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Many spices, many steps and many hungry guests to feed is what makes this spicy mutton biryani great.

Contemporary Pakistani food is a vibrant mix of Arabic, East Asian and Indian flavors that shine in food writer and author Sumayya Usmani’s new cookbook, Summers Under the Tamarind Tree. Beautifully written and photographed, this collection of more than 100 family recipes will inspire you to open up the spice cabinet and make something brand-new.

Sindhi biryani is by far the most aromatic and spicy biryani in this book, though the addition of potatoes, sour dried plums and dried pomegranate takes the edge off. This dish should take center stage on the celebratory dining table, and while the ingredients list is long and it must be cooked with dedication, it’s a wonderful and worthwhile dish to make for a special occasion. Traditionally the rice and curry is layered twice, but I find that once is enough.

Reprinted with permission from Summers Under the Tamarind Tree