Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day M: Masgoof- barbequed fish

This April, I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing about the A to Z of Iraqi Culture. Do give in your own two cents in the comments below and let me know if you have anything to add or something similar to share from your own culture.


Iraqis really like their fish, and lucky for them, they have two important rivers that are happy to keep a constant supply to see their peoples' bellies filled and paint a smile on their faces.

The best fish you can feed an Iraqi is Masgoof- seasoned and grilled freshwater fish- a Mesopotamian dish that has been since forever and is important enough to be considered Iraq's national dish.

To cook Masgoof, the fish is scaled and cut in halves, leaving the back, so that the fish is opened in a large, symmetrical circle. After marinating it in olive oil, salt, tamarind and turmeric,  it is placed in an iron grill (or traditionally impaled on two wood pieces) and placed near the fire of an altar- an open-air area centered by a sandbox, in the middle of which is a bonfire.

It takes two or three hours to get the Masgoof cooked and crispy, and when that's done, it's typically laid on a layer of limes and pickles and slices of onion. Yum!



  1. Sounds yummy...

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Sunds delicious but looks intimidating! Just stopping by for the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse

  3. Hi Ghadeer ... at last I can comment - I don't understand the mechanics of your blog! I managed to comment on your chickpea post, and then thought I'd comment on looking at the others .. but couldn't get the comment box to show.

    Perhaps you could email me how ... email's on my blog ...

    I loved the look of this fish, and the ways it can be cooked depending on the methods available .. and I'm so pleased you can still get fish from your rivers .. Iraq must be a beautiful place ..

    Cheers Hilary


Contact Form


Email *

Message *