Kalam fascinates the residents of Karbala and Iraqi cities.. Here is how to prepare it and its health benefits

Kale contains many useful nutrients and a lot of minerals. Rather, it tastes good when cooked in the form of broth with rice, potatoes, etc., and turns into an important food item.

Karbala- Kalam did not exist in Iraq until the 19th century, when it was planted in the orchards of Karbala, south of Baghdad, to turn into a popular food rich in health benefits and treatment of many diseases. It has many names in other countries such as cabbage and German turnip.

It is a leafy plant (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and turnip) and the lower part of it grows inside the soil and large leaves appear from it.

The word is desirable and sold at a high price for its great benefits (Al-Jazeera)

Type and preparation

Kalam is a leafy plant wrapped in layers. It has several shapes, but they all belong to the circular or cylindrical shape, and some of them are strong and cut with a knife.

Researcher Hussein Ahmed Al-Emara says that it is “a food that was known and famous in the city of Karbala, and the people love it remarkably, and it is sold at a high price because of its characteristics and great benefits for the body.”

Emirate: Cabbage cultivation began at the beginning of the 19th century in the orchards of Karbala (Al-Jazeera)

The emirate believes that the beginning of its cultivation was “at the beginning of the 19th century in the orchards of Karbala, according to what was narrated by the old people in the city. Soft and cool taste.

And about the method of preparing it, he says, “there are two ways: the first is by boiling hot water for 10 minutes until it is cooked, then it is filtered from the water, then salt is added to it and ground al-Noumi Basra (black or dried lemon) and mixed with the cooked meat.” As for the second method, it is done through “frying with fat or oil, and after its maturity and redness, it is mixed with the meat after adding salt and the floured sourdough basra.”

As for the method of adding it, he says, “It is placed between two layers of rice, then the leftover rice is placed on top of it, and it is left on a low heat for half an hour and mixed well before eating.” He adds another way, where it is served “in the form of broth after cutting it into cubes and adding water to it with a little paste. Tomatoes and a pinch of salt, in addition to the ground noumi basra, and served with rice.

Historian Mortada Al-OssiHistorian Mortada Al-Awsi (Al-Jazeera)

The origin of the plant

The researcher and historian Mortada Al-Awsi believes that the name of this plant was described for the first time in the 16th century on the grounds that it is of European origin, and its name in Italian is cavolo rapa, which means (cauliflower, shalgam or kohlrabi) or German turnip (Kohlrabi). German turnip).

The word is in the forefront of the shopsThere are two types of kalim, local and Syrian (Al-Jazirah).

He explains why it is not spread globally as a type of cooking because it is “familiar in some countries as a vegetable grown in the home garden, and in Europe it is grown to benefit from its fleshy leg that is used as broth, while its juicy leaves are eaten like lettuce and the rest of the leafy vegetables.”

Al-Awsi believes that the word moved from “Europe to Iran, then moved to Karbala with the Iranian visitors, then the farmers brought its seeds and planted them in the orchards of Karbala.”

He points out that there are two types of kalam, the first is “local, known as the word of a state, which is a city, and it is characterized by its wrinkled leg, the hardness of its peel, its strong smell and good taste when cooked with rice.” As for the second one, “the Syrian one is characterized by the smoothness of its stem, the roundness and the paperyness of its peel, but it is less than the first in smell and taste.”

And whether he serves a meal in restaurants, the historian says, “He cooks in homes only, and you don’t find him in public restaurants because the owner of the restaurant knows that no one will ask for it from the diners because they don’t know it.” And further clarification, “The word was not mentioned in the historical Arab cookbooks, and the dictionaries available in the libraries did not refer to it, although it referred to a plant of its kind, which is the shalgam).

The seller is waiting for the plant, in which is sustenance for us, and he has a request from the chronically ill (Al-Jazeera Net)Hussein confirmed that there is a demand for speech from families and those with chronic diseases (Al-Jazeera)


Kalem is found in vegetable and fruit stores, and some of them put it at the forefront of what is presented to the shopper’s eyes. The seller, Muntazer Hussein, says, “There is a demand for it from Karbalai families, as it is requested by people with chronic diseases because of its many health benefits.”

He considers that “the kaleem plant is a source of additional profit in times of its marketing, and our livelihood is great, as the least seller sells more than 10 boxes per day, and this is in the interest of dozens, if not hundreds, of sellers in the markets distributed in all the districts of the governorate.”

He pointed out that his father tells them about how the crop reached them, as “in the past he used to reach from the farmer directly to the seller or the seller goes to the farmer in his field, but now that his fame has increased, wholesale places are competing in his offer and bidding is done on him as in the case of any crop. Desirable for family shopping.

Dr..  Al-Janabi plant is rich in antioxidants that protect the body from cancerous diseases (Al-Jazeera Net)Al-Janabi: The word is rich in antioxidants and fiber that protect against cancer and heart diseases (Al-Jazeera)

Benefits and harms

The word contains many useful nutrients and a lot of minerals. In fact, it tastes good when cooked with rice, potatoes, etc., and turns into an important food item.

Dr. Saba Abdul-Razzaq Al-Janabi, a nutritionist at the Karbala Health Department, says that this plant “is distinguished by its richness in antioxidants that protect the body from cancerous diseases such as colon, prostate and breast cancer, as well as its richness in fiber that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and treatment of constipation.”

Kalam is from the leafy family, such as cauliflower and halana (cabbage) / communication sitesThe word works to strengthen the immune system and the body’s resistance to infections (communication sites)

Al-Janabi goes on to say that it “strengthens the immune system and the body’s resistance to infections, as it contains many minerals and vitamins important for the body, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium,” and is not recommended for those who suffer from “high blood pressure, because it is rich in potassium.”

There are many other benefits to it, and she says that “it is useful in weight-loss diets and the treatment of diabetes patients because it is low in calories,” but she says that it has harms, including that it “causes abdominal gases for some people, and it is advised to avoid a lot of it for people with hypothyroidism and kidney failure.”

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