Walima cooking club celebrates Middle Eastern cuisine, where every month we go by Latin alphabetical order, choosing two recipes from every Arab country, one savory and one dessert. We can cook any one of them or both. And I really wanted to join this club, because the tag itself says' For all Arabic food lovers' and I just love Arabic food :) So..here is my first challenge. Walima club is celebrating Iraqi cuisine this month.
Iraqi cuisine or Mesopotamian cuisine is Iraq's traditional cuisine developed since antiquity in Me Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria). It is considered one of the oldest kitchens.
As Baghdad became the centre of the Abbasid Caliphate during the Islamic Golden Age, Muslims and other scholars from many parts of the world came to visit, live and study in Iraq, which gave the Iraqi cuisine new twists to its food. This is most commonly seen in the greater use of spices (e.g. Saffron) used in the Iraqi cuisine in comparison to other Arab cuisines.
Iraqi cuisine has absorbed influences from all the neighboring countries and has much in common with Levantine, Persian, and Turkish cuisines. With the Ottoman rule of Iraq, influences of Turkish cuisine also became incorporated into Iraqi recipes (and vice versa).
Furthermore, as the rest of Iraqi history, the Iraqi cuisine has been deeply influenced by its fertile land between its two rivers Euphrates and Tigris. This influence is seen in Iraq's national dishes.
Now coming to this months challenge. We were given 1 savory and 2 options for sweets -Kurat al tamir ( Date sesame balls) and Shakar Lama (Cardamom cookies) by Arlette. And I tried making both the sweet dishes. Here they are :-
KURAT AL TAMIR ( Date and sesame balls)
1 pound soft dates
1 cup walnuts
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons tahini
½ teaspoon cardamom/cinnamon powder
Add dates, ½ cup sesame seeds, and tahini in the food processor. Pulse and add the walnuts and spices; pulse again. Take the mixture out and make small balls and roll them in toasted sesame or shredded coconuts.
SHAKAR LAMA (Cardamom cookies )
3 sticks butter
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk (optional)
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 cup slivered almonds
Beat the butter in a bowl for 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat the mixture until becomes light in color. Add flour, cardamom and salt gradually. Use your hand to mix the cookie dough. Take a small piece of dough the size of walnut. Shape the cookie and place and almond in the middle. Arrange on a tray with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven.