Can Stew Cure Hangovers? 10th Century Cookbook Suggests An Iraqi Stew Can Do The Trick!

A night on the town is always lots of fun! However, too many drinks can lead to that one problem no one wants to wake up with the next morning — a hangover. But, there may be a way to avoid that throbbing headache and nauseous feeling so you won’t have to suffer for having a little fun!

According to the Daily Mail, there’s reportedly an old Middle Eastern stew recipe that may do the trick. Historians reportedly believe the recipe derived from the oldest Arab cookbook in history, Kitab al-Tabikh, written by al-Warraq.

The 1,000-year-old recipe has been translated by Nawal Nasrallah, an Iraqi scholar, who recently released her own cookbook entitled, Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens. She recently shared a number of interesting details about the ancient recipe with ABC News.

“There were things you take before, things you take while you are drinking, and of course after when you wake up in the morning,” Nasrallah told of the ancient cookbook. “For example, cabbage before drinking will slow down intoxication. They also encouraged having mezze [appetizers] and alternating between having them and drinking. Take a sip and have, for example, roasted nuts.”

Al-Warraq, who suggests the “kishkiyya” is the “ultimate cure for hangovers,” also offered post-drinking advice for those suffering from the hangover blues. Surprisingly, he recommended drinking cold water first. However, big gulps may only make a hangover worse. Al-Warraq specified water should be consumed in “several small doses and breathe deeply between one dose and the other.” The stew should be eaten after the consumption of water in the small doses recommended.

“Having eaten it intoxicated one will be all anew and the hangover will renew itself,” a Medieval poet said of the stew.

Here’s the secret recipe!


3lbs of meat, 1/2lb of chopped onion, 4 ounces of fresh herbs, a handful of chickpeas, 1 piece of galangal, 1/2 cup of olive oil, seasonal green vegetables, khask (or plain yogurt as a substitute), the juice of unripe sour grapes, 6 grams of cumin, 6 grams cassia, 1 gram cloves, 1 gram spikenard (or other aromatic root-based oil).

Cooking Directions

Translated from Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s cookbook:

Wash 3lbs meat and put it in a pot. Add 1/2lb chopped onion, 4 ounces fresh herbs, a handful of chickpeas, 1 piece galangal, and 1/2 cup olive oil.

Pour water enough to submerge the ingredients in the pot. Let the pot cook until meat is almost done. Add any of the seasonal green vegetables and a little chard.

When everything in the pot is cooked, add 1/2 of kashk.

Pound them into fine powder and dissolve them in 2 cups juice of unripe sour grapes. Add it to the cooking pot.

When kashk is done, add 6 grams cumin and an equal amount of cassia.

Add a handful of finely chopped onion. Do not stir the pot. When the onion cooks and falls apart, add to the pot 1 gram cloves and a similar amount of spikenard.

Stop fueling the fire, let the pot simmer and rest on the remaining heat, then take it down.

Would you try Iraqi stew to cure a bad hangover?

[Image(s) via Bing]