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Iraq (Iraqi Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes


   Iraqi cuisine has a long history going back some 10,000 years - to the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and ancient Persians. Iraqi food is so strongly influenced by its neighboring countries, Turkey and Iran, it is one of the few nations of the Middle East to lack a unique cuisine. Like the Turks, Iraqis like to stuff vegetables and eat a lot of lamb, rice, and yogurt. Like Iranians, they enjoy cooking fruits with beef and poultry.
Iraqi 'summag' Salad (Sumac Salad)

2 large cucumber
1 large tomato
1/4 medium onion
1 tablespoon sumac
Olive oil
Cooking Instructions:
Peel the cucumbers in stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half, length-wise. Slice these halves into semi-circles, each no more than 1-2 mm thick. Put the cucumbers in the salad bowl. Chop the tomato into 'salad size' pieces- not too large and not too small. Add to the cucumber. Slice the onion into long, pieces and add to the tomato and cucumber. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the salad and add the sumac and salt to taste. Mix well.

Chickpea Soup

1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight in
9 cup water
2 tbl butter
2 med onion diced
4 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 pch cayenne pepper
Cooking Instructions:
In a saucepan, bring chickpeas and their soaking water to a boil and then cook over medium heat for 1+1/2 hours. In a separate pan, stir-fry the onions and garlic in the butter until they begin to brown. Add the coriander leaves and stir-fry for a few moments longer, then add the contents of the frying pan and the remaining ingredients to the chickpeas. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender.

Cold Yogurt and Tomato Soup (Hasa Laban Ma' Tomata)
Servings: 6-8
4 cup tomato juice
2 cup unsweetened yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbl olive oil
Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp chilli powder
2 tbl finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
Cooking Instructions:
Thoroughly mix all ingredients except the coriander leaves. Chill in a refrigerator for at least two hours. Place in serving bowls and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Cold soups provide a refreshing midday meal or snack in the hot lands of the Middle East and North Africa. They are simple to prepare and in many cases turn out to be a gourmet's delight.

Iraqi Shabbat Chicken

 whole stewing chicken
300 g tomato puree
300 g okra
1 lemon
500 g basmati rice
2 onion
1 liter water
Cooking Instructions:
Chop onions and place in a large oven casserole dish adding tomato puree and about 1 litre of water. Place chicken on top of onions and put into a pre-heated oven at about 150C for about 3 1/2 hours. When cooked, remove chicken and place to one side. Take half the juices with the puree and onions and put into a saucepan. Add the okra, salt, pepper and lemon juice and bring to the boil, simmer gently for 30 minutes. If tinned okra is used, drain well before use. Wash Basmati rice throughly and add to the rest of the juices in the casserole dish, add some more water to just cover and place back into the oven to cook for a further 1 hour. When the rice is cooked, portion up the chicken and add to the top of the rice and cook for a further 1/2 hour. The rice is now a wonderful reddy/golden colour with the taste of the chicken infused. Serve altogether with the Okra sauce.

Iraqi Pomegranate Soup (Shorbat Rumman)
Servings: 6
8 cup water
1 lb lamb shanks or other lesser cuts of lamb and bone
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1 cup chopped onion
3 beets with green tops
1/2 cup rice
1 bn scallions sliced well down into the green
2 tbl sugar
3 tbl lime juice
1/2 cup parsley
2 tbl pomegranate concentrate (called "molasses" or "paste")
1/4 cup finely, chopped cilantro
2 cup finely, chopped spinach
1 tbl dried mint crumbled, mixed with
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, then stir in the lamb, split peas, and onion. Skim where necessary, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. In the meantime, wash the beet tops and spinach, slice finely and chop, wrap in paper towels, and crisp until needed. Also peel the beets and chop into a small dice. Also prepare the mint/cinnamon/pepper garnish in a separate bowl. When the lamb broth is ready, add the beets and rice and cook another 30 minutes. Pick out the lamb - cut away the bones and fat, shred the meat, and return to the pot. Add the scallions, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, parsley, and either the pomegranate concentrate or the pomegranate juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, bring the soup to a boil and stir in the beet greens and spinach. Let wilt, while stirring for a minute or two, then stir in cilantro, more lime juice, as needed, and seasonings. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the mint (cinnamon, pepper topping). Serve hot as a meal, with lots of bread on the side.

