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Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa by Diana Henry

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Notes about this book

  • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017

    One of my favourite cook books. Do try her recipe for preserved lemon chicken tagine, yum...

  • imaluckyducky on May 07, 2015

    Easily one of the most engaging cookbooks I've read and cooked from. She has a very strong voice, and it feels like she's talking directly to me over tea. Directions so far are clear, and results are tasty.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Moroccan chicken with tomatoes and saffron-honey jam

    • Jane on September 22, 2014

      Really easy weeknight dinner - and a good way of using up an excess of tomatoes since it needs 800g (1 and 3/4 pounds). My only issue was the time it took to reduce down the sauce to a jammy consistency. After 30 mins boiling (after the chicken was removed) it still wasn't jam-like though thick, so I stopped as I was hungry. When I use the leftovers tonight I will try reducing further to get the sauce "really jammy" as DH suggests.

    • Melyinoz on February 25, 2018

      This is very good and I would make it again. Be warned, it does take a while to reduce the sauce. I wasn't timing it, but I would say it took me about 50 minutes. I did the dishes and cooked rice while it reduced. Also, the sauce needed constant stirring to make sure it didn't stick to the pan and burn. The coriander and almonds are needed for freshness and crunch, don't skip them.

  • B'stilla

    • e_ballad on January 19, 2017

      This was great, though I must make the disclaimer that I used a 1.5kg chook instead of the guinea fowl. I also had some warka pastry (randomly!), so I used this instead of the filo pastry. It did have a fair bit of faffing about, but this could absolutely be a midweek meal if you cooked the bird the day prior & reserved the stock. Once that's done, the rest is a doddle.

  • Harissa-marinated lamb with spiced mashed vegetables and cinnamon onions

    • Melanie on August 23, 2014

      Another big fan here! I was attracted to this recipe based on hillsborok's review, and it really is worth making this dish. I used store bought harissa and marinated lamb cutlets overnight (at this point I put some extras into the freezer to use a couple of weeks later, these were just as delicious). I substituted carrots for the parsnip in the mash, and milk for the cream, which tasted great. The onion really impressed me and it is definitely worth making this component, really full of flavour and I have already made them again to go with other dishes.

    • hillsboroks on July 06, 2014

      Last night I made Diana Henry's Harissa-Marinated Lamb with Spiced Mash and Cinnamon Onions from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. It was fantastic! My husband's first word was "Wow!" and his second was "Outstanding!" I had to cheat on the marinade because we have no Middle Eastern grocery stores in my town and I couldn't find plain Harissa but I did find a package of Harissa simmer sauce which I used as the marinade and put a bit in the onions where Harissa was called for. We took the lamb chops right out of the marinade and put them on the grill for about 5 minutes per side. I also cut the cayenne in the mash in half to suit our taste but it was still zippy and oh so good. I would make this again any time. Also I had her three Yoghurt Mezze dips leftover from the night before and they were perfect as extra condiments for the finished lamb. Next time I will hunt down Harissa and make this with the "official" marinade.

  • Thyme, oregano and citrus roasted poussins

    • Gio on June 09, 2014

      Pg. 30. I used the alternative given, chicken. The recipe produced a juicy, tender, flavorful chicken, even the white meat was delectable. We absolutely loved it. The chicken was salted and air dried it in the fridge 5 hours (not in the recipe), taken out to prepare the marinade, then back into the fridge to marinate for another 5 hrs. It was roasted at 400F for 55 minutes. So perfect it definitely will have revisits.

  • Lavender, orange and almond cake

    • caitmcg on May 25, 2014

      This is a wonderful cake, and has been very popular with those I've served it to. I have made a few alterations to the published recipe, and liked the results. The first time I erroneously used 9 Tbsp (4.5 oz) butter instead of 9 oz, and the texture is excellent, so I will continue to use only 9 Tbsp. I use 1/2 cup orange juice and 8 oz sugar rather than 9. Having tried both ricotta and Neufchatel cream cheese for the topping, I prefer the cream cheese, and use just 1 oz confectioners' sugar.

  • Greek herb pilaf with shrimp and feta

    • caitmcg on August 09, 2014

      A simple rice dish elevated by a copious amount of fresh parsley, dill, and mint. The flavorful rice, salty-creamy feta, and sweet sauteed shrimp marry to make a delicious dish. I did find the given proportion of rice to shrimp a little off; the rice is enough for more than four main-dish servings, but to accommodate four, I'd increase the shrimp to at least a pound.

  • Pesto alla Trapanese

    • caitmcg on August 09, 2014

      A really nice Sicilian pesto perfect for summer, this has a somewhat complex flavor thanks to the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh oregano, along with basil, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and pecorino. The recipe makes enough to dress a pound or more of pasta.

  • Crazy water

    • mcvl on November 06, 2017

      I added two handfuls of spinach, good; I'd do it again. Also I don't de-seed the chiles and tomatoes. This is the food of the gods.

  • Seared tuna with potato skordalia and caper vinaigrette

    • RosieB on May 30, 2015

      This was absolutely delicious! We had some freshly caught tuna and home grown potatoes to use up. Although made up of four separate components it was not a difficult dish to make and the results were stunning. The caper vinagrette set the dish off perfectly. This is a make again recipe.

