Recently, I attended an Iftar party at a luxury hotel in Baghdad. After I finished the food, I would a nice, sweet dessert there — a simple concoction: puff pastry is combined with raisins, pistachios, coconut and almonds, then drenched in sweetened milk. It’s not the story of a royal chef preparing an innovative dish at the behest of a discerning king, but of a murder and a rather cruel one!
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes common in the Mediterranean cuisine. It slowly made a delicious journey from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of the Bay of Bengal, where it got the exotic transformation.
Roasting small chunks of meat is a process dating back to antiquity. Evidence of hominin use of fire and cooking in the Middle East dates back as far as 790,000 years. In the end, it doesn’t really matter who invented kebab. What matters is that fire has touched meat, that the meat is good, and the company is even better.
Truffles have gained widespread attention in the culinary world lately, becoming a favourite among chefs and food-lovers alike. Not to be confused with the chocolate confectionery of the same name, truffles are a type of fungus that grows near the roots of certain trees.
Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet: spongy, semi-soft semolina cake garnished with almonds or coconuts.
Yesterday, when we went for our lunch at a restaurant, we decided to have quzi. Quzi is a delicious dish and I love it very much. Whenever you take seat at any restaurant in Baghdad, they will first serve you with soup and a large selection of salads and plentiful amounts of breads.
Masgouf is one of the most popular Iraqi dishes – traditionally cooked on the shores of the river Tigris, a seasoned butterflied carp cooked next to an open fire. Originating in the basin of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, grilled fish has been around since the Babylonian times. It’s one of those unique, exotic foods you just have to try in Baghdad.
Iraqi cuisine has developed over the course of a long and rich history. Pache, a veritable witch’s brew of sheep offal is celebrated as rare delicacy, having its origin in early Mesopotamian civilisation. Another charm that adds on to the wacky tinge of this adventure food is that is made with a Sheep’s (or goat’s or lamb’s) head, the stomach and its hooves (cleaned and processed under sanitary measures) boiled slowly, mashed up and served with khubz (flatbread) sunken in hot, watery and oily broth.
In the Middle East, breakfast is a big deal, especially on the weekend. It is almost a fiesta of flavours, colours and textures. My colleague Mohammed was telling yesterday about an Iraqi dish of Fool. I got interested by the name Fool and decided to go for it! A fool is the Arabic word for broad beans.