The best new cookbooks

Hungry for food books? Time Out rounds up the best of the bunch.

Burma: Rivers of Flavor

Naomi Duguid, Artisan £25

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Canadian food writer, photographer and tireless traveller Naomi Duguid is a practised Asia hand, with plaudit-winning books on Thailand, India, China and Central Asia already to her credit. The subject of her latest work is the food culture of Burma, a country that has been obscured for decades under a repressive military regime.

Duguid’s great strength as a writer is her ability to get beneath the skin of the place she’s writing about. She talks to – and cooks with – people from all sorts of backgrounds. In Burma, that includes city folk from Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay as well as tribal communities from the Mon, Chin, Kachin and Shan states. Yet for all the rich detail about Burma’s people and places, the 125 recipes for soups, salads, meat and fish, rice, noodles and vegetables can be easily made in a London kitchen, with mercifully short ingredients lists and a minimum of esoteric ingredients. And the recipes work.

The poached fish salad with shallots and herbs was the highlight of the several dishes I made, while a deceptively simple traveller’s aubergine curry was another favourite that also captured the distinctive flavours of Burmese food. The gorgeous photography is suitably appetite-arousing – and cooking from the book will whet your appetite for the country, as well as its cuisine.

Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 2202 October 30-November 5

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