Fattoush – it’s all about bread

Fattoush is my favorite Middle Eastern salad. The dish is popular mainly in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. Connoisseurs say it’s all about bread and pomegranate molasses. Thin, 2 layered Lebanese bread is perfect. Before deep-frying you have to tear it apart. Frying takes only couple of minutes as you aim to have golden-brown crispy bites. Good pomegranate molasses is hard to find in some … Continue reading Fattoush – it’s all about bread


Syrian torpedoes – Kibbah bi laban

Many of my friends say that Erbil is hot and boring. Had they had any poetic soul, this is how their facebook (we live in era of social media) posts would have look like: Yesterday I burned the Gospel And gave my praises to despair – For the Devil himself Would not dream Of coming to this place “Amman” Najwan Darwish (never mind it’s about … Continue reading Syrian torpedoes – Kibbah bi laban


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


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)


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


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


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


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


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