CWS special: Iraqi refugee chef Zina's biryani recipe
Zina Alkubaisy, a refugee from Iraq, has been in the United States only since May, but she already is getting to be known as "Chef Zina."
Zina Alkubaisy, a refugee from Iraq, has been in the United States only since May, but she already is getting to be known as "Chef Zina." She is the premiere chef in the new "Recipes with Refugees" cooking class series launched by her sponsor, the Church World Service Refugee Resettlement Program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Alkubaisy already has demonstrated how to make biryani and other traditional Iraqi dishes at "Recipes with Refugees" events in York and Harrisburg, Pa., with more such events to come. Attendees receive recipes and a shopping list for the ingredients.
Attendees also learn about Church World Service and about Iraqi culture, and hear Alkubaisys story of escape from Iraq with her husband and their two young children after her husband was kidnapped. He got away from his captors after a day, but was warned to leave Iraq with his family.
They fled the country, spending time in Jordan and in an African refugee camp before being accepted for U.S. resettlement by the U.S. refugee program. Zina and her husband worked for U.S. contractors rebuilding post-invasion Iraq.
Chef Zina’s Biryani Recipe
Serves 8 ( download recipe only)
Contents of the rice
Contents of topping of biryani
Way of cooking the rice
Way of making the topping of the biryani
* A biryani spice mix is available in Middle Eastern groceries. If you cannot find it locally, you can leave it out of the recipe, search the web for “biryani spice mix” for the ingredients to make your own, or just adjust the spices to your own taste.
Read more about "Chef Zina" and the "Recipes with Refugees" series