your patty mixture into 8-9 balls then press them flat; they should be just under 2-5 cm (1in) thick. Heat the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low medium heat. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, fry the patties for 3-4 minutes until brown and firm.

To make the chutney, simply blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Enjoy!

Bahari is available from all the normal book outlets. Published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd (a Penguin Random House Company). Credit photography Patricia Niven.

Foodie Lass

Foodie Lass

I am a passionate foodie with a background in advertising and more recently food author (with a range of successful health and nutrition books under my belt).

I spent several years living in Australia (experiencing food cultures from that part of the world) plus many food adventures in European countries.

My most recent food passion has been watching ‘Somebody feed Phil’ on Netflix!

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