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Maraq Shajar (zucchini with Tomatoes Sauce)

This is a traditional Iraqi dish, my mom loved this dish so much, it was one of her favorite dishes. She did not cook the dish very often, because my father dislike it. She usually cooks this dish when my father is traveling or she is mad at him. My mom past away several years ago from cancer in May the day before Mother’s Day. My mom was a simple, sweet, wise, kind, loving and very generous lady, her home was always open to everyone and she cooked for all, family, friends, relative and even stranger. You never enter my mom home and leave hungry even when she did not have anything to offer. My mom was a house wife and I loved her for it, she was always there for me and my siblings. I always remember when I come back from school, the house is so clean and the smell of her food miles away. I do not think I have ever thanked her enough for what she has done for me. She was always there for me; she was the only one in my life never judged what I did or done. She has always said to me that I am your mirror, the mirror can lie to you, but I would never lie to you (I will advise you and tell you the truth). Please if you have a mother keep in touch and always say “I love you” you do not know when it will be the last time you say it. I have dedicated this website to my mom to keep her memories alive with me always. “I love You Mom”

“O Allah, forgive and have mercy on my mom, excuse and pardon all her sins. O Allah Expand her entry to her grave and heaven, and cleanse her with water, snow, and ice, and purify her from all her sins as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange her home for a better home, and her family for a better family, and her spouse for a better spouse. Admit her into the Garden of heaven, and protect her from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire.”


  • 4 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion chopped

  • ½ Ibs of ground beef or any meat you like

  • 1 cup split chickpeas, soak in hot water for 25 minutes.

  • 4 zucchinis peeled and cut in around shape.

  • 1 cup tomatoes paste

  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes

  • 6 cups of water

  • Salt as preferred

  • ½ tablespoon cumin

  • ½ nutmeg

  • ½ black pepper


Tomatoes mix: in a bowl add the tomatoes paste, crushed tomatoes, 4 cups of water, salt, cumin, nutmeg and black pepper and mix very well.

In deep pot add the meat let cook then add the onion and the olive oil, cook until both ingredient full cooked and incorporated, then add the split chickpeas and 2 cups of water. Put on high heat add water if need until the chickpeas is well cooked.

Add the zucchinis and let it cook for about 5 to 9 minutes until the zucchinis is tender, then Add the tomatoes mix. Let it cook for 5 minutes on high heat until the sauce thickens. Low the heat and let it simmers for 15 to 25 minutes.

You can easily turn this dish into vegetarian dish, by removing the meat, it will taste just as good

You can serve the Maraq Shajar with basmati rice and Iraqi Kubah

or also you can server it with rotisserie chicken and broccoli with rice.


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