The Kurdish Palate - Part 2

Nan û Gijnîj

(= bread & coriander)

This is one of the regular dishes in Kurdistan. You can eat it in various ways. and for any meal of the day. People eat it for breakfast with yoghurt or as a side dish for dinner, even with a simple cup of tea.

In some way, Nan & Gijnîj is a kurdish pizza. It is a simple and effortless dish to make, but still satisfies the ones tasting it. The amazing combination of a tomato sause and the aroma of the coriander herb go well together just as a cup of hot tea with sugar on a chilly night this fall.

The ingredients:

For the dough:

  • Plain all purpose flour
  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Oil
  • Salt

For the Filling

  • Diced onions
  • Tomato paste
  • Coriander
The Kurdish Palate - Part 2

All you need is to mix the ingredients of the dough and let the yeast work till the dough doubles in size. Put the filling on the dough and bake it in the oven. Serve it with family and friends - or anyone interested in a yummy snack with a wonderful smell.

The kurdish palate - part 2
The Kurdish Palate - Part 2

Onions and nutrition

Onions come in different shapes and colours. The incredible vegetable contains high amounts of vitamins such as C and B9 (folic acid). Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and helps maintain and build connective tissue in the body, while B9 helps building new cells in your body. Onions also contain high amounts of fiber which are good for the digestive system balance. Onions are very low in sodium, and contain no cholesterol or fat. Phytonutrients or phytochemicals are compounds that have antioxidant properties and therefore serve to protect the body. Onions are known to provide for the well-being of an individual by protecting and maintaining;

  • The heart
  • Immune system
  • Digestion
  • blood-sugar levels
  • Anti-inflammatory boost
  • bone density in older women

However, as usual - everything should be eaten in moderation! There have been reported cases of  onion interfering with blood-thinning medication. For some people, the carbohydrates in onions can cause bloating or gas formation, and can worsen heartburns in people with chronic heartburns or gastric reflux disease (if consumed raw).


Coriander and nutrition


Cilantro or chinese parsley is another name for the herb. The leaves and the seeds are most used in cooking. For some, the leaves have a citrusy overtune, while for some, the plant may give an unpleasant an soapy taste. Coriander is used a lot in Asian dishes, but has also been used in mexican or russian food.


Coriander contains no cholesterol and is low in calories. Its vitamins, oils, dietary fibers and antioxidants helps lower the bad LDL choelsterol in the body. The oils are mainly in the seeds and the leaves of the plant. The stem and leaves also contain many polyphenolic flavenoids which serve as an reservoir of antioxidants for us. Coriander is filled with minerals like potassium (regulates boody fluids, heart rate and blood pressure), calcium, manganese (co-factor for an antioxidant enzyme), iron (making new blood cells) and magnesium.


Aside from minerals, coriander contains many vitamins such as B9, B2, B3, Vitamin A (vision and skin care), beta carotene, Vitamin C and vitamin K (bone mass building).


So next time, when looking at the small pieces of herbs called coriander on your food, don't think lightly of them. They may be small pieces of herb, but are heavily packed with nutrition.