At this time of year, Britain's most renowned chefs are usually competing to see their Christmas cookbooks fly off the shelves in department stores, from Aberdeen to Land's End.
But this year, chefs such as Angela Hartnett, Yotam Ottolenghi, Deliciously Ella, Hemsley+Hemsley and Jamie Oliver have joined forced to create the #CookForSyria Recipe Book – a cookery book with 100 traditional recipes and stories from Syrian families with 100 per cent of the profits donated to children affected by the crisis in Syria.
From harak osbao (lentils and pasta with tamarind, sumac and pomegranate) to moutabbal and traditional barazek cookies to foul moukalla (sautéed broad beans with garlic and coriander), the dishes focus on the joy of cooking, sharing the diversity of Syria's rich culture and raising funds for victims suffering a civil war that has torn apart at the foundations of the country for over four years of unrest.
Hemsley+Hemsley's chef, Melissa Hemsley – who has taken part in the initiative – told ELLE:
'Syrian cuisine is one of the oldest in the world. It's hearty feel good food at it's very best, full of vibrant colours, fruits and vegetables, aromatic spices and it's made for cooking and sharing with the people you love.
'There's over 100 Syrian inspired dishes in the book, all donated by top chefs, bloggers and Syrian cooks. Some of my favourites are Ottolenghi's muhammara (walnut and pepper dip), syrian beef tartare from Nuno Mendes of Chiltern Firehouse and a beautiful spiced spinach and lentil soup from Jack Monroe.
'I'm so happy to be involved with the incredibly inspiring and full of energy @CookForSyria team who have shown us all how we can do our part, every little action helps - every tweet, every share, every post, we can show our support to the people and children of Syria,' she added.
The recipe book came about after the launch of a nationwide fundraising initiative called #CookForSyria, started by award winning Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy and Serena Guen of Suitcase magazine on 31 October, to raise funds for Unicef UK with NEXTGenLondon, Unicef UK's young professional movement.
As a result, the hashtag has kicked off a global movement that will see pop-up charity events appearing across New York, Berlin, Hong Kong and Sydney in 2017.
Here are the Syrian-inspired recipes we suggest your try this Christmas:
- José Pizarro's grilled marinated neck of lamb with pisto and hummus
- Sama Meibar's koosa mahshi – stuffed peppers or squash
- Angela Hartnett's olive oil and pistachio cake with yoghurt sorbet
The recipe book is now available for pre-order via www.cookforsyria.com and is be available in major retailers this month. RRP £25 with all profits donated to aid children affected by the crisis in Syria.
Donate to #CookforSyria's fundraising page here.