Traditional Iraqi Breakfast: Kahi and Geymar



  • Prep: 233 mins
  • Cook: 180 mins
  • Total: 413 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Cooking Method: Boiling
  • Recipe Cuisine: Arabic


  • 1liter Kalleh ESL Full-Fat Milk
  • 1liter Kalleh Tarkar Frozen Whipping Cream
  • puff pastry squares 1 per person
  • 50grams Kalleh Deutsche Marken Butter
  • honey to taste
  • date molasses(optional)
  • jam(optional)

Geymar (or Kaymak in Turkish) is a thickened cream similar to clotted cream from Iraq. In general, it is made from buffalo, cow, sheep, or goat milk. This healthy breakfast is very popular in Central Asia, some Balkan countries, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Greece, known by different names. It is used to make Kahi in Iraq.Kahi is the national breakfast of Iraq. It consists of layers of buttery pastry, mostly served with geymar and honey or syrup. You can use several stacks of filo pastry or French puff pastry dough cut in squares to make Kahi. You can use Kalleh Kaymak or any type of clotted cream available in the supermarkets. Here, we are going to make it from scratch to prepare a wonderful homemade creamy geymar to serve with Kahi.


Step 1

The pot should be large enough to hold milk and cream. Add the ESL Full-Fat Milk and the Tarkar Frozen Whipping Cream without stirring and put on medium heat. Do this while the pot is already on the stove to avoid the risk of transferring it and spilling. Keep it on medium heat until bubbles form. A liter of milk may take about 10 minutes to bubble. Once you see the bubbles, turn down the heat. Allow it to sit on low heat for 2 whole hours. Do not stir!

Step 2

Turn off the heat after two hours and remove the pot gently from the oven. Allow it to come to room temperature by itself, without shaking or stirring. Then, chill in the fridge for about 12 hours. It should stay in the fridge at least overnight.

Step 3

The geymar is the thick layer of cream now developed on top of the milk. When morning comes, skim off the thick creamy layer at the top and place it onto a plate. Or cut a long “strip” of thickened cream and roll. Do this again until you run out of cream. You can use the remaining milk for baking a cake or making yogurt.

Step 4

To prepare the Kahi, first cut the puff pastry into squares. Brush a baking sheet lightly with Kalleh Deutsche Marken Butter. Brush the puff pastry with butter generously. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Step 5

Leave it to cool slightly. Then you can serve it with a full spoon of geymar and a generous drizzle of honey, date molasses, and/or jam, whatever you prefer. You may also serve it with Arabic bread.

Cooking Notes

You should not cover the pot when making geymar, and remove it from the heat if you see it bubbling.

The quality of milk is a very important factor for making the best geymar. So use high-quality milk for this recipe. Water buffalo milk is the best choice, but pasteurized milk would also work.

You can also use a regular pot to make geymar. It will work but you may not end up with an easy-to-roll cream layer.


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