International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Tashreeb Dajaj

Tashreeb Dajaj Recipe (Iraqi chicken stew over bread)

(Iraqi chicken stew over bread)

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Try this nourishing dish for a tasty change from your everyday chicken (dajaj) and vegetables. Tashreebs started as a food of the poor in Iraq. A simple stew is made using whatever is on hand and the flavorful combination is then ladled over leftover bread to make a cheap, filling and wholesome meal. Also spelled taghreeb.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Onions, chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 or 4 cloves
  • Coriander -- 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin -- 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
  • Stock or water -- 2 cups
  • Large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks -- 2
  • Cooked chickpeas -- 1 cup
  • Dried limes (optional) -- 2
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Pita or naan bread -- 4 to 6 pieces

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot and saute until the onion is softened and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Then add back the chicken pieces and stir in the remaining ingredients except for the bread and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Tear the pita or naan bread into large pieces and line the bottom of serving bowls with the bread. Ladle portions of the hot tashreeb into the bowls over the bread and serve immediately.

Tashreeb Variations

  • Tashreeb Laham (Lamb or beef tashreeb): Substitute cubed lamb or beef for the chicken. Simmer the browned meat in the stock or water for at least 45 minutes before adding the vegetables to allow the meat to cook and become tender.
  • Other spices and herbs can be added to the tashreeb to give it a special flavor. Try sumac, zaatar or baharat seasoning. Or stir in a teaspoon or two of curry powder. If you can't find dried limes, a squeeze of lime will do.
  • Tashreeb is a great way to use up any vegetables you may have in your kitchen. Try adding chopped carrots, zucchini, cabbage, green beans, pumpkin or eggplant.
  • Tashreeb is equally good spooned over basmati rice instead of bread.