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Recipes (Awafi)



Sally (Solomon) Djiji has collected many recipes from her native Iraq and the surrounding region. The following recipe is from her collection.

Lis-san el qua-thi
(Eggplant wrapped meat)

A literal translation: "Tongue of the Judge"
Makes about 20 pieces

2 large eggplants
1/2 - 1 cup corn oil (if frying eggplant)

2 lbs. Lean ground meat
1 medium onion (1 cup) finely minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp blackpepper

2 tbsp corn oil
1 large onion diced
1 large tomato sliced (optional)
1 large tomato peeled and chopped
14 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric

Peel eggplant, trim off the top and bottom. Stand eggplant up on cutting board and slice vertically, 1/8" thin. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a strainer for about 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and strain eggplant to dry.

Heat about 4 tbsp corn oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices in batches, turning once to brown both sides. Be careful not to burn. Add more oil as needed. Drain cooked eggplant slices on paper towels.

Low fat alternative: Place eggplant slices on baking sheets lined with foil and brushed with corn oil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes until brown, turning the eggplant halfway.

Mix together the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper. Divide the meat into sausage shaped portions 1" thick and 2" long. Place a portion of the meat stuffing at one end of an eggplant slice and begin wrapping the eggplant around it.

Place the rolls in a baking dish and layer the tomato slices on top (optional).

In a saucepan heat 2 tbsp oil and saute the diced onions. When soft add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add tomato sauce, beef or chicken stock and lemon juice to taste. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the rolls in the baking dish, cover with aluminum paper and bake for 1 hour (or until done) at 450 degrees.


A Recipe from Lana (Djedda) Bakhash
(Sweet and Delicious Desert)

As a little girl, Lana loved this desert that her mom made. When her mom considered it safe for her to attempt it, she passed on the recipe with supervision. Ever since then, her kids and friends have enjoyed it whenever she makes it. Here, the secret recipe is unleashed!

This happens to be one of the children's favorites.

1 package Katayef (shredded Filo Dough)
3 sticks sweet butter or margarine (melted)
1 pound fresh Ricotta Cheese
Sweet syrup (see recipe following)

In a large bowl, fluff the Katayef until it is all pulled apart. Pour the melted butter over the Katayef and keep on fluffing so it is all mixed together. Grease an oven-proof dish and layer 1/2 of the Katayef dough on the bottom. Spread all of the Ricotta Cheese over the dough, and layer with the remaining dough. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on top. Pour syrup on top and serve. "AWAFI".

Recipe for Sweet Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Rosewater

Mix sugar, water, lemon juice in a saucepan and let boil for about 8 minutes. Add Rosewater and continue to boil for another minute. Remove from heat, let cool a bit, and pour over Katayef. Quantity is as desired for sweetness.

This is a great Purim recipe from Clarisse Bakhash who makes the best Melfoof according to her daughter Edna Mashaal.   Clarisse learned this recipe from her mother, Sarah Nimrodi, in Baghdad. It's very easy to prepare and delicious too! Enjoy!!!


3 cups almond
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cardamon
2 tbsp rose water or orange blossom water
1 package fillo pastry

Grind the almonds and mix together with all the ingredients. The mixture should be moist.
Cut the fillo in 3 parts and cover with a damp towel. Take one piece of fillo and fold it about 2 inches from the bottom up. Insert a pencil in the fold. Put one tablespoon of the mixture and roll. Push the 2 sides to the middle and slide the pencil out. Bake in a preheated over at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until light golden in color.


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