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Cauliflower Tahini Curry

Middle East is where some of the best quality tahini can be found. I love it freshly pressed. When still warm it slowly drips from the sesame grinder tap. If you’re lucky enough seller will let you steal some of those warm, sticky drops. You will find yourself licking fingers in the middle of crowded bazaar and the people will smile heartedly. Ajaneeb – they … Continue reading Cauliflower Tahini Curry

P1130279

Chicken Pulao (not really)

Once upon a time, Mehdi, a Pakistani friend of mine decided to throw a dinner that inevitably turned into grand feast. It will be of no surprise to you if you know Mehdi’s hospitality. Chicken Pulao was among served dishes as popular Pakistani course. Surprisingly, Mehdi learnt how to cook it only 4 years ago. After arriving in Erbil he used to hang out with … Continue reading Chicken Pulao (not really)

P1130147

Spinach, Zucchini and Halloumi Pie

Super easy to prepare this rich and creamy pie is a great dish if you are hosting a dinner for few friends. You can prepare it ahead and serve cold. I used almond crust just to give it an additional twist. You can always choose to prepare wheat pie crust from this recipe. Spinach, Zucchini and Halloumi Pie (serves 5) Ingredients: Crust: 300 ml almond … Continue reading Spinach, Zucchini and Halloumi Pie

P1130013

Fasenjoon – Persian walnut pomegranate & chicken stew

Ahmed met Ghodsi 50 years ago when he knocked on her family’s door as a poor student. He had just arrived in in Shiraz to finish his study. Ghodsi served him simple lunch and a year after they were married. Back then her father used to work for the Shah’s government. His father owned a family factory making Iranian carpets. Today the couple is 74 … Continue reading Fasenjoon – Persian walnut pomegranate & chicken stew

P1120702

Tahini, nuts and dates shortcake

Ramadan in the Middle East is widely celebrated by social gatherings and cheerful feasts. During my stay in Iran I was invited to Iftar, the dinner culminating all day of fasting, at Shiva and Shayyan’s house in Teheran where Shiva’s sister Shayda taught me how to make traditional Iranian food. For this I decided to prepare Polish mazurek cake, which is a very popular Easter … Continue reading Tahini, nuts and dates shortcake

P1110215

Creamy chicken casserole

You can tell summer is coming to Erbil after increased amount of dust that you inhale every day. It’s still bearable those days. However, after a month temperature outside will reach 50 degrees turning the landscape into bleached khaki blanket made of coarse fabric, just like the one they use in military. Iraq is preparing to Ramadan that will start next week. This weekend might … Continue reading Creamy chicken casserole

P1100299

Tiramisu and its Middle Eastern counterpart

Mascarpone is not very common in Iraq. The only way you can get it is to ask your friends coming from abroad to pick up some on their way here. Fortunately, there are local products that can successfully replace it. Kaymak is a Middle Eastern clotted cream popular in Turkey, Iraq, Balkans and Iran. It is made from the milk of water buffaloes, cows, sheep … Continue reading Tiramisu and its Middle Eastern counterpart

P1090852

Vietnamese noodle salad – Bun Bo Xao

Bun Bo Xao is a Vietnamese beef and noodle salad. Xao means stir-fry, because original recipe uses beef stir fried with lemon grass.  My recipe replaces beef with egg as it’s much faster and easier to prepare. I find this salad to be a perfect summer dish. Therefore I don’t want to be bothered with cooking meat. It brings back memories of Poland. Every time … Continue reading Vietnamese noodle salad – Bun Bo Xao

P1090793

Eggs steamed with cream, butter and nuts

In Poland we mainly eat scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hard and half-boiled eggs with mayonnaise. If we get more imaginative we even stuff them with mushroom. My Grandpa mastered his egg boiling technique making my childhood full of half boiled eggs (which I still truly love). However, the more people share with you their egg habits, the more adventurous you become while preparing your old goodies. In … Continue reading Eggs steamed with cream, butter and nuts