Elusive cure for hangover comes from 1,000-year-old Iraqi stew recipe

Elusive cure for hangover comes from 1,000-year-old Iraqi stew recipe

Hair of the dog has never worked, and neither, I am told, does activated charcoal.  Is there no relief from the dreaded curse of having that one last brandy, that final martini? And though it may look like “chunks,” this stew recipe via Daily Mail allegedly works. It has certainly stood the test of time.


  • 3 lbs of meat
  • 1/2 lb of chopped onion
  • 4 ounces of fresh herbs
  • handful of chickpeas
  • 1 piece of galangal
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • seasonal green vegetables
  • khask (or plain yogurt as a substitute)
  • the juce of unripe sour grapes,
  • 6 grams of cumin,
  • 6 grams cassia
  • 1 gram cloves
  • 1 gram spikenard (or other aromatic root-based oil)

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash 3 lbs meat and put it in a pot. Add 1/2lb chopped onion, 4 ounces fresh herbs, a handful of chickpeas, 1 piece galangal, and 1/2 cup olive oil.
  2. Pour water enough to submerge the ingredients in the pot. Let the pot cook until meat is almost done. Add any of the seasonal green vegetables and a little chard.
  3. When everything in the pot is cooked, add 1/2 of kashk.
  4. Pound them into fine powder and dissolve them in 2 cups juice of unripe sour grapes. Add it to the cooking pot.
  5. When kashk is done, add 6 grams cumin and an equal amount of cassia.
  6. Add a handful of finely chopped onion. Do not stir the pot. When the onion cooks and falls apart, add to the pot 1 gram cloves and a similar amount of spikenard.
  7. Stop fueling the fire, let the pot simmer and rest on the remaining heat, then take it down.
  8. This is how to make basic kishkiyya and it can substitute for all other kinds. However, you might add variety by making it less or more sour, to suit your taste, and putting whatever other vegetables you prefer.
  9. Translated recipe for kashk:
  10. After you boil wheat and dry it, crush it coarsely and winnow it to get rid of all bran and finely ground grains (duqaq).
  11. Knead the sifted grains with enough hot water, and a small amount of yeast. Put the dough in a tub and leave it exposed to the sun.
  12. Uncover it during the day and cover it during the night. Do this for six-days or more until it becomes intensely sour.
  13. Finely chop as many kinds of herbs as you like. However, you should avoid endive and watercress because they are not good [with kishk]. Use a lot of tender-leaf leeks, cilantro, and rue.
  14. If you prefer to use finely chopped small round onions, do so by all means. You can also add eggplant, gourd, and cabbage. All these will make it quite delicious.
  15. Now add small and sour plum. Sour grape juice will be good, too. Knead together all the ingredients very well and leave the dough in a sunny place for five days.
  16. Then divide it into portions, which you shape into discs and set aside to dry out. When completely dry, thread them into necklace-like links, and hang them [for storage].
  17. If you like, you can substitute water [used in kneading the grains] with defatted sour yogurt. In this case, of all the herbs mentioned above, use only cultivated mint and parsley.

Translated from Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s cookbook

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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