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Lamb stew with dates


Serves two


To serve


Maraq tamer, an Iraqi dish. Long ago orange carrots and tomato purée were still not to be found in Iraq. But dates were there in abundance. According to the Hadith (tradition) the Prophet Muhammad would have said dat the date tree originated in Paradise. A revealed truth! The fact is that recent investigations have demonstrated that ‘the tree of knowledge’ on the earliest depictions of Paradise in the Middle East was a date palm.

In Iraq – ancient Babylonia – date palms were pollinated by hand as early as 3000 BCE, as it is still done today in modern commercial plantations in the Middle East and North Africa. Sad to hear that the current production in Iraq has collapsed due to all the disasters that happen there. In his time Saddam Hussein could become jovial and peaceful when somebody stated that Iraqi dates were the best in the world.

The best are still grown around date town Basra. The beautifully shaped leaves qualify the surroundings to such an extent that a Basrani poet compared the long eyelashes of his sweetheart to them.

Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.