The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Arabic Coffee-Qahwa Arabiya القهوة العربية

Arabic coffee is also called Turkish coffee. It is usually very finely ground and sometimes we add a few pods of cardamom while grinding it to give it a very pleasing flavor and aroma. Traditionally, we used to buy the coffee beans, roast them and use a hand grinder (Dagerman) to grind the coffee beans. You can find ground Arabic coffee at Middle Eastern grocery stores or you can purchase the beans and grind them in the store grinder. You can buy dark roast, medium or a combination of beans according to your preference.
You need a special coffee pot (Dalla) to brew the coffee or use a small pot to brew it. There are different varieties of pots made with copper, brass, aluminum or stainless steel. They all work well on the stove. Special pots used by the Bedouins on a charcoal grill are used for making bitter coffee served during funerals, tribal meetings and coffee houses (Chia Khane). Coffee is served with a glass of water and a piece of candy or manna halva.
1 cup water
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 teaspoon or more sugar
Pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
Pour tap water in the coffee pot (Dalla), and Place the coffee pot on the stove on a medium heat. When water comes to a boil, remove the pot to the side and add the sugar and coffee, and stir. Place the coffee pot on the stove and bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Return the pot again to the stove and bring the coffee to a boil. Do not leave the stove as it will overflow. Remove from heat and set aside. You will notice light color foam developed on the surface. Skim off the foam and pour a teaspoon in every demitasse (finjan) on the tray. Pour the coffee to top and serve.
Do not stir the coffee or add milk to it. Coffee grounds will settle in the bottom of the demitasse. When finished drinking, sometimes guests flip their cups on the saucers to allow the thick coffee ground to drip down. Then they wait for somebody to read their fortune for entertainment.