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Five Cookbooks Joudie Kalla Thinks You Should Own

Joudie Kalla's first cookbook, Palestine on a Plate, dazzled fans and food critics alike with its fresh, authentic recipes, and warm and familial narrative. Raised in London to Palestinian parents, Kalla's enthusiasm for food took her into the professional culinary world, where she worked with the likes of Ian Pengelley and Michelin-starred chef David Duberger. But, according to Kalla, the most important learning experiences of her culinary career were watching her mother, aunties, and grandmother in the kitchen. 

If you're open to some new culinary experiences of your own, Kalla recommends that you start with these five cookbooks that she loves. 

How To Be A Domestic Goddess

"It's one of my favourites. I use it all the time. In fact, one of my recipes in my book was an inspiration from hers, which I changed and made it Palestinian – the Danish buns. They were incredible, but I made it with Za'atar and olive oil, and took out the sugar, and added more flour and yeast, and it was just like boom, amazing."


"I really love this lady called Olia Hercules. She's written this book called Mamushka, it's Georgian cooking, it's beautiful. You feel like you know her family. Her book was very different to mine, which was very 'food only'. Hers was more of her interactions with her family and her grandmother, in the garden back home, and on the pot with the fire, so I loved it. It's very familiar. They have shishbarak, but it's something different, but the same, it's just their version of it, with a different name, but we'd eat it and not know any different."

Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume

"Purple Citrus is one of my favourite books. An Eastern European chef who lived in the Middle East and Turkey, and it's a mix of all our food and her historical family's food, and everything looks familiar but it's not. I use it all the time. I just look at her photos and I see what I want and I make my version of it."

"I'm always coming back to our kind of food. That's what I'm familiar with. I don't try to make Japanese food at home, and if I do, I know I'm never going to master it. I prefer to go out and have someone make it for me, I'd make a mess of it."

Featured image via Standard.co.uk.


Egyptian-American food enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Beirut, and living in Dublin. Multitasker at Bookwitty. Intimately familiar with the term "identity crisis".