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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lamb Kufta with Potatoes, كفتة بالبطاطة

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.

Serves 4
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 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 cup water

In a 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.

Slice 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.

Open the tomato can and pulse the tomatoes in the food processor to make a purée.

In a 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.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes in 350 degrees F. Oven. Remove from oven, uncover and bake for15 more minutes. 

Serve with plain white rice, and salad.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Stuffed Vegetables- Dolma-دولمة


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.

6-8 Servings
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 aside.
 Salt the insides of the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of salt, and place in a strainer to drain for 30 minutes.
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/