One popular dish from Iraq is “Tepsi Baytinijan,” which is a layered eggplant casserole typically made with ground meat, tomatoes, and spices. Here’s a recipe for Tepsi Baytinijan:


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into approximately 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the eggplant slices in batches until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove the eggplant slices and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  5. Add the ground beef or lamb to the skillet and cook until browned and cooked through. Use a spatula to break up any clumps of meat.
  6. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until the flavors meld together. Remove from heat.
  7. In a baking dish, arrange a layer of the fried eggplant slices on the bottom. Spread half of the meat mixture evenly over the eggplant layer.
  8. Repeat with another layer of eggplant slices and the remaining meat mixture. Finish with a final layer of eggplant slices on top.
  9. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
  12. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Tepsi Baytinijan is a flavorful and hearty dish that represents the delicious cuisine of Iraq. Enjoy this delicious eggplant casserole!



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