Muffins recipes

National dish of Iraq

flag of Iraq

  • Independence: 15. 10. 2005
  • Capital: Baghdad
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Population: 31 129 225
  • Area: 438 317 km2
  • International code: IQ
  • Currency: Iraqi dinar (IQD)
map of Iraq

Samak masgouf


  • salmon, about 1/3 lb per person
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4-5 diced ripe tomatoes
Samak masgouf is national food (dish) of Iraq


Have the fishmonger clean and scale the fish and slit and open it out from the back, so that you can open it out flat. Alternatively, and more easily, ask him to fillet the fish and keep the skin on. Brush the fish with mild extra‑virgin olive oil and season with salt. Lay the whole fish or the fillets, skin side up, on a large shallow dish (laying it on foil makes turning over easier). Put it under the preheated broiler and cook for 6‑8 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Turn over and cook the flesh side for about 2 minutes or until done. Now sprinkle the fish with the juice of 1 lemon and cover with a layer of diced ripe firm tomatoes--about 4 or 5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue to cook under the broiler until the tomatoes are hot and the fish is done. Serve with pickled cucumbers or mango chutney.


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. Ancient Iraq, or Mesopotamia, was home to a sophisticated and highly advanced civilization, in all fields of knowledge, including the culinary arts. However, it was in the Islamic Golden Age when Baghdad was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258) that the Iraqi kitchen reached its zenith. Today, the cuisine of Iraq reflects this rich inheritance as well as strong influences from the culinary traditions of neighbouring Persia, Turkey and the Syria region area. Meals begin with appetizers and salads – known as Mezza. Some popular dishes include Kebab (often marinated with garlic, lemon and spices, then grilled), Gauss (grilled meat sandwich wrap, similar to Döner kebab), Bamieh (lamb, okra and tomato stew), Quzi (lamb with rice, almonds, raisins and spices), Falafel (fried chickpea patties served with amba and salad in pita), Kubbah (minced meat ground with bulghur wheat or rice and spices), Masgûf (grilled fish with pepper and tamarind), and Maqluba (a rice, lamb, tomato and aubergine dish). Stuffed vegetable dishes such as Dolma and Mahshi are also popular. Contemporary Iraq reflects the same natural division as ancient Mesopotamia, which consisted of Assyria in the arid northern uplands and Babylonia in the southern alluvial plain. Al-Jazira (the ancient Assyria) grows wheat and crops requiring winter chill such as apples and stone fruits. Al-Irāq (Iraq proper, the ancient Babylonia) grows rice and barley, citrus fruits, and is responsible for Iraq's position as the world's largest producer of dates.

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