What’s the USP? Recipes written by a group of women who were gathered together in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire to cook for their families and neighbours.
Who’s the author? The authors are all members of the Hubb Community Kitchen based at Al-Manaar, The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, London and include Cherine Mallah, Oxana Sinitsyna, Munira Mahmud, Halima Al-Hudafi, Intlak Alsaiegh, Aysha Bora, Faiza Hayani Bellili, Leila Hedjem, Claren Bilal, Amaal Abid Elrasoul, Sanna Mirza, Ahlam Saeid, Mama Jay, Jay Jay, Gurmit Kaur, Hiwot Dagnachew, Jennifer Fatima Odonkor, Dayo Gilmour, Lillian Olwa and Honey Akhter.
What does it look like? The attractive, vibrant dishes are simply presented, reflecting the rustic nature of the cooking. Portraits of the women cooking at Al Manaar gives a sense of the community they belong to and help nourish.
Is it good bedtime reading? Aside from the foreword by HRH The Duchess of Sussex (AKA Meghan Markle) this is a recipe focused book.
Will I have trouble finding ingredients? The book reflects a wide range of culinary traditions including Algerian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Ugandan and there is the odd specific ingredient such as Argan oil, Persian dried limes, dried barberries and Egyptian short grain rice that may mean a search on line or considering an alternative, but the vast majority of ingredients will be readily to hand.
What’s the faff factor? There are some recipes with long ingredients lists (often down to the use of numerous spices) or with several elements, but in the main, the dishes are simple and approachable.
How often will I cook from the book? Together is unlikely to gather dust on your shelf and is exactly the sort of book you might reach for when you you’re looking for inspiration for a weekday meal, or a more time consuming weekend cooking project.
Killer recipes? Egyptian lamb fattah; carrot and onion chapatis; Yemini bread; Moroccan chickpea and noodle soup; Russian semolina cake
What will I love? The sheer variety of dishes, some of which you may not have encountered before such as Mahamri (African beignets – fluffy, doughnut like buns flavoured with cardomom and coconut milk).
What won’t I like? At 128 pages, it ends all too soon.
Should I buy it? All profits from the book The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the benefit of the Hubb Community Kitchen. That alone is a good enough reason to get yourself a copy.
Suitable for: Beginners and confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: Five stars
Buy this book
Together: Our Community Cookbook