AfriCali: Recipes from My Jikoni

S. & S./Simon Element. Aug. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781668002131. $35. COOKING
Recipe developer and food content creator Moju reflects on her lifelong love of the kitchen and her many influences from California, London, and Africa (specifically Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Eritrea) in this personal and reflective debut cookbook. She opens by giving home cooks permission to improvise and provides practical tips for improv with each recipe. With that said, start at the back of the book, where Moju’s pantry-stocking guide and recipes for a variety of pastes, sauces, and spice blends can be found. Recipes are fusion at its best, with fun twists on classics like the American burger and the Swahili Kuku Paka noodles. The big surprise is the book’s extensive desserts/baking chapter, covering many favorites from scones to birthday cakes. The layout is clean, and each recipe includes an insightful narrative that gives context to the dish’s inspiration. The book’s photography varies between delectable shots of food and stunning environmental photography of markets, landscapes, and vendors. Moju flexes her recipe-creation talents and shares her love of cooking in this collection that highlights her roots with great taste.
VERDICT Moju delivers a culinary journey that is infused with personality and flavor, designed for modern home chefs looking for kitchen inspiration.
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