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FROM IRAQ WITH LOVE: How food has helped Wagga family in integration journey

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

FROM IRAQ WITH LOVE: How food has helped Wagga family in integration journey

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Sara Morley from TAFE NSW (second from left) with Wagga's Gundor family, who have used food as a means of cultural connection during their time in Wagga.

Everyone has a story, even that leg of lamb you had for dinner last night.

And what better place to tell those stories than Riverina Producers’ Market, a mouthwatering showcase of the region’s patchwork of produce.

From African-inspired donuts to homegrown relishes, the weekly market at Wagga Showgrounds has become a magnet for the city’s foodies.

Among the throng of foodies at last week’s market were TAFE NSW cookery guru Sara Morley and ABC Riverina Breakfast presenter Sally Bryant for their popular TAFE Buds segment.

“We’re hearing more and more that people want to know the story of what they’re buying,” Ms Bryant said.

“That story, whether it be about local organic lamb or the love that goes into making Yazidi flatbreads, can really impact on the way food tastes.”

The pair dropped by the Wagga Yazidi Shop to chat to the Gundor family about their own story, in equal parts inspiring and heart-wrenching, as refugees settling in Wagga.

And it emerged the universal human love of food had helped more closely bond the family with the Wagga community.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the influence culture has on our food here,” Ms Morley said.

“Just think about some of the cultures that have come to our region in recent years and the diversity they have brought, especially with food.”

Ms Morley recounted a recent dinner with a Yazidi friend and marvelled at the heart, history and flavour that went into preparing their meals (see recipe below).

While chatting with the Gundor family at the markets, Haji Gundor, a former TAFE NSW student who has just completed his HSC, spoke of the value of education.

“Education is so important because it gives people an opportunity to depend on themselves,” Mr Gundor said.

“Please continue to give every student an opportunity to continue their education.”

If you’d like to further your education and skills at TAFE NSW, enrolments are now open for semester one, 2021.

For more information, visit or call 13 16 01.


Breshyan’s Biryani


  • 1 cup of whole almonds
  • 2-3 medium sized potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 Chicken breast
  • ½ Packet (75 grams) of fried vermicelli noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 Cup of Basmati Rice
  • 2 additional tablespoons oil
  • ½ Cup frozen Peas
  • ½ Cup Sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons Biryani Mix (available from major supermarkets or Asian speciality stores)



Soak 1 cup almonds in boiling water (5-10 minutes or until skins slip off easily).

Dice 2-3 potatoes, 3 carrots and a chicken breast into small cubes but keep separate.

In a frypan, fry ½ packet of fried vermicelli noodles in oil lightly. Set aside.

Fry potatoes in oil until soft. Set aside.

Fry chicken lightly till golden.

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil, add 1 cup Basmati rice and stir to coat.

Add chicken, peas, sultanas, carrots, almonds and noodles to pot and cover with 2 cups water.

Season with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon of Turmeric and 2 tablespoons of Biryani mix.

Cook on a very low heat for 20-30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice soft.