1. Tepsi Baytinijan, 2. Margat Qeema, 3. Quzi, 4. Masgouf, 5. Dolma, 6. Khubz, 7. Kibbeh Batata, 8. Bagila Bil Dihin, 9. Kanafeh, 10. Biryani. Iraq offers some of the most exquisite food in the Middle East, and with such a long and active history of interactions with neighboring countries and empires, it's no surprise that Iraq's food is as vibrant as its people's. The following are the best traditional Iraqi foods you should try.
- Tepsi Baytinijan
- Margat Qeema
- Kibbeh Batata
- Bagila Bil Dihin
Tepsi Baytinijan is a traditional Iraqi dish that is frequently served at an Iraqi lunch or dinner. This is a popular dish, with each household having its distinctive style of preparing it.
Tepsi Baytinijan is made up of layers of ground beef or lamb meatballs with veggies like eggplant, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and peppers. Bake the dish until the vegetables are slightly melted from the heat. This robust stew is served hot from the oven with slightly prepared rice, as do typical Iraqi foods.
Tepsi Baytinijan, a typical Iraqi comfort food stew, has simple flavors that are deep and fulfilling. The total of its different vegetable sections, piled in a casserole, stuffed with meatballs, and broiled gently in the oven, yields a lusciously fulfilling final meal. The eggplant turns silky and sweet, wrapping around the tender potatoes, tomatoes, and savory meatballs like a warm hug from a grandmother. The primary flavoring comes from onions and garlic, which have been tamed into delicate, aromatic submission.
Tepsi Baytinijan (photo: https://www.kitchenfrau.com/)
Qeema is mostly popular in Iraq and the adjacent Middle Eastern countries. It is supposed to have originated in ancient Iraq, also known as Mesopotamia (“Iraqi cuisine”). There are several qeema variants available today, including Iraqi and Iranian. Iraqi qeema is recognized for being of the Baghdadi or Najafi styles – named after the people of Najaf, an Iraqi city (Alwan).
Margat Qeema is a well-known meal that is frequently served in both Iraqi and Iranian homes. Although the preparation varies from region to region, one ingredient remains consistent in providing this classic dish with its particular earthy and tangy flavor—the dried lime.
This is a popular Iraqi cuisine that is offered frequently during religious holidays or when a mosque serves food. It is a gravy-based dish made with finely minced meat, lentils, lime zest, and various other spices, and it is served with a side of heated rice. Margat Qeema, with its vivid orange-brown appearance and exquisite texture, can be addictive!
Margat Qeema (photo: Youtube)
Quzi is a must-have on any list of the most famous Iraqi meals. This rice-based cuisine is quite popular in Arab countries, particularly those bordering the Persian Gulf. Quzi is also known as khuzi, ghuzi, or qouzi. What do you think of topping your rice with cooked lamb, roasted almonds, and sometimes raisins? Isn’t that enticing? This nutritious supper is cooked over hot coals, imparting a smokey flavor and delivering a true sensory treat.
This scrumptious slow-roasted and stuffed lamb is usually a crowd-pleaser at any Iraqi festive event or family gathering. The lamb is slow-roasted for nearly a day and packed with aromatic and seasoned rice, veggies, and nuts. The end outcome is out of this world!
Quzi (photo: https://www.tasteatlas.com/)
Quzi (photo: http://www.marga.org/)
Masgouf is unquestionably one of the most well-known Iraqi dishes. It is popular with Iraqis because who can resist the mouth-watering seduction of grilled fish? Consider the tenderness of the fish that will melt in your tongue, not to mention the burnt flavor that the grilling will impart. For a distinct and delicious flavor, the fish is frequently marinated in olive oil with tamarind and turmeric.
Masgouf is a fish dish popular throughout Iraq and is sometimes referred to as the country’s national cuisine. Masgouf is typically made with freshwater carp, which is butterflied, marinated, skewered, and grilled over an open fire. The fish is frequently salted before cooking to give it a crispy skin, but the marinating phase can be skipped if the fish is fresh and of good quality. After that, a liberal amount of sumac spice, fresh pomegranate seeds, and lemon is poured on top. Although it is eaten throughout Iraq, it is particularly popular in cities near the Tigris River.
Masgouf (photo: https://corporate.unioncoop.ae/)
If you’re looking for something healthy to eat in Iraq, why not try this traditional dish called Dolma? When you order this delicacy, you will typically be offered a large serving of mixed veggies, such as zucchini, eggplant, and tomato, cooked in an egg-lemon sauce with garlic, onion, and pepper. This meal is typically served hot. However, another type of dolma is served cold in a garlic yogurt sauce. You can try both and see which one you like.
