All the Recipes That Immigrants From Trump's Banned Countries Cooked Up to Celebrate the Holidays

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America, as they say, is a melting pot. And nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchens of immigrants who have come to the United States and brought with them ancestral dishes to add to our national palate. But for families affected by the Trump administration’s travel ban, cooking traditional recipes—especially around the holidays—has taken on an air of added significance.

Splinter spent time with people whose families each come from each of the seven predominantly Muslim countries on the White House’s travel ban list to learn about their lives and to share in their delicious cultures. Here are seven “banned” recipes the Trump administration doesn’t want included on the national menu this holiday season. Dig in!


Hilib ari, a savory goat dish featuring herbs and spices, is a hearty stew that’s perfect for families sitting down to eat together during the holidays.


Let Areej Ali teach you how to make basta, a sweet, flaky Sudanese twist on baklava.


Kleicha, a pastry featuring dates and cardamon, is an Iraqi mainstay during holidays, and large family meals.


The Iranian fried chicken dish morghe torsh is a perfect holiday combo breaker for anyone bored with turkey, year after year.


For college student Hajar Larbah, Libyan couscous was always around at every holiday and family celebration. Featuring pumpkin, chickpeas, potatoes and carrots, this recipe makes a perfect savory meal around the holidays.


Mahshi, a beef-stuffed vegetable dish, is one of the ways this Syrian American family puts their own mark on traditional American holidays like Thanksgiving.


Saltah, a spiced Yemni dish, is designed to bring people together around a communal meal—perfect for families coming together over the holidays.