Nothing beats a homemade, lovingly labored-over bowl of Iraqi stew with crunchy-fluffy rice.All the roasts, pastas, and steaks of the world are pretty fantastic, but at some point we always find ourselves reverting to that homey, nostalgic stew and rice combo.
Iraqi stews are very nutritious in nature, consisting of a protein (meat or chicken or fish) boiled with a vegetable in its own broth and served with rice.
This courgette or zucchini stew (مرقة شجر او كوسة) follows after other brethren stews: bamia, habeet, spinach, and white bean. Similarly to the spinach stew, you can opt to add or leave out the tomato paste, and in this case I like my courgette stew without.
2 tsp ghee
750g meat on bone
1 bay leaf
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry
1 can chickpeas
1 kg courgettes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Sear the meat on both sides with the hot ghee in a large pot.
Add bayleaf, curry and turmeric, and boiled water enough to cover by an inch or so.
Add the drained and rinsed can of chickpeas.
Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, let boil gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add the pepper, salt, and sliced courgettes (about half a centimeter or quarter inch thick).
At this stage you must refrain from using any tool to stir the stew, as the courgettes will become sensitive and might mush.
Resort to gently swirl the pot to distribute the ingredients.
Cover and let boil gently another 30 minutes.
Broth should now be somewhat like soup consistency, and the meat easily falling off the bones.
If serving the next day, store in the refrigerator and reheat only by swirling the pot.
Serve with rice, preferably the crispy-crust rice à la Iraqi way.