Iraqi Masgouf: the river fish grilled on wood

Masgouf is a traditional dish consisting of grilled fish, holding a special place in the Middle East, is considered to be Iraq’s national dish. Originating from the Mesopotamian region, masgouf showcases the artistry of grilling a whole fish to perfection. The star of the show is usually a large freshwater fish, commonly Barb or Carp, chosen for its tender flesh and flavour.

Preparation involves marinating the fish with a blend of aromatic spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, and paprika, along with a squeeze of zesty lemon juice. The fish is then meticulously grilled over an open flame, infusing it with a tantalizing smoky aroma.

What sets Masgouf apart is its unique presentation. The grilled fish is sliced from the side and placed upright on a bed of fragrant rice, garnished with fresh herbs, and served alongside an array of condiments. The combination of flavours, textures, and aromas creates a truly unique dining experience.

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