“Ashtidek” is the word Iraqis use at the end of a meal when they wish to express their gratitude to the hostess for her delicious food. The expression is actually made up of two words that have become one: “Asht” and “Idek,” meaning “bless your hands.” Some believe that saying the word makes your food taste sweeter.
Shoshi Oren, an Israeli born in Hungary, heard the word “Ashtidek” for the first time when she met her future husband, an Israeli born in Iraq. She fell in love not only with him but with his entire family—including his sister Loren Ravid—and their fantastic Jewish-Iraqi cuisine. In this book, Shoshi and Loren gather together all of Loren’s family recipes, passed down from generation to generation, and weave them together with magical tales of Babylon and longings for Baghdad.
The book includes dozens of time-tested, precise recipes for Iraq’s most delicious dishes, accompanied by mouth-watering photographs: kubeh stuffed with surprises; crispy sambusak; and of course, the traditional Saturday morning breakfast known as sabich, with roast eggplant, brown eggs, flatbread and the rich yellow amba that colors everything in shades of sunrise.
Yedioth Ahronoth: Ashtidek is more than just another cookbook. It’s a mouth-watering journey to the traditional Iraqi kitchen, studded with Iraqi folklore. / Israel Hayom:Ashtidek began as a sort of notebook whose goal was to preserve family recipes, and it’s grown into an expansive, tantalizing cookbook. /Globes:A fantastic book overflowing not only with fine recipes and delicious-looking photos, but also with explanations, stories, and fascinating and enlightening quotes.