December 2022 COTM: Arabesque by Claudia Roden

Welcome to the reporting thread for Arabesque.
Sorry for the late posting; my day started with a family emergency that prevented me from being online.

If you are the first to report on a recipe, post your report as a reply to this topic. The first poster of a recipe typically types the recipe title in all caps and indicates the page number (if using the physical book). If you happen to find a particular recipe online, please include the link. If someone has already reported on a recipe, post your report as a reply to their post.

Pictures are always welcome and encouraged, but by no means mandatory. Our of respect for the author’s intellectual property, please to not post recipes verbatim. A summary of the ingredients and technique is allowed and quite helpful if you are cooking from the book .

To see how we arrived at our selection, visit our nomination and voting threads.
Our archive has a list of all our previous books.


Is anyone planning to cook from the book, or is everyone too busy? When I have time again I will cook more from Thali. I will also post a couple of things I made from I Dream of Dinner, which I checked out from the library two months ago. I get the idea that my experience was similar to several others’ - many recipes in I Dream of Dinner look enticing, but they don’t quite produce exciting results. Thali was a winner, though.
Arabesque, anyone?

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I aim to cook several things from Arabesque this month, beginning with a recipe or two this weekend.


Is anyone planning to cook from the book, or is everyone too busy?

I will be! Finally a Cookbook of the Month I already own (and haven’t cooked from yet).

I particularly have my eye on the Turkish meze (Peppery Bulgur Salad, Eggplant Pilaf and the stuffed vegetables). For some reason I’m entranced by stuffed foods.

I’m also interested in some of the desserts. Hopefully someone here will tackle the Almond “Snake!”


I am! I had to dig my book out of my moving boxes and it took a while. We’ve moved from Kuwait to DC and my life is a series of boxes and rentals for the next year.

But I found it! I haven’t found my tagine, but I can make do.


I waited until voting was over to order the book, as it wasn’t one I wanted to buy if it didn’t win. It only just arrived and I haven’t had time to pick anything out or shop yet, but I will be cooking from it eventually.


There should be at least the 6 who voted for it, plus maybe some more?

I’m probably out for Dec - won’t be in my kitchen for half the month, and I got the ebook from the library but nothing has called out to me yet. Maybe when people start reporting, I’ll be inspired to find something to join in on.


When Arabasque was COTM on Chowhound a million or so years ago I made the Yoğurtlu Köfte Kebabi and have made it off and on since. It is spectacularly good. Even better if you have a second pair of hands in the kitchen for assembly.

I also learned the importance of kneading your kofte mixture into a paste and always use that method for any kofte/kofta mixture.

ETA: I just found the recipe for Daoud Basha (lamb meatballs), also from Arabesque, in my Paprika app with a note that @LindaWhit recommended it in CH WFD 277. Now that I have found a good pine nut substitute (chopped Marcona almonds), I’m going to make it!


So very many moons ago! And I like the idea of chopped Marcona almonds in place of the pine nuts, if you get pine mouth.


I usually don’t vote for COTM, because while I have great intentions too, sometimes it doesn’t happen. In this case I did, because I already own it. Now I’m looking for it, and haven’t found it during the 1st couple passes through the (stuffed) bookcases. But I’ll prevail on the search eventually & looking forward to it.

I plan to cook from it. Plans keep changing around here which has made meal planning a bit frustrating.

Found my copy - yay! What a beautiful book that I’ve never really explored. Plan to make a few lamb dishes as well as some chicken ones that caught my eye. Lots of appealing recipes, and need to use some lamb before our yearly one is ready. A good problem to have!


I have only the ebook, got it when it was on promotion some time ago, a bit disappointed with the format. It doesn’t have a proper content page, but only starters, main courses and dessert of the 3 countries. To look for a recipe, you need to look at every page. Is the print version better?

Planning to cook tonight, Moroccan first ! Congrats to the Moroccan football team, they have just won the World Cup match against Portugal and enter the semi-final!


No, sadly it’s the same, and I definitely agree it’s lacking in that respect. Haven’t checked out the index, but if it’s thorough, it may offset the issue a bit.
I did puzzle a little about that last night, and I do think she writes, and explains a lot about the context of the recipes, which is useful. In terms of recipe selection, and beautiful photos I saw many things that sounded good to make.

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Arabesque is indexed in Eat Your Books. I am a member and not sure what non members can see, so I just googled it and got the index without needing to sign in.

You can get a free membership and add a few books to your bookshelf, at which point you can use the feature to search all the book’s recipes for course, dish type, recipe title, ethnicity, ingredient, etc.

Books that were indexed early on (Arabesque in this category) when EYB began did not include the page number with the recipe information. Books indexed later do include the page number of the edition of the cookbook that was indexed.

EYB does not include the recipes unless the indexer was able to find online links to specific recipes and include the link. It is instead an superb indexing service that far exceeds the capability of even the best index published with the book.

I did purchase the book when it first came out but I returned it because I already had so many Middle Eastern cookbooks and I preferred the recipes in those (especially Paula Wolfert’s books). Not a reflection on the quality of Arabesque, but a reaction to my already overflowing cookbook shelves!

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Time for take out and I hope some birthday celebrations for dine in!

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Thanks for this info, very helpful.

Specifically, EYB only links to sanctioned (i.e. given with permission) recipe links, so you’ll find links to newspaper reprints and other media sources, but not to, for example, blogs even if they have the recipe posted accurately.

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I know we haven’t gotten started yet on this book, but it IS time…

Our January nomination thread is here:

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One of my favorite recipes from the book is the Zaalouk, the Masshed Eggplant and Tomato Salad.