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    15 Assyrian Foods That Are Delicious

    Get ready for some food you've probably never heard of (ok, some you will have heard of).

    1. Chipteh - Lamb meatballs in a bulgur stew

    Assyrian Cookbook / Via

    This is a famous Assyrian dish (well it's famous if you're Assyrian and no, it's not a scotch egg). Chipteh meatballs are made of minced lamb with a boiled egg inside and cooked in a bulgur wheat stew. Checkout the recipe here.

    2. Shurvah - A tomato based lamb and potato stew

    Assyrian Cookbook

    This lamb, tomato and potato stew is seasoned with sweet paprika. A couple of sweet peppers (or mild to hot peppers) are also added. It is eaten with freshly made bread (lakhma).

    3. Koorosht'd Lobya - Lamb and green bean stew

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    Okra or even celery can replace the green beans in this stew. It is served over fluffy basmati rice. A green been stew recipe can be found here.

    4. Shish Kebabs

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    Not much more to say really.

    5. Dolma - Stuffed vine leaves and vegetables

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    When Assyrians think of dolma, they don’t think about appetizers. Dolma is eaten as a main meal. It's not just about the vine leaves; cabbage leaves, onions, capsicums, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and even granny smith apples are stuffed with the rice filling. Dolma is eaten with a garlic yoghurt sauce and sometimes a red onion sauce. The Assyrian version of dolma not only contains rice, but includes lamb and loads of diced fresh herbs. Vegetarian versions (which is also vegan) is eaten during lent, or any other time for that matter.

    6. Khoorosht’d Kofteh Reece - Meatball stew

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    Assyrians love their stews (Shurvah/Khoroosht). This meatball stew is eaten over light and fluffy basmati rice.

    7. Riza Smooka - Red rice and lamb

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    Basmati rice is cooked in a tomato and paprika sauce along with chunks of lamb. It's delicious served with pickled green peppers.

    8. Harrissa - Barley and chicken porridge

    This is not to be confused with the red spicy pepper paste used in middle eastern food. Assyrian harrissa is a barley porridge cooked with chicken to produce a delicious hearty meal. It is eaten with a dollop of butter melted over the top and served few shakes of cinnamon powder.

    9. Booshala - Yoghurt and green vegetable soup

    Assyrians love their yoghurt. This soup can be served hot or chilled. A few shakes of sweet paprika over the top completes the dish. A recipe can be found here.

    10. Jee-jarr-eh - Pan fried chicken livers

    Chicken livers are sautéed with onions, tomato paste and paprika. These can be eaten for breakfast or lunch and typically served with bread.

    11. Beyeh Bodemjon - Eggs and tomato fry-up

    This makes a great breakfast. Tomatoes (and optionally some chopped capsicum or mild chilli) are fried in a pan with a large dollop of butter until the tomatoes have softened. A few eggs are cracked over the top. Cook until the egg whites have set but the yolk is still runny. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat with fresh bread.

    12. Spirra/Juzllama - Omelette

    This is an egg omelette and a quick breakfast treat. In a bowl add 4 eggs, a tablespoon of flour, some salt and pepper, and beat together with a fork. Heat up about 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and pour the egg mixture into the pan. Wait till it bubbles, puffs up, and turns golden underneath. Turn over to cook the other side. Drizzle with honey and eat with fresh bread. If you don’t want it sweet, instead of honey make a dressing out of yoghurt, some crushed garlic and salt and drizzle over the omelette (this is the Juzllama version).

    13. Chada - A salty roux filled bread

    Chada is another iconic Assyrian food. A slice of chada is usually served with a hot sweet tea (chai) . It can be eaten for breakfast and when people pop over for a tea and chat. A recipe can be found here.

    14. Halva

    This halva is made out of flour (rather than sesame) and sweetened with honey. It is commonly served after a funeral with Turkish coffee and tea. However, it can be eaten at any time.

    15. Easter Eggs


    The easter tradition is to hardboil eggs in water that has brown onion skins added. This naturally produces a dark brown colouring. String can be tied around the eggs before adding to the water to create patterns. See recipe here.

    16. After all that food, some bas-relief

    and some trivia: The Assyrian New Year begins on April 1st. (Kha b' Nisan).

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