Book Review: Tahini and Turmeric

By Samir Shukla

Tahini and Turmeric
101 Middle Eastern Classics — Made Irresistibly Vegan
Authors: Ruth Fox and Vicky Cohen
(LifeLong Books / DaCapo Press)

Tahini and Turmeric, two of the most prolific ingredients in Middle Eastern cooking, is also the name of the wonderful new book by sisters Ruth Fox and Vicky Cohen. The sisters have taken family recipes, Middle Eastern staples and made them vegan. Some of these are already vegan to begin with, but with recipes that run the gamut of breakfast to dinner foods, this book expands the food world for those seeking to reduce or eliminate animal products from their foods.

Most recipes are simple and accompanied by color photos so the reader can see what the final version will look like.

Recipes include Chickpea and Pepper Shakshuka and Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce, Creamy Tahini Cheesecake and Rose Water Pudding Tartelettes with Pomegranate and Pistachios. Yeah, my mouth is watering just writing this and looking at the photos in the book. A couple of the recipes already on my list to make in our kitchen are Stuffed sweet onions and Moroccan cinnamon cookies. The Falafel crackers, which are very similar to some Indian dry snacks, also look quite inviting.

Most of the recipes draw from the traditions of Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel along with Barcelona, Spain (where the sisters were born to Lebanese Jewish parents and grew up).

The duo has a website with a dedicated following that offers more takes on vegetarian and vegan cooking and recipes. You can find the site at

In the meantime put Tahini and Turmeric, the book that is, on your shopping list.

Samir Shukla is Editor of Saathee. Reach him at