Iraqui Cholent with Cinnamon

1/4 Dark meat turkey or 2 Chicken leg quarters on the bone (up to 3)
1 cup Brown rice
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoos
Carrots and/or Sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked
1 tsp(or more) cinnamon
1 tsp Cumin
Salt, optional
Little white beans (only pre soaked, not cooked)
Cooking Instructions:
Put everything into a crockpot and cook overnight for Shabbat lunch. I find that I put the rice near the top of the pile of ingredients, to help it from getting totally mushy. I havn't done the following, but some cholent and hamin recipes put the rice into a bag before cooking the dish.

Wheat Porridge with Stuffed Beef Pocket (Khinta)

1 lb Boneless chuck or similar meat, cut into very thin slices about 4 inches square
1/3 cup Half-cooked rice
1/2 cup Assorted meat bits, beef, chickens, gizzards, cut into small dice
1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 tspPepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Beef or chicken fat, cut into a small dice, optional
Cooking Instructions:
The stuffed pockets can be made any size from 3 inches square to 6 inches. The wheat and 1 small pocket per person can be served for lunch. For a completely different taste experience, add 6 hard-cooked eggs in the shell to the pan to cook along with the wheat and beef. The eggs should be served for Sabbath breakfast.
   To Prepare Pockets: Take 2 slices of the beef and sew up 3 sides with a needle and strong thread to prepare a pocket for stuffing. Mix the rice, meats, cinnamon, pepper, salt and fat together as the stuffing. Stuff the pockets and sew up the open end. Set aside. Make 2 or more pockets: double the recipe if necessary.

Moroccan Chicken and Prune Tagine

4 oz Prunes
4 oz Dried apricots
1/2 cup Toasted split almonds
3 tbl Extra virgin olive oil
8 Portions chicken
1 tsp Salt
20 Grinds black pepper
1 lrg Onion
2 Cloves garlic
1 tsp Ground turmeric
3 Cardamom pods
1 tsp Ground ginger
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cup Chicken stock or half stock, half white wine
1 tbl Honey
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Lemon juice or water
Cooking Instructions:
Several hours in advance or overnight, soak the dried fruit in water to cover. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Fry the almonds in the hot oil over moderate heat until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and reserve. remove the skin and any visible fat from the chicken portions, thoroughly dry them, then season with the salt and pepper. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until rich brown on all sides, then lift out and drain on paper towels to remove any surplus fat. Lay the pieces side by side in a lidded casserole and surround with the drained fruit. In the same oil gently saute the finely chopped onion and garlic until they turn a rich golden brown (keep the pan lid on for 5 minutes to soften them in the steam, then remove it to finish the browning). Add the spices and stock and honey. Stir well to release any crispy bits adhering to the base of the pan, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixed with the lemon juice (or water, if wine has been used). Pour over the chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Do not overcook as the chicken will soften during the reheating. Garnish the dish with the fried almonds.

Iraqi Rice (Yaprakh)

3 large tomatoes
1/2 kg small round eggplants
8 sweet peppers
1/12 kg large onion
4 c oil
4 c glutinous rice
1/2 c tomato paste
1 head celery leaves, chopped
2 tsp white cumin seeds
1/2 kg ground beef
1/2 c ghee or butter
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
50 pechay leaves
Cooking Instructions:
Wash all vegetables. Slice round the top of tomatoes and set aside; scoop out all pulp and put in a bowl. Do the same with eggplant and sweet pepper. Reserve tops as cover. Sprinkle some water inside tomatoes and eggplants. Peel onions and cut lengthwize on one side (not at center). Press each onion between the palms of hands to separate layers. The smaller inner layers can be chopped. Heat 1/2 of oil, saute eggplant pulp and chopped onion until slightly tender, but not brown.Wash rice and add to onion and eggplant mixture. Add tomato paste, vegetable pulp, chopped onion, chopped celery, and cumin seeds. In another skillet, heat remaining oil; add beef and fry till cooked. Add beef mixture to rice mixure. Add ghee or butter, salt, and chili powder. Mix very well. Fill onions, eggplants, tomatoes, and sweet peppers with mixture and cover them with vegetable tops tightly; set aside. Spread some pechay leaves in a large and wide pan. Arrange first layer of stuffed onions, individually wrapped in pechay leaves tightly. Arrange tomato layer on top of onions; repeat, using sweet pepper and eggplant. Cover vegetables with a very heavy plate and place another heavy weight on top of the plate. Pour 3 cups water into the pan and cook on medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Leave on very low heat for some time until done.