Although Dolma versions can be found throughout the Middle East, the Iraqi version is unquestionably the best. Instead of the more familiar stuffed grape-leaf, Iraqis use boiling chard wrapped in finger-length stuffings of minced beef, rice, nuts, and spices all topped in lemon zest—you’ll have a hard time putting them down! It’s like a melt-in-your-mouth bite of rice, beef, and vegetables that tastes tangy, sweet, tomato-y, and umami-rich.
Dolma (photo: https://www.shepherdsongfarm.com/)
Dolma (photo: http://www.addalittlelemon.com/)
Khubz is a traditional flatbread that is popular throughout the Middle East, especially in Iraq. It’s made using the same ingredients as regular bread: flour, yeast, salt, and water. It’s circular, 8 inches (20 cm) long, and 1 inch (3 cm) thick. It is distinguished by the air bubbles that form on its surface after baking. Khubz is traditionally baked in a domed clay oven known as a tannour, but it can also be baked in a conventional oven.
Khubz (photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/)
Khubz (photo: https://silkroadrecipes.com/)
Do you enjoy potatoes? You should definitely try this delectable dish known as Kibbeh Batata. Form the potato into balls, stuff them with ground beef, cook them, and you have your own Kibbeh Batata. If you’re a fan of croquette, you’ll love this dish. This cuisine works best as a light snack. Of course, it goes well with rice, vegetables, and other side dishes.
Kibbe Batata is a traditional Iraqi dish. Iraqi Vegetarian Potato Kibbe Recipe is a delicious traditional kibbe dish. It is nutritious and high in fiber and minerals. Kibbe Batata is a fresh, fragrant, and tasty dish cooked with mashed potatoes, fine bulgar wheat, spices, herbs, and olive oil. It’s one of those appetizers that you can’t get enough of. You’ll constantly desire more and more. Outside is a crunchy coating of fried potatoes and rice, with a great flavored beef filling inside.
Kibbeh Batata (photo: https://www.tasteofbeirut.com/)
Kibbeh Batata (photo: https://bakefresh.net/)
Bagila Bil Dihin
The greatest way to begin the day in Iraq is with an Iraqi breakfast, and one of the most wonderful breakfasts in the country is Bagila Bil Dihin. It’s a little unusual and may be unfamiliar to some; it’s called “Bagila Bil Dihin” and sounds like a heart attack because the direct translation is “beans with fat.” Bagila is the Iraqi name for beans, specifically broad beans or fava beans.
Bagila Bil Dihin contains an egg and beans, which is a fantastic mix. It is nutritious, wholesome, and well-balanced. Bagila Bil Dihin is essentially fried eggs over broad beans and soaked pita bread, covered with hot oil, as shown in the image below. This dish has traditionally been served for breakfast, but due to its substantial ingredients, many Iraqis now offer it as a main course. Occasionally, khubz is served with Bagila Bil Dihin.
Bagila Bil Dihin (photo: https://scoopempire.com/)
You might be wondering if Iraq has any sweet foods on its traditional food list. Yes, and you may fulfill your sweet taste with Kanafeh, a classic Arab delicacy.
Kanafeh is a Middle Eastern dessert composed of kadaf (also known as angel hair), akawi cheese, and either samneh or ghee (clarified butter). After baking, the kanafeh is drizzled with rose water-scented syrup and topped with crushed pistachios or walnuts. This delightfully fragrant delicacy is crisp on the exterior and melting on the inside.
This delicacy is distinct in that it is a thin pastry that looks like noodles. After baking, it is steeped in syrup, but what distinguishes it are the layers of cheese that are added later. You can start with just one, but trust us when we tell you’ll want more since the flavor is excellent. The sweet syrup tastes amazing, so go ahead and have a second helping.
Kanafeh (photo: http://www.maggwire.com/)
Kanafeh (photo: https://thearabiancuisine.com/)
If you want to have a happy stomach during your vacation in Iraq, try this classic dish at least once. Biryani is a dish that consists of meat (typically chicken, beef, or lamb) eaten with rice and side dishes such as fried potatoes, peas, and carrots. And you can’t just serve it with any old rice. Basmati rice should be used. You can also drizzle some curry sauce or yogurt on top of the rice and meat.
Historians say that the Biryani dish originated in Persia and was introduced to the Indian subcontinent. Even the name biryani may be traced back to the Persian “birinj biryan,” which literally means “fried rice.” Biryani is now widely considered a national dish in India and the Arab world. Importantly, Kurdish Biryani, also known as Iraqi Biryani, is a traditional meal in the Kurdistan area, and its major ingredients include rice, vegetables, almonds, and chicken.
This fragrant dish is typically prepared for special events such as family gatherings, dinner celebrations, Ramadan, and Eid festivals. A beautiful balance of sweet and sour, this meal is a true celebration of Iraqi cuisine and a must-try!
Biryani (photo: https://kfoods.com/)
Biryani (photo: https://www.amanikitchen.co.uk/)