What are some ancient Mesopotamian recipes? Please provide the exact ingredients and the exact measurements of those ingredients.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Ancient Mesopotamians were the first to write down their cooking recipes! I have a few for you.

The first two are courtesy of the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago.

This one is colorful, but you probably won't want to make it:

Baby Goat Stew

Head, legs, and tail should...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The Ancient Mesopotamians were the first to write down their cooking recipes! I have a few for you.

The first two are courtesy of the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago.

This one is colorful, but you probably won't want to make it:

Baby Goat Stew

Head, legs, and tail should be singed before putting [them in] the pot to boil.


Bring water to a boil. Add fat, onions, samidu (a type of onion), leeks, garlic, some blood [from the goat], some fresh cheese.

Beat the whole together.

Here's one you could actually make. The recipe is for a basic bread -- it's alot like pita bread -- but you can add to it as they often did in Mesopotamia. You could add pieces of dried fruit, such as raisins, dates, or prunes, or chopped nuts. You could also add various spices. The Mesopotamians did not have sugar, so if you want it sweeter, add some honey.

14 oz. flour
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Mix the water, flour, and salt together slowly.

Knead the dough and form it into flat round patties.


Cover the dough with a cloth and let it sit overnight.

The next day, bake it in an oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.

For an authentic Mesopotamian experience,
eat the bread with a raw onion!

Thanks to Elizabeth Bissette for these next three, which are taken from ancient cuneiform tables that are currently at Yale University.

1 cup raisins

1 cup dates

Combine butter and honey and mix with the fruit and a little flour into balls. Fry lightly.

Here's one for some cakes:

3 c flour
1/4 c clarified butter
1 c dates
1/3 c feta cheese
1/3 c rasins

Bake [The recipe didn't say how hot or for how long. You might try 350 degrees for about 20-30 min]

Here's a main course. It calls for adding beer, but ALL the alcohol would be gone from the cooking, so it's ok for any age.

Assyrian Beef

Chop 1 c each onions, shallots, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions. Fry in oil until soft.

Add and brown all sides of an eye round pot roast in mixture, add salt to taste.

Turn down heat, and simmer until done in a small amount of water to which a quarter to a half bottle of Honey Brown beer has been added, turning once or twice during cooking.

Remove meat. Boil down onion-beer mixtures until reduced to a thick vegetable-rich gravy.

Carve and serve.

Go to the link for more recipes.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What an interesting question. I did some searching and found a whole Mesopotamian menu. The web site archaeology.org has a feature on cooking ancient recipes, including not only Mesopotamian, but also Mayan and Mongolian recipes. The Mesopotamian dishes are quail on barley flatbread, turnips stewed in blood, and barley porridge. You can read the recipes at the site linked in the Sources section below.

The web site bellaonline.com has recipes for Mesopotamian cakes, breads, and other dishes.

For general information about what people ate in ancient Mesopotamia, visit the web site foodtimeline.org.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team