Dina Begum

Dina Begum

Food writer
http://dinabegum.co.uk
Biography

Dina Begum a British-Bangladeshi food writer and cook who is passionate about food traditions and stories, in particular those related to her Bangladeshi heritage. Dina is increasingly called upon to write for nationwide publications and her recipes have been featured in The Telegraph, Huffington Post and Metro, for which she has written a series highlighting the delicious and underrepresented cuisine of Bangladesh. Dina's debut cookbook ‘The Brick Lane Cookbook’, was published by Kitchen Press in March 2018 and celebrates the diverse food culture of London’s iconic Brick Lane. Dina has recently been included in the prestigious 2018 British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration (BBPI) 100 list, which recognises British Bangladeshis from all walks of life. Dina has written the introduction to renowned Polish photographer Tomasz Gudzowaty’s book, Shipwreckers, on the hazardous shipbreaking trade in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She also writes short fiction and poetry which have appeared in various publications, such as Bengal Lights (Bangladesh) and The Illustrated Ape Magazine.

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Dina's recommendations
The Art of the Larder

The Art of the Larder

Claire Thomson

My grandmother had a beautifully organised pantry when I was growing up and this book instantly spoke to me. Clare Thompson writes beautifully about the art of making the most of what you have and how to create fully functional store cupboards with things you’ll use again and again. It has recipes that are reminiscent of my childhood, such as rice pudding and recipes for easy, everyday cooking including mouth-watering pasta dishes. I especially love the chapter about sourdough.

Bangladeshi Curry Cookbook

Bangladeshi Curry Cookbook

Siddiqa Kabir

Siddiqua Kabir was the doyenne of Bangladeshi cookery. As a well-respected Food Writer, Nutritionist and TV Chef, she highlighted the traditional cuisine of Bangladesh, including lesser known regional specialities. There are recipes for many things I grew up eating, such as home-style chicken korma, egg halwa and fish dishes – a staple in Bangladeshi cuisine. The book also explains the various categories of Bangladeshi dishes such as the uniqueness of a Kalia (rich stew) to that of a Torkari (light curry).

The Classical Cookbook

The Classical Cookbook

Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger

This cookbook is a new favourite as it includes ancient Greek and Roman recipes adapted for the modern kitchen which provides a wonderful insight into food history and entertaining and eating habits. It also includes amazing photographs of ancient kitchen ware!

Delia's Cakes

Delia's Cakes

Delia Smith

A classic British cook with classic recipes and a no-nonsense approach. I grew up watching Delia and she remains my favourite TV Cook, mostly due to her baking expertise. I love this collection of cake and biscuit recipes, organised into sections such as muffins; small cakes and biscuits. If you like good old fashioned baking with a few modern twists you’ll love this.

How to Eat a Peach

How to Eat a Peach

Diana Henry

This book is a joy to read. I love that it’s arranged in menus for different seasons and occasions: peppered with stories and lifted with anecdotes. The photography pulls you into memories of holidays and inspires parties you dream of hosting. It’s filled with delicious recipes and writing that lend you a helping hand in entertaining the grown up way, much like a good friend would.

Indian Food Made Easy

Indian Food Made Easy

Anjum Anand

Anjum Anand is part Bengali so some of her recipes were familiar to me when I first started watching her cookery show. It was great to be able to relate to a cook on TV who cooked with spice effortlessly in a modern way, showing that cooking curries didn’t have to be complicated and relegated to mum’s and aunties. This book is great for its simplicity, without compromising on flavour.

The Saffron Tales

The Saffron Tales

Yasmin Khan

These Persian recipes and stories really reflect Yasmin Khan’s love for Iran. The mixture of classic and modern recipes really appeals to me. You’ll find interesting jams and cakes with Persian herbs and spices, and a gain a real insight into the country with the lovely writing.

Samarkand: Recipes and stories from Central Asia and the Caucasus

Samarkand: Recipes and stories from Central Asia and the Caucasus

Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford

I love this cookbook on Central Asian food not just for the recipes but the stories and insights into a part of the world I knew little about. You’ll definitely want this on your book shelf because of the stunning photography and range of recipes such as the inimitable Plov – a rice and meat dish from Uzbekistan and fresh and simple dishes such as dips and breads.

Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East

Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East

Sabrina Ghayour

A great collection of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired recipes. I especially love the breakfast section with things like butternut rostis with poached eggs and sweet recipes with the addition of spices like the cardamom and chocolate cake.

Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and memories from Pakistan

Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and memories from Pakistan

Sumayya Usmani

Growing up I hadn't seen too many Bangladeshi cookbooks or Pakistani ones for that matter – at least in English. So when I laid my hands on this beautiful book it filled me with excitement. Finally we were moving away from ‘Indian’ cuisine - that catch-all for all food from the Indian subcontinent. There are recipes I’m familiar with as a person of Bangladeshi origin such as Firni... A feast for the eyes and palate.

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