City Cast

Heifa Odeh's 'Dine in Palestine' Celebrates Cuisine she Holds Dear

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on September 13, 2022   |   Updated on May 26
To the left is author Heifa Odeh. To the right of the image is the cover of her cookbook Dine in Palestine

Author Heifa Odeh and her new cookbook “Dine in Palestine.” (Heifa Odeh / Provided)

Orland Park resident Heifa Odeh’s first cookbook “Dine in Palestine” began with her popular food blog. When she moved to the area, she started Fufu’s Kitchen to remind her of her home and family in Jersey, she told City Cast Chicago.

Over time, Odeh amassed followers who appreciated that she was writing down specific measurements for the Palestinian dishes they grew up eating but weren’t sure how to recreate since many parents cooked without recipes. 

Her blog also gets a lot of attention during Ramadan, a sacred month in Islam. Odeh said people are thinking about food while they fast: Her Nescafe Cake went viral a couple years ago.

Odeh said this cookbook isn’t just a win for her but for a lot of people.

“There is a book with Palestine on the cover. There is a book with our national dish on the cover … It’s something people are proud of,” she said. 

So what should you make? If you’re a beginner like me, Odeh recommends:

  • Stuffed peppers with bulgur & herb yogurt
  • Hummus topped with steak
  • Fudgy pomegranate brownies with tahini swirl

Look for book signings soon, supper clubs potentially in the winter, and hopefully TV appearances one day. 

Odeh said social media has helped diversify food media, but mainstream TV still lacks Middle Eastern representation. A lifelong Food Network fan, she hopes to one day have a Netflix special or be a judge on a cooking show to change that.

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