How Iraq Cuisine Unites Us All Worldwide


December 10, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson

Pasta-Iraq-cuisine-whatsonthelistAre you curious How Iraq Cuisine Unites Us All Worldwide?

You must be, because you have clicked through!

Can you believe another month has passed since I shared Are You Curious About Sholeh Zard?  via last month’s Iranian Cuisine food challenge as part of the Middle Eastern & North African Cooking Club?

Iranian-rice-dessert Persian-saffron-rice-dessert
Middle-eastern-cooking-club-image Middle-Eastern-North-African-Cooking
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!

As part of this month’s Iraq Cuisine, Maryam provided three recipes “as a guide”; we are always challenged to be creative as can be!

The three recipes were:
Broiled Salmon with Pomegranate Sauce

Doesn’t THAT sound delicious?

Okra Stew (Margat Bamya)

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.

Seeing  had some tri-colored linguine to use up, I thought it would be perfect to substitute for vermicelli as per the original recipe!

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.

Iraq-world-map                                    Photo Courtesy of

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!

Joanna's Sweet and Glossy Linguine - Iraqi Inspired
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Are you curious how Iraq Cuisine can unite us all worldwide?
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Iraq
Serves: 6 - 8 small serves
  • 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
  1. Heat a saucepan, then add oil, melt butter and oil and saute the pasta of choice for about 5 minutes.
  2. CAREFULLY pour in water and salt. (see Notes)
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat; simmer (covered) for 5 minutes.
  4. Add sugar, cardamon, rose water and walnuts; stir occasionally until water is absorbed and pasta looks glassy; about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, spoon onto a flat plate or bowl, top with pistachios and enjoy!
Original recipe credited to An Iraqi Meal via The Boston Globe
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?

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to FOLLOW via Twitter, LIKE via Facebook, SHARED via Google+ and LOVED being PINNED…on Pinterest! REALLY!

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Sharing is Caring and Thank you!

Why not check out what the other members of MENA have also done this month!

39 thoughts on “How Iraq Cuisine Unites Us All Worldwide

  1. Jessica says:

    I think its great that you always have recipes from different cultures! I am one of those people who always gets the same thing when I go to restaurants but recently I have been trying to order things I have never tried..and make new things at home. You just get in a rut where you eat what you know and love so its hard to get away from that! I am pinning and maybe someday I will make this but I have been looking over your site to find recipes I want to try! Thanks for linking up at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I cant wait ot see what you brought this week!
    Have a wonderful weekend Joanne!

  2. Thank you for joining us on #PureBlogLove Link party for recipes and DIY crafts! I love reading about your adventures in cooking and look forward to seeing you again this week at 8 pm EST Thursday -Sunday night midnight to celebrate yet another fun week !

  3. It all looks delish! Thank you for linking up last week at Creative Spark Link Party! Hope you stop by today to link up and enter our giveaway!

  4. I always enjoy your posts about food in other countries, Joanne, and this one is no exception! Love the recipe as well – your Sweet and Glossy Linguini is a fabulous way to blend food cultures and it sounds so delicious too! Thank you for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Stumbling and sharing 🙂

  5. I’m totally in love with this! Yummy. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you being a part of our party, and I hope to see you on tonight at 7 pm. We love partying with you!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  6. scbritt says:

    Thank you for sharing at The Southern Special and your post is being featured this week (12/16/14).

  7. Good morning Joanne so true about food and unifying people. I believe it connects all cultures. Food is a key link beteween us all.

  8. That salmon with pomegranate sauce sounds amazing! This post was SO interesting. I loved the culture lesson and tips. I am usually timid about trying things that are very different, but reading the ingredients for this Iraqi dish, I found my myself curious and wanting to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe at #HomeMatters Linky Party. Pinned and shared. 🙂

    ~Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

  9. snehadatar says:

    As usual Joanne you have flair for writing such a well written post on Iraqi cuisine. Amazing and you are very innovative in using pasta to make sweet dish. Great.

  10. Umm Hamza says:

    G’day Joanne, Good idea to use another type of pasta because not everyone can get hold of vermicelli. Thanks for the comment on my blog, sorry i don’t have a facebook account.

  11. Bonjour Joanne, I am sorry I missed this month’s country but I was going to chose the same as you. Love your adaptation and great etiquette tips.

  12. Carrie says:

    Very nice, I like your noodle variation!

  13. Thanks for sharing more about Iranian cuisine, this is so wonderful 😀
    I have never looked into it before!

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. Rafeeda says:

    Love the way you have replaced the vermicelli with languine! That looks like a delicious dessert…

  15. You know, this is one of the cuisines that I really know nothing about so this is really informative, thank you! I love that you have such diversified tastes Joanne! Thanks!

  16. Amazing cuisine. I would love to try some of these recipe.

  17. I’ve never cooked a dish from Iran so thanks to the introduction to their cuisine. I love how this has rosewater and nuts – beautiful flavours. And I think you’ve photographed the dish beautifully! xx

  18. kc says:

    wow! you are so passionate with cooking…

  19. Amira says:

    As always, lovely creation of the dish. I’ve never thought of using other pasta than the usual vermicelli in it, so creative. Thanks for joining in this month’s MENA.

  20. Maryam says:

    Thank you for that wonderful introduction and your unique take on Iraqi cuisine! It truly is amazing how food brings people together. Many thanks for participating in this month’s challenge, it’s always a pleasure to read your entries. Best wishes, Maryam.

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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