Eggplant wrapped meat (Lis-san el qua-thi)
Makes about 20 pieces
2 large eggplants
1/2 - 1 cup corn oil if frying eggplant
2 lbs. Lean ground meat
1 medium onion (1 cup) finely minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp blackpepper
2 tbsp corn oil
1 large onion diced
1 large tomato sliced (optional)
1 large tomato peeled and chopped
14 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
Cooking Instructions:
Peel eggplant, trim off the top and bottom. Stand eggplant up on cutting board and slice vertically, 1/8" thin. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a strainer for about 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and strain eggplant to dry. Heat about 4 tbsp corn oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices in batches, turning once to brown both sides. Be careful not to burn. Add more oil as needed. Drain cooked eggplant slices on paper towels. Low fat alternative: Place eggplant slices on baking sheets lined with foil and brushed with corn oil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes until brown, turning the eggplant halfway. Mix together the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper. Divide the meat into sausage shaped portions 1" thick and 2" long. Place a portion of the meat stuffing at one end of an eggplant slice and begin wrapping the eggplant around it. Place the rolls in a baking dish and layer the tomato slices on top (optional). In a saucepan heat 2 tbsp oil and saute the diced onions. When soft add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add tomato sauce, beef or chicken stock and lemon juice to taste. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Pour the sauce over the rolls in the baking dish, cover with aluminum paper and bake for 1 hour (or until done) at 450 degrees.

Um Ali
Servings: 6
10 oz cooked puff pastry
1/4-1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons rose water
1 cup light cream
Cooking Instructions:
Grease a round, glass baking dish, and preheat the oven to 375 F. Crumble the pastry into the dish and mix with the nuts and lemon juice. Heat the milk, sugar and cinnamon to just below the boiling point, then slowly add the beaten egg. Pour this over the pastry mixture in the dish, and sprinkle with rose water. Top with the cream and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden.
Iraqi Cardamom Cookies (Hadgi Badah)

2 cup All-purpose flour
1 tsp  Ground cardamom
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup  Sugar
4 large eggs
2 cup ground blanched almonds, around 10 oz.  rose water, optional
6 dozens whole almonds
Cooking Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease several large baking sheets. Sift together the flour, cardamom, salt, and baking powder. Beat the sugar and eggs until light and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture, then the ground almonds. Form the dough into 1-inch balls, moistening your hands with rose water, if desired. Place on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly. Press a whole almond into the center of each cookie. Bake until lightly browned about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Iraqi Curried Chicken

3 lbs roasting chicken, cut up
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large onion, slivered
2 garlic clove, minced
6 potato, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaf
1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk
Pepper, to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook gently until browned on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Yes, this is a long simmer for a chicken, but these are the instructions I was given, and when I tried it at home it tasted just like our meal at the camp. The potatoes should just about disintegrate, which thickens the stock, now turned sauce. Serve over rice. We like to add cooked or steamed vegetables over the rice before drowning it with the curry. Box of frozen broccoli works for us. Oh - they also served whole pita breads with this, which they tore and passed on to one another to tear and pass and use as scoops.

Dates Halva

8 oz Stonned dates finely chopped
2 oz Chopped walnuts
2 oz Chopped almonds
1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp Groud allspice
Icing sugar for dusting
Cooking Instructions:
Mix the dates, nuts and spices in a bowl, using your hands to work the ingredients together. Dust a work surface with icing sugar, and roll out the halva to about 2 cm (3/4 inch) thicknes. Cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Iraqi Cardamom Cookies (Hadgi Badah)
72 cookies
2 cup All-purpose flour
1 tsp Ground cardamom
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1 1/3 cup Sugar
4 lrg Eggs
2 cup Ground blanched almonds, about 10 oz
Rose water, optional
6 doz whole almonds, approximately
Cooking Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease several large baking sheets. Sift together the flour, cardamom, salt, and baking powder. Beat the sugar and eggs until light and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture, then the ground almonds. Form the dough into 1-inch balls, moistening your hands with rose water, if desired. Place on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly. Press a whole almond into the center of each cookie. Bake until lightly browned about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

World Cuisine Recipes


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