  • Salad of Middle Eastern grilled chicken, bulgar wheat and pomegranates

    • caitmcg on May 25, 2014

      A truly wonderful dish, delicious warm, at room temperature, or chilled, and a perfect one-dish lunch or light dinner. Tons of flavor from the pom molasses, honey, and cumin marinade; the harissa and lime dressing; and the aromatics, herbs, and nuts in the salad. I used boneless chicken thighs in place of breasts, dried cranberries in place of pomegranate seeds (dried cherries would also work well), and halved the olive oil in each section to no detriment.

    • Frenchfoodie on February 19, 2017

      Brilliant recipe worth getting pomegranate molasses for alone. It is tasty, fresh, crunchy and moreish. I love this so much I cooked it for 50 guests at my wedding. I always use chicken thighs as I find them juicier and tastier than breasts. A winner.

  • Bulgar and spinach pilaf with labneh and chili roast tomatoes

    • Pagey1 on June 25, 2016

      Great bulgar wheat (I used a coarse grain) recipe - takes about an hour and uses quite a few pots and pans so not a quick supper dish but good for a dinner party. The oven roasted tomatoes were delicious. Served with marinated lamb chops.

    • carlythecook on August 04, 2016

      This can be made over a couple of days. I often double or triple it. Possibly the best salad ever.

  • Raisin, almond and cucumber yogurt mezze

    • caitmcg on June 15, 2015

      Another flavorful and delicious twist on tzatziki or caçik, with chopped toasted almonds and raisins (I used golden) supplementing the cucumber, and fresh and subtly spicy notes from cilantro and harissa.

  • Sour cherry, walnut and dill yogurt mezze

    • caitmcg on May 25, 2014

      A delightful variation on the typical cucumber tzatziki, with the walnuts, dried cherries, and dill adding texture and complexity. This has a chunky texture, making it a forkable accompaniment rather than dipping consistency.

    • Foodycat on August 15, 2018

      The walnuts and dried cherries add so much! Really delicious.

  • Chicken marinated in yogurt with Georgian plum sauce

    • TrishaCP on February 22, 2016

      I also made the yogurt-marinated chicken and served it with my own Georgian plum sauce (tkemali). I wasn't able to marinade the chicken the full time called for, but it still came out juicy with a nice kick (used the on-line recipe).

    • Barb_N on September 02, 2014

      I took what I wanted from this recipe- the yogurt marinated chicken. This is a great tenderizer and the pieces are always moist. I thought the spices could use some rounding out (only cinnamon and cayenne) so I subbed Lebanese Baharat which is cinnamony. The yogurt predominates, next time I will add a lot more spice.

  • Lamb and orange khoresh

    • e_ballad on July 16, 2017

      We really enjoyed this. Beautifully tender meat & great depth of flavour, this is a keeper. My carrots were more batons than matchsticks, which I think I'll repeat again, though I'd add them with 40 mins to go.

  • Preserved lemons

    • SashaJackson on April 07, 2017

      Fantastic method, yields great results that store for absolutely ages.

  • Spiced chicken on melting onions with preserved lemon

    • Barb_N on October 08, 2014

      This earned high praise from my husband. I loved the flavors but also had issues with this recipe. I had barely enough marinade (a paste really, even with additional lemon juice) to coat the chicken. After I browned the chicken, the marinade blackened in the pan before adding in the onions. Maybe I was impatient but my onions didn't 'melt' even after adding pan juices left from a different batch of chicken. I skipped the turmeric and saffron and didn't miss them.

    • Ehart624 on May 04, 2015

      Very good and quite easy. One quick comment about the ingredients listing on eatyourbooks. I'm pretty sure "whole cloves" means garlic cloves. NOT the little brown pointy things that you stick into ham. :) Although I have the US version of this book, and maybe the UK version includes cloves?

    • caitmcg on May 25, 2014

      Diana Henry's twist on a typical tagine with preserved lemons and olives. This dish has real potential, though I did have a couple of issues with it. The marinade made from the flesh of preserved lemons and spices imparts great flavor. Baking the chicken atop the onion mixture both allows the skin to crisp and infuses the onions with the flavors of the chicken and marinade, and the onions do become deliciously sweet and tender. The main problem I had was that the recipe calls for far too much liquid; I cut back a bit, but the onions were still swimming, and I had to dish them out with a slotted spoon. I'd use no more than half what's called for in future. I also found the turmeric too prominent, and would reduce or skip it.

  • Meringue and rose cake with summer berries

    • bluerroses on December 18, 2015

      A funny, fabulous, magical cake. Mine was a beautiful mess, but my guests tore through it.

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Reviews about this book

  • Full review
  • Yum.Fi

    When it comes to the recipes themselves there is a pleasing selection that are well written & quite self-explanatory, so it is very frustrating that the overall layout of the book appears to infuriate

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1845336542
  • ISBN 13 9781845336547
  • Published Feb 06 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 192
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Octopus Publishing Group
  • Imprint Mitchell Beazley

Publishers Text

In this culinary exploration of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, Diana Henry has gathered together dishes that combine exotic flavours in ways long forgotten - or never discovered - in many Western kitchens. Colourful, aromatic and perfumed ingredients, from leathery pomegranates, with their insides bursting with ruby seeds, to flower-waters that allow you to drink in the scent of a garden, combine to bring an intoxicating whiff of the exotic to your table and pleasure to your kitchen. The core ingredients of these cuisines are increasingly available so dishes such as Chermoula-marinated Tuna, Fennel, Pomegranate and Feta Salad, and Lavender, Orange and Almond Cake are both delicious and accessible to cook.

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