Iraqi cuisine or Mesopotamian cuisine has a long history going back some 10,000 years – to the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Ancient Persians. Tablets found in ancient ruins in Iraq show recipes prepared in the temples during religious festivals – the first cookbooks in the world. Today, the cuisine of Iraq reflects this rich inheritance as well as strong influences from the culinary traditions of neighbouring Iran, Turkey and the Syria region area.
A typical Iraqi meal starts with a mezze (appetizer), such as kebabs , which are cubes of marinated meat cooked on skewers. Soup is usually served next, which is drunk from the bowl, not eaten with a spoon. For gadaa and ashaa, Arabic for lunch and dinner, the meals are much alike. A simple main course, such as lamb with rice is served, followed by a salad and khubaz , a flat wheat bread served buttered with fruit jelly on top. Other popular dishes include quzi (stuffed roasted lamb), kibbe (minced meat, nuts, raisins, and spices), and kibbe batata (potato-beef casserole).
Iraqi potato-chicken pie
3 large potatoes, boiled
1/4 cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound lean ground meat (I used chicken)
1 small onion, chopped
Ginger-garlic paste — 1-1/2 tsp
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Arabic spice or a combination of(allspice, black pepper, cinnamon and cloves)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Mash the potatoes and place in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and salt. Mix by hand, and set aside.
2. Prepare the filling. Sauté the meat and add the ginger-garlic paste, onions and spices. When cooked, add salt and chopped parsley. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
3. Brush the pie dish with 2 tablespoons of oil. Take half of the potato mixture and press it down to cover the surface of the dish. Spread the meat filling on top and cover it with a layer of potato. Smooth the top of the pie and brush it with oil. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 30 minutes.