If you were told you there was a cookbook out there with a whopping 550 Turkish recipes you might be slightly taken aback. While the regionality of cuisines like Italian, Thai and Japanese have really taken off in the past few years, upping the recognition that there are many vastly different types, Turkish has never really been taken beyond just that vague umbrella term of “Turkish food”.
Whether it’s Istanbul or the Black Sea Region, there are many different kinds of Turkish food and Phaidon’s The Turkish Cookbook is a hero for that fact. Authored by internationally renowned Turkish chef Musa Dağdeviren, most recently shot to fame from his time on Netflix’s Chef’s Table, the enormous 512-page book is a passionate, comprehensive look at the cuisine.
Grilled meats, salads, sweet pastries, dips, pilafs, stews, kebabs, kofte – everything to do with Turkish food finds a home here, celebrating the country’s diverse European and Asian culinary heritage as well as strong ties to Middle Eastern traditions.
Given that Turkish restaurants like Stanbuli in Sydney and Tulum in Melbourne are often considered local favourites, it’s about time a book like this has arrived in our shores.
All the classic Turkish dishes are featured in the immaculately designed book, as well as lesser known regional dishes like Lamb & Apricot Stew, Sultan’s Rice and Sardines (grilled in vine leaves), and a huge variety of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options – some with no more than five ingredients.
Perhaps best of all, especially for travel enthusiasts, the book spends plenty of time illustrating the country’s dynamic cultural heritage, deepened by specially commissioned features like the insightful headnotes which accompany each recipe. And then you’ve got the photography – 185 coloured illustrations that don’t just feature the dishes, but also the vibrant Turkish landscapes, markets and people. Mükemmel.
The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren is now available in Australia for an RRP of $65. The best way to buy it is online at phaidon.com.