Adib was visiting London in the early 1990s as war broke out in her motherland, Iraq, rendering her country uninhabitable. Infrastructure, hospitals, schools, and factories were all decimated. Unable to return, Adib and her family settled in the United Kingdom in search of a life of stability.
The idea of the book first took shape in the mid-’60s, when Adib served as the director of the department of home-arts at Baghdad University, College of Fine Arts. She hosted a programme called the ‘Women’s Corner’ on state-run Radio Baghdad, in which she unveiled old, new, and popular recipes; each distinctively Iraqi.
The plug was eventually pulled and the programme was discontinued. Despite that, Adib was adamant not to let the recipes she had collected go to waste. She and her friend, Firdous al-Mukhtar, a teacher at the same college, pieced together the time-tested recipes to form a cookbook.