Book Review: World Food Cafe Cookbook

I bought this on whim.  A sad looking book that needed some attention at Half-Price Books like a dog at the SPCA. 

I flipped through really quickly and saw some photos and recipes that I never heard of.  World Food Cafe 2  (there's another one?) is a book with recipes from Thailand, Cambodia, Middle East, West Africa, South Africa, Tanzania, India, Pakistan, ...okay okay I'll buy it.  Surely there's something vegetarian that I could make from this.

Only when I brought it home and opened it to do "menu planning", the nerdiest culinary task ever, was when I realized that the cookbook is all vegetarian?!?!  Score.

This book is great if you're feeling uninspired or feeling "bored of food".  When nothing sounds appetizing, open this book.  There's a world of flavor here....hehe.. I heart puns.  So far I've made the Cambodian Samla Soup (which was awesome), the East African Yam Patties with Piri Piri Sauce, the Thai Red Curry, and recently, the Pakistani Paneer Cashew Nut and Hunza Apricot Dish.  I was pleased with every single one of them.  Everything is made from simple, raw components. You won't need red curry paste, for example because you'll be making it from scratch.

I was really just wondering what a Pakistani dish tastes like.  They're my neighbors...or my ancestors neighbors, rather, so why don't I know what their food tastes like?  I found it's heavier on the spices.  Which is a nice change!  If your spice cabinet and palate is looking for some attention, grab this book.  You know you've got at least 3 spice jars that you haven't touched.

If you'd like to learn more about Chris and Carolyn Caldicott who traveled together and wrote this book, read this link.  They also have a restaurant in the Covent Garden, London called World Food Cafe.


  1. A great review and isn't it great when those sales rack spontaneous purchases turn out well? I should follow your lead in actually using them as I have an Irish pub food cookbook gathering dust on the bookshelf since I bought it last year...O:-). Everything you made sounds and looks (the one photo) delicious! Wish we lived closer -- you bring the main course and I'll supply lotsa dessert =D.

  2. That sounds awesome! if only we lived in the same city!!!! I could BUY your desserts!!! :D

  3. That looks delicious. I've never heard of it though. This isn't really everyday Pakistani cooking & is most likely from a specific region.
    However, you're right - Pakistani food is much heavier on the spices and has more complex flavors. If you'd like to, you can join me and a few other bloggers who host a monthly curry event. We started with indian curries but will be branching out to Pakistani and eventually other curries too. Let me know! needfulthings at ymail dot com.


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