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

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

Carrot-turmeric tummy-soothing soup

Honestly speaking this is the best carrot soup I’ve ever made. This soup will help on the days when your tummy feels upset. When your only dream is to get rid of the pain or stomach cramp turmeric will do its magic. Its anti-inflammatory substances dissolve in fat, therefore don’t forget to add some ghee or olive oil. Additionally, cumin will cure any type of … Continue reading Carrot-turmeric tummy-soothing soup

Iraqi Dolma – stuffed vegetables

Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes, originating in the former Ottoman Empire and the surrounding regions (Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans, the Middle East and some Asian countries). The most-well known type is stuffed vine leaves, but other vegetables suck as zucchinis and aubergines can be stuffed. They can be made either with meat or without. Meat dolma is usually served warm, while … Continue reading Iraqi Dolma – stuffed vegetables

Fattah with yogurt

Foul and Hummus – a Lebanese restaurant located in Ankawa, the christian neighborhood of Erbil serves a variety of Levantine food including fattah. This simple appetizer consists mainly of chickpea, yogurt, Lebanese bread and butter and is usually served in the morning. It’s very popular in Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Not many people know it here, in Iraq though. A chef who works for … Continue reading Fattah with yogurt

Beetroot mutabbal

Mutabbal is a Middle Eastern dish usually made of roasted eggplant. Syria and Lebanon – well known for the best food in the region – developed also a beetroot mutabbal. It is frequently prepared with baked beetroots, however I prefer boiling them as it cuts preparation time twice.   Beetroot mutabbal 4 servings 3 large beetroots, washed but unpeeled (about 0,5 kg) 3 tbsp tahini … Continue reading Beetroot mutabbal

Syrian Mutabbal

Mutabbal is a Levantine dip/spread made of roasted eggplant. I love its smoked flavor. The best mutabbal I ever had in my life was prepared by my Syrian friends from Aleppo who were forcibly displaced due to the conflict. Currently, they live in Amman in a house overlooking the Roman amphitheater. They left everything behind but their hospitality and open hearts. I was fed every time … Continue reading Syrian Mutabbal

Savory chickpeas pancakes

Who would have thought that the ancient philosopher Cicero and chickpeas have something in common? The Latin word, “cicer“–whence the famous orator Cicero got his name, since his family grew chickpeas–led to “pois chiche” in modern French, which we lifted from across the English Channel and changed to “chich-pease.” Bon Appetit Magazin Chickpea have been grown (or at least eaten) in the Middle East for 10,000 … Continue reading Savory chickpeas pancakes

Arabic pilaf with lentils and raisins

In Poland,we rarely combine few types of grains altogether, such as barley with rice or rice with lentils. Brown rice, which I used here has delicate, nutty flavor and goes well with green lentils, pumpkin seeds, raisins and sweet aroma of spices. Why brown rice? Unlike white rice, only the external, inedible layer is removed from brown rice. This means that our body needs more energy to … Continue reading Arabic pilaf with lentils and raisins