Typical Dish

Al-Basrah, Basra, Iraq

Loading map...

Al-Basrah, also known as Basra, is a city located in the southern part of Iraq. It is the third-largest city in Iraq, with a population of approximately 2.5 million people. The city has a rich history, dating back to the time of the Sumerians, and has been an important center of trade and commerce throughout its history. Today, it is known for its oil production and for being a major port city, with a bustling market and lively street culture.

One of the most notable features of Al-Basrah is its cuisine. The food in Basra is heavily influenced by the city's location on the Shatt al-Arab River, which provides a wealth of fresh seafood. Additionally, the city's proximity to Iran has resulted in a fusion of Persian and Iraqi culinary traditions.

One of the most popular dishes in Al-Basrah is Masgouf, a grilled fish dish that is typically made with carp or catfish. The fish is seasoned with salt, pepper, and tamarind before being grilled over an open flame. It is usually served with a side of rice and grilled vegetables. Another popular fish dish is Quzi, which is made with spiced and roasted carp or catfish that is served with a tomato-based sauce and a side of rice.

Another staple of Basra's cuisine is its traditional bread, called Samoon. This bread is made with flour, yeast, salt, and water, and is baked in a tandoor oven. It has a crispy crust and a soft, fluffy interior, and is often served with hummus or other dips. Another popular bread is Laffa, a thin, flatbread that is similar to a tortilla. It is usually served with kebabs or other grilled meats.

One of the most unique dishes in Basra is Kichri, a rice and lentil porridge that is typically eaten for breakfast. It is made with rice, lentils, and spices, and is often served with yogurt and pickles. Another breakfast dish is Foul, a spicy stew made with fava beans, tomatoes, and onions. It is typically eaten with bread and is a popular street food in Basra.

For those with a sweet tooth, Basra has a variety of desserts to choose from. One of the most popular is Kunafa, a sweet pastry made with shredded phyllo dough, cheese, and syrup. Another popular dessert is Halwa, a sweet pudding made with semolina, sugar, and butter. It is often flavored with rosewater or cardamom and is served in small portions as a treat.

In terms of beverages, tea is the most popular drink in Basra. It is typically served hot and is often flavored with mint or cardamom. Another popular drink is Sharbat, a sweet, fruit-based drink that is often made with rose petals or other floral flavors. It is typically served cold and is a refreshing choice on a hot day.

In terms of meal times and distribution of food during the day, the people of Basra typically eat three main meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is usually a light meal, with Kichri or Foul being popular choices. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is typically eaten around noon. It is common for families and friends to gather together to share a meal, and many restaurants offer large, family-style platters that are meant to be shared. Dinner is usually a lighter meal, with Masgouf or Quzi being popular choices.