I might have been kidding myself when I said I was buying this book as an act of charity rather than to add to my paltry Cambodian-cuisine cookbook collection. But the proceeds from all sales do go to Friends-International, a charitable organisation dedicated to helping street children. Among its many projects in Cambodia are vocational training courses.

The organisation started by opening a cooking school and training restaurant in Phnom Penh. What began as a fast-food concept soon evolved into a Cambodian-cuisine restaurant. Friends has since founded a second restaurant in the Cambodian capital and one in Vientiane, Laos.

Cambodian food has similarities to Thai and Vietnamese fare but, the authors are quick to stress, it's a unique cuisine.

The founder and coordinators of Friends are lucky to have home-grown talent - one former street child quickly rose through the ranks of the school and is now a teacher and chef at one of its restaurants.

Recipes include spicy mushroom dip with vegetables and crusty bread; green mango and smoked fish salad with sun-dried shrimp; banana flower salad with grilled Cambodian bacon, lime and sweet chilli sauce; Khmer Muslim beef curry; stir-fried river fish with lemongrass, onion and baby eggplant; grilled pork fillet stuffed with young coconut; and green fish curry and coconut with rice noodles.