Hi friends! Thank you for stopping by my corner of the internet, dedicated to authentic Middle Eastern food.
Welcome to Hungry Paprikas - Home of Middle Eastern Food!
I'm Amina (pronounced "Amna"), an Arab mom of two and ex-engineer, and I am the person behind this blog! I am Iraqi Canadian, currently living in the Greater Toronto Area. I'm so happy you stumbled on this page and that you're interested in learning more about me.
Hungry Paprikas is dedicated to sharing recipes from across the middle east, with an authentic Arab voice. I'm on a mission to serve these two groups of people:
- Those who are Arab (like me!) and enjoy cooking their authentic food at home, but struggle to get proper measurements from their mom (they never measure!) or to find the right modern techniques to apply to our ancient recipes (hello! Air fryers and instant pots to the rescue!) to make them easier for our busy lives, and;
- Those who are non Arab but love middle eastern flavours and wish to find authentic recipes that are detailed and easy to cook for anyone who isn't familiar with Arabic food.
If you are in one of those two categories - welcome welcome and my hope is that you find exactly what you are looking for here!
What to Expect From This Blog
Here you will find an array of authentic middle eastern recipes. These recipes are either directly from my own family, passed down through generations, or from my Arab community and include dishes I have experienced and loved, throughout my life in Canada.
I love showing how varied middle eastern food is across the region, but also how similar. My parents are both Iraqi, and have passed down authentic Iraqi recipes to our family. But we also grew up in Canada, and therefore mingled with a varied Arab community, experiencing all the different food the middle east has to offer.
Here you will find popular authentic recipes including:
- Maqluba, a classic Iraqi dish that is also widespread across the levant;
- Dolma, a popular dish that has hundreds of variations across the region (and I am quite partial to this version!);
- Chicken Shawarma, replicated at home to give the most authentic levantine taste and served with toum;
- Mandi and Kabsa - popular rice dishes from Yemen and the Gulf;
- Macarona Bechamel and Koshari, from Egypt; and
- Desserts like classic Mahalabia, Baklawa and Kunafa.
But other than the above popular recipes, I'm also on a mission to share lesser-known humble home cooked middle eastern food that every Arab ate growing up. These are the comforting dishes like:
- Bamya and Fasolia stews, always served with fluffy vermicelli rice;
- Molokhia with chicken and Egyptian rice;
- Humble dishes that use leftovers and pantry ingredients like hummus fatteh, eggplant fatteh, and mujadara; and
- Homey weeknight friendly dishes like hashweh rice and Arabic pasta with yogurt!
If you are not familiar with the middle east region, it includes the Arabian Peninsula (which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen), the Levant (which includes Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon), Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Iran.
All of these countries (except for Turkey and Iran) share the same Arabic culture and language. Included in the Arab community are also North African Arab-speaking countries like Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Tunis and Sudan.
My Story - How This Blog Came to Be!
I'm from a town called Mosul in Northern Iraq where I was born, but I grew up most of my life in Canada. I work full time as an Engineer, and this blogging adventure started when I was on maternity leave with my son and wanted to shed some of those stubborn pounds. I wanted to share healthier recipes to motivate myself, and that's how the journey started. Ever since then, I've loved sharing my food with all of you and also fell in love with food photography. It truly brings me joy!
I love to travel and explore food from all over the world. I spent 5 years living in London UK and travelling around Europe, and it was an amazing period in my life. I truly believe that food brings people together - it's a global language and it always brings with it happiness and peace.
WHERE TO START?
I want to hear from you!
This page isn't really about me... it's for you! I would love to hear more about who you are and how I can help you with your struggles in the kitchen and as a busy mother. I'm all ears... drop me a line below!
Also be sure to follow me on Instagram so we can stay connected!