This is blog introduces you to the authentic Iraqi Family cookbook that includes over 150 recipes.These recipes have been handed down through many generations,from grandmothers to mothers to daughters. I encourage you to try the recipes on the blog. The first edition was a Winner of GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD 2007. The new cookbook is the WINNER OF 2012 GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD FOR "BEST ARAB CUISINE COOKBOOK"in the USA. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
This is a very popular dish that we bake in the oven. You can cook it on top of the stove in a deep pan.
pound ground lamb or beef
clove garlic, crushed 1
teaspoon Arabian spice(bahar) 2
teaspoons salt, divided 1
large russet potato, peeled 1
large tomato 1 (
14.5-ounce can) diced tomatoes 1/2
bowl, put the ground lamb and add the garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and spice and
mix by hand. Shape the meat into small balls and press each ball to make
patties, and set aside.
the tomato in half and slice in 1/4 inch slices, and set aside. Slice the potato
in 1/4 inch sliced and cut each slice in a half. Slice the onion very thinly.
the tomato can and pulse the tomatoes in the food processor to make a purée.
deep Pyrex dish, pour 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Make a
stack of meat, potato, onion and tomato slices. Arrange side by side in the
pan. When all meat and slices are arranged, pour the water and the rest of the
tomato sauce. Season with salt and more spices if desired.
the baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes in 350 degrees F. Oven.
Remove from oven, uncover and bake for15 more minutes.
This is a
traditional dish that we usually prepare in the weekend or when we have a big
gathering. You can use the seasonal vegetables for this dish. During Winter we
replace the grape leaves with Swiss Chard.
2 green peppers, top off, and seeds removed
3 zucchinis, peeled and, cut in a half
3 small Italian eggplants, cut in a half
2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 cup white rice
1 small onion, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Arabic Spice
1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves
1 1/2 cup water
Core the inside of the zucchini and eggplant and set the flesh
Salt the insides of the
vegetables with 1 teaspoon of salt, and place in a strainer to drain for 30
Combine the meat, rice, lemon juice, garlic, onions, and half a
cup tomato sauce, 1 remaining teaspoon of salt, and spices. Stuff the
vegetables and arrange side by side in a deep pan or pot.
To stuff grape leaves, place one tablespoon of the filling in
the center. Fold the sides to the center and fold the leaf over and roll lightly.
Arrange them on top of the vegetables with the seem down.
If you are using fresh grape leaves, put them in boiling water
to soften them for 5 minutes before stuffing.
Arrange the stuffed grape leaves on top of the vegetables. Pour
the tomato sauce and water on top.
Place a fruit plate on top of the vegetables to keep them
submerged. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a medium. Cook for 30 minutes,
covered, until rice is cooked.
To serve, cover the pot with a tray or a large platter, and flip the pot on the
tray. Serve it with bread and yogurt cucumber salad/
Today, I started baking for the Holidays. I made this delicious tray of baklawa. It is a very light recipe, NOT loaded with syrup. Check out this website for the recipe, plus other iraqi cookies that I baked during a TV show.
Mung beans are very healthy and nutritious. We cook mung beans with rice. I decided to make a vegetable soup with these beans. Soak beans for a few hours before you start cooking. If you have not done that, pour hot water over the beans and set aside for 30 minutes.
1 cup mung beans soaked in water for 12 hours
4 cups water
1/2 cup white rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried mint
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Rinse the beans and discard water. Heat water in a deep pot and drop the beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes. Skim off the mung beans green skin that float to top and discard.
Add rice and all the vegetables, and cook for 20 minutes until rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
Add the lemon juice and taste to adjust the salt and pepper.
You can add chicken stock and diced chicken if not vegetarian.
This is an aromatic and delicious recipe that my family always enjoy. Sometimes I add crushes tomatoes while baking, but not in this recipe. You can always add it to the pan instead of adding 1/2 cup of water.When you purchase the boneless leg of lamb, it is wrapped in
a net to keep a nice shape of the lamb.
Remove the net and rinse the lamb under cold water. Pat it
dry with paper towels. Place it on a cutting board and follow the directions.
In my recipes, I mention the Arabian Spice which is a combination
of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and black pepper.
1 (3 pounds) lamb, boneless
6 cloves garlic
6 whole cardamoms
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
1 stick of cinnamon, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Arabian Spice (7 spices or Syrian Spice)
2 table spoons salt
2 onions, slices
3 large potatoes, sliced
Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.
Trim off the layer of fat, but keep a little to crisp up
while roasting. Make 1-inch slits in the lamb. Make
clusters of cardamom and garlic, or cinnamon and garlic and
insert in these slits.
Brush the lamb in oil and season with salt and Arabian
spice. Arrange the potatoes and onions on a
baking pan. Lay the lamb over the potatoes, and pour ½ cup
of water. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.. Remove from the oven and cover with foil
and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Bake in the
oven for 30 more minutes to crisp up the top.
Remove from the pan and serve on a platter surrounded by the
potatoes. Pour in some of the juices over the lamb.Skim off the fat before serving.
Feta cheese is a staple in my house. I use it for salads, sandwiches
and in pastas. You need to preserve it in salt water and store in the
refrigerator. It is often salty cheese.To serve, soak it in cold water for 20
minutes and drain it before slicing. In the following recipe, I added cottage
cheese to the crumbled feta to cut down on salt. There are different varieties of feta that are imported or domestic that you need to try until you find the
brand you like to purchase.
1 pound feta block
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried mint or zaatar
In a bowl, crumble the cheese and stir in the cottage
cheese. Sprinkle mint and drizzle olive oil and stir.
Serve in a small salad bowl and garnish with mint or black
olives. Serve with pita chips or crackers.
For this recipe, you can add 1 clove of crushed garlic to
the spread if you desire.
This is an autumn vegetable that we use in so many dishes,
such as soups, stews with lamb and others.
I purchased butternut squash whole, peeled it with a potato
peeler, scooped the seeds out and sliced it.
You can purchase the squash already cubed in 1-inch size.
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup cranberries
¼ cup walnuts
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Put the squash in a bowl and drizzle olive oil. Season with
salt, spices and stir. Spread squash on a baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes
until tender. Allow to cool, and arrange in a deep dish. Garnish with pomegranate
seeds, cranberries and walnuts.
This makes a good side dish with chicken or lamb. Enjoy!