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Dalal's tips for up-and-coming cooks.

REGARDED as a mentor to Bahraini chefs, as well as helping out at Saffron, Dr Dalal Al Sherouqi is now sharing her expertise in her latest cookbook entitled Al Waleema 3.

The mother-of-four offers a compilation of noteworthy recipes aimed at young, up-and-coming cooks and food lovers to ensure they do not lose their 'culinary vocabulary'.

Al Waleema 3 is Dalal's fourth cookbook and the third in her successful Al Waleema series. It comes 19 years after the second volume, which was published in 1993 following the first in 1988. Expats can also enjoy the cookbook as it is printed in both Arabic and English.

Dalal, from West Riffa, said: "Food is a language spoken throughout the world. It is very easy to make friendships through food. Ask a stranger what their favourite dish is and that is all that is needed to start up a conversation.

"I often get asked by young people how to make specific dishes such as mendi (chicken with rice and almonds) and machboos (meat or fish served with rice). This book is dedicated to them.

"Al Waleema 3 also consists of food from all over the world. Fortunately I have been introduced to international recipes and been able to give them a little twist to make them my own."

The book's unique name means marriage banquet and forms the second traditional part of an Islamic wedding. The waleema is performed after the ceremony and designates a feast in Arabic.

Dalal explained that the occasion reflects happiness. Upon opening the book, the page is dominated by a picture of her daughter Narise in traditional Arabic attire during her marriage ceremony.

When she started travelling abroad with her diplomat husband, Nabil Qambar, she was determined to make it a culinary adventure too. Friends and acquaintances of different nationalities shared their favourite recipes and inspired her to try new things.

But it wasn't until Dalal had been cooking for around 30 years that she decided to take a formal cookery course at one of the world's most renowned establishments, Le Cordon Bleu, in London.

She said: "When all my children had finished their studies, I found myself with a lot of spare time. Someone recommended I study cooking. I took an initiation of French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu and then decided to do my PhD at Preston University."

Dalal's latest cookbook is selling like hot cakes and she hopes to open her own cooking school in the future. Al Waleema 3 is available from all Al Hilal bookshops, as well as Saffron, for BD12.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Sep 26, 2012
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