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Malagueta Jumbo PrawnsThere are now five Cabana restaurants in London, each offering typical, informal Brasilian food. This book, written by Cabana’s founders, gives recipes from the restaurants’ menus. And cooking recipes from Cabana: the Cookbook is a real adventure in Brasilian smells, flavours and cuisine. It’s colourful and richly illustrated with full page colour photos – a feature I really appreciate in cookbooks – and the recipes are easily followed and don’t call for complicated equipment (although you will need a BBQ to get the best from this book). There must be at least 100 recipes, organised in various sections – breakfasts, bar snacks, BBQ food, sauces and dips, Brasilian classics, sides and salads, desserts and drinks. Scattered throughout the book are also generic tips on cooking and food preparation – such as ‘how to tell when your steak is cooked’ and ‘five Brasilian fruits you’ve probably never heard of’ which makes it ideal for inexperienced cooks. There are also recipes for a few typical Brasilian cocktails at the back of the book, including Cococabanas, made with Malibu, coconut cream, pineapple juice, strawberry puree and few other yummy things, which are fast becoming a firm favourite.

Cabana the Cookbook Brasilian BBQ food
I tried a few of the recipes and each has turned out well and been packed with flavour.

I found the brief introduction to typical Brasilian ingredients useful, although I would have liked a little more information here on possible substitutes for those which are hard-to-source.

Read, recipes test and reviewed, August 2014

©Jessica Mulley 2014