Making 'Al-Madkooka' in Anbar

Winter season boosts demand for local sesame and dates in Haditha

ANBAR, January 15 — Demand for sesame and dates is increasing in Haditha with the cold weather reaching its winter peak. The two items are the main components of a popular dish known as ‘Al-Madkooka.’

Shopowner Salim Jihad told 964media that demand for local sesame and Zahdi dates usually jumps in winter. Both are sourced from the village of Al-Buhyat near Hit.

“The price of a kilogram of roasted sesame is 6,000 dinars,” Jihad said, adding that locals prefer it for its distinct taste.

Unroasted sesame, known as ‘majloof,’ is cheaper at 5,000 dinars per kilogram and some customers prefer to do the roasting themselves, Jihad said, adding that Zahdi dates cost 1,500 dinars per kilogram and are the preferred variety for making Al-Madkooka.

Customer Ahmed Al-Hadithi explained,”Winter evenings become more delightful with friends and relatives gathering to make Al-Madkooka.”

“I bought ready-made sesame for quicker preparation, and the Zahdi dates were from our own orchards in Haditha,” he added.