Believed to have Sumerian origins

Unique Iraqi sweets made from marsh reeds

NASIRIYAH, December 29 — Abbas Fakher is a traditional “khurrait” sweets seller on Haboubi Street in central Nasiriyah. Demand for the sweets, made from marsh reeds, goes up with the arrival of fall and winter months.

The marsh reeds are dried for up to 15 days, after which the inner layer is ground and sifted to remove impurities. The resulting flour is then cooked on low heat, resulting in the final product – the form of a yellow disc.

Abbas Fakher, Khurrait Seller:

I have been selling khurrait on Haboubi Street since 2004. It’s a yellow disc-shaped sweet, and one of the most famous and rarest sweets of the south, with many benefits, especially for the digestive system.

This sweet is very expensive, with one kilogram costing approximately 90,000 dinars, hence it’s sold by the gram.

This sweet is extracted from the reeds of the Azair, Hammar, and Tahr marshes, believed to have Sumerian origins.

The reed season runs from April 1 to 20, and the demand for khurrait picks up from the beginning of October until April.

The yellow, flour-like substance is extracted from the papyrus reeds, spread out for 10 days, then ground, sifted, and slowly cooked until it acquires its final form as a yellow, sweet-tasting disc.