Book Review: Summers Under the Tamarind Tree by Sumayya Usmani




Pakistani food writer Sumayya unlocks Pakistani cuisine

I love the book dedication.

“This book is for my mother, grandmothers and daughter – the women who have inspired me – and for my homeland, which is full of passion, promise and authentic flavour”

This sums up the book. Knowledge passed through the generations, learned through cooking and watching others.

Sumayya started sharing these recipes on her blog My Tamarind Kitchen and through her cooking classes and now you can read her book.  Now based in Glasgow, Sumayya grew up on the coast in Karachi which is reflected in her cookery as well as the spices and techniques from the various countries and borders around Pakistan.

Mummy’s Whole Fish, Summers under the tamarind tree

This part recipe book, part biography gives the basic recipes that Sumayya grew up loving.  From how to make her mothers Masala dust to her grandmothers salted lemon preserves and her fathers love of meat. These pieces of information show us where Sumayya gained her love of cookery and how family and food go together.

Apple Pakora, Summers under the tamarind tree

One important piece of the book is spices and how to buy them and use them.  Learning how not to be scared of spice as well as buying from ethnic grocery stores (never buy ground spices – grind your own)




This book is an excellent read, full of information for those seeking to dip into Pakistani cookery and need a helpful hand or those experienced and looking to expand their skills and tastes.

Summers under the tamarind tree by Sumayya Usmani is released on 7th April and can be pre-ordered through Amazon.




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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