Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm)
For this rich, spicy Iraqi breakfast dish, ground lamb is sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and parsley, seasoned to the hilt with bahar asfar, yellow curry powder, and then topped with soft-baked eggs. Get the recipe for Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes (Makhlama Lahm) ». Ingalls Photography
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Makhlama Lahm (Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes)

I first fell for the intricately seasoned dishes of Iraq more than a decade ago during my deployment there. I haven’t been back since. So a few years ago in Dubai, a city I visit often, I was thrilled to find the Iraqi-run restaurant Al Bayt Al Baghdadi, which serves an excellent masgouf, grilled river fish, for lunch. On a recent trip, when I could make it to the restaurant only in the early morning, I asked Adil, the manager, for a breakfast recommendation. He just smiled, motioning for me to sit. Shortly, flatbread and a plate arrived: a sauté of rich ground lamb and eggs with onions, tomatoes, and parsley, seasoned to the hilt with bahar asfar, yellow curry powder. I devoured the robust scramble, and when only a tingle of heat remained on my tongue, I went to ask Adil what it was called, but he was gone. Back home, I combed through cookbooks and learned that makhlama lahm, meat omelette, first appeared in a tenth-century Mesopotamian cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh. It suggested crowning the mixture with a pair of soft-baked eggs, which I now do on mornings when I crave a taste of the past.

See the recipe for Makhlama Lahm (Iraqi Eggs with Lamb and Tomatoes) »

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