South East Asian cookbooks

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Sri Owen's Indonesian Food

Sri Owen

, Pavillion, £25

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Sri Owen is the renowned author of numerous cookery books, but this one is her most personal, with autobiographical detail about her early life in her native west Sumatra, her childhood and student years in Java, and her move to the UK after marrying Englishman Roger Owen. The first half of the book comprises personal stories and recipes: remembered dishes that her grandmother cooked, interpretations of the international food she ate as a student in Jakarta and some excellent recipes from central Java in the 1950s, brought up to date for the contemporary kitchen.

The second half of the book deals more generally with Indonesian ingredients, including staples such as tempeh, rice and sago, plus cooking methods and techniques. There are lengthy explanations about each recipe but Owen is a great simplifier – ingredients lists are short and cooking methods are well explained and easy to follow.

Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 1991: October 16-22 2009

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