Cookbook connects Tasmanian women from around the world

Published on 20 November 2023


Nearly 40 Tasmanian women have shared their favourite recipes, and their stories, in a new Multicultural Cookbook.

The cookbook is a labour of love from the Hobart and Launceston Red Cross Connected Women’s Groups which bring together local and migrant women to build social connections.

Red Cross Manager Migrant Support Alison Dugan said the cookbook is a delightful representation of the women and their cultures and a celebration of the Connected Women program.

“We know the benefits for migrant women in having wider social networks outside their direct communities and this program brings together women from all ages and cultural backgrounds to build skills, confidence, local knowledge and friendship,” Ms Dugan said.

“The idea for the cookbook came from the women themselves as a way of sharing their culture and stories with pride.”

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the City of Hobart was proud to support the Connected Women’s Program and help bring this wonderful vision to life.

“No matter where we are from, all people share a need to cook and to eat. But food is much more than that. It’s an expression of culture, history and it tells a story of places,” Cr Reynolds said.

“This Multicultural Cookbook is a window into each woman’s culture and the journey they have been on to build connection, belonging and home in Tasmania.”

Hobart Welcoming and Inclusive city Portfolio Chair, Cr Dr Sherlock said the cookbook was a wonderful showcase of the strong women in our community.

“We all benefit from embracing the diversity in our community,” Cr Dr Sherlock said.

“Whether it's finding a new favourite meal, a new skill or a new friendship, migrants enhance and enrich our lives when we welcome them in.”

Connected Women Hobart participant Zelah shared her family recipe for Fijian Indian Dhal and the multicultural journey it represents.

Zelah was born in the beautiful Islands of Fiji with Indian heritage but migrated to Tasmania with her parents nearly 40 years ago.

She moved to Luxembourg as an adult where she had her daughters before moving her family back to Tasmania.

“I made sure their first ‘solid’ food my daughters ate was Dhal, as it held a symbolic significance as a dish passed on from my Mum and I wanted to carry on the cultural traditions with my daughters.

“I hope you enjoy making our Dhal recipe with your family and friends and connecting with conversations that make enduring friendships.”

The cookbook features savoury dishes and desserts from around the globe including Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Chile, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal, Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Hungary, South Sudan, Philippines, Mauritius, Belgium, Solomon Islands, India, Mexico, and Bangladesh, as well as some English and Australian classics.

The Red Cross Connected Women Tasmania Multicultural Cookbook is available for purchase from the Hobart Red Cross.

The project was funded by a Healthy Tasmania Grant through the Tasmanian Government.

Pictured: Cookbook contributors Isabel Pardo (originally from Chile) and Cholpon Tabyldieva (originally from Kyrgyzstan).

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