December 10, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson
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Thank you to Maryam from Maryam’s Culinary Wonders for hosting this month’s Iraq Cuisine challenge!
I would also like to thank Noor from Ya Salam Cooking for extending an invitation to join this month’s Iraq Cuisine food challenge.
I do hope you hop over and check out Maryam’s Iraq Broiled Fish with Sultana Sauce which looks absolutely delightful!
The three recipes were:
Broiled Salmon with Pomegranate Sauce
Doesn’t THAT sound delicious?
Doesn’t that sound unusual?
Halawat Sha’riyya (Sweet and Golden Vermicelli)
This recipe caught my attention right away as I have made variations of the above recipes previously!
As you know, my food passion includes minimizing food wastage and using ingredients I have on hand!
Recently, as part of Leonie’s ThermoFun Cook Along Club Memberbership recipes, I made Coconut Poached Prawns with Tri-Colored Linguine.
Little did I know, prior to cooking the dish for the very first time, the color of the noodles was going to be not only a cooking challenge, but a food photography challenge as well!
Thanks to a friend’s comment, I decided to re-shoot the dish and was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much happier with the final outcome of the photo than the original I took!
The person has been personally thanked by me!
Before I get onto the recipe, I think a bit of history may be in order for those unfamiliar with Iraq or Iraq Cuisine.
Iraq is located on the continent of Asia.
It is bound by Turkey in the north, Iran in the east, Jordan to the west and Saudi Arabia to the south.
Photo Courtesy of worldatlas.com
Iraq’s climate is mostly desert, with “mild to cool winters, hot summers” and the mountainous regions may experience cold winters that melt in summer causing flooding in some parts of Iraq.
The official language of Iraq is Arabic; many other languages are spoken by various ethnic groups, most notably Kurdish.
I am always curious about other people’s countries and cultures and based on my vast world travels, I have found we all share the universal trait of “being curious”; how the other person lives, their foods, traditions etc.
And “a smile” is the universal language too!
Hospitality is deeply ingrained in the Iraq culture and visitors to one’s home are “treated like royalty.”
Invitations to one’s home should be “perceived as a great honor and never turned down.”
I loved traveling in the Middle East, but for those who may not have visited to date, the customary greeting is “a handshake, eye contact and a smile!”
The Arabic greeting is “asalaamu alaikum” which means “peace be with you,” to which one replies “wa alaikum salaam” which means “and peace be unto you”.
I love being incorporated into someone’s culture and pick up on languages worldwide pretty easily; I always have.
Here’s a hint or etiquette tip!
When invited to an Iraq’s home, bring “pastries, chocolates or a fruit basket.”
It is also customary to remove one’s shoes before entering the home.
If the meal is served on the floor, “sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee. Never let your feet touch the food mat.”
Always make sure to use your right hand for eating and always leave food on the plate as it is considered polite; totally different than the Western culture.
I don’t know about you, but I am getting hungry and excited to share my recipe!
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon macadamia oil
- 4 ounces flat tri-colored linguine or pasta of choice; hand crushed into pieces
- 2 cups hot water
- ¾ cup sugar to caramelize
- ¾ cup ground cardamon
- 2 teaspoons rose water; feel free to substitute orange blossom water
- ⅓ cup walnuts, shelled, coarsely ground
- ⅓ cup pistachios, coarsely ground
- salt to taste
- Heat a saucepan, then add oil, melt butter and oil and saute the pasta of choice for about 5 minutes.
- CAREFULLY pour in water and salt. (see Notes)
- Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat; simmer (covered) for 5 minutes.
- Add sugar, cardamon, rose water and walnuts; stir occasionally until water is absorbed and pasta looks glassy; about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, spoon onto a flat plate or bowl, top with pistachios and enjoy!
PLEASE be careful in pouring hot water in pan and HIGHLY suggest you remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the water to be safe.
Have you ever cooked or baked Iraq Cuisine?
Would you like to try some of this now?
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Why not check out what the other members of MENA have also done this month!