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yolks aside and pound cilantro and put in onion juice, pepper and

coriander, and beat all this together with murri, oil and salt and

knead the yolks with this until it forms a dough. Then stuff the

whites with this and fasten it together, insert a small stick into

each egg, and sprinkle them with pepper, God willing.
as many eggs as you like

pounded cilantro

onion juice


ground coriander seed

murri or Japanese soy sauce

oil (olive? sesame?)


Boil eggs whole in hot water.

Put them in cold water until cool.

Shell, then split them in half with a thread.

Remove the yolks, and set yolks and whites aside.

Pound cilantro - i'd suggest pureeing in a blender or food processor

with onion juice and murri

Mix cilantro with pepper and coriander.

Beat all this together with oil and just a little salt.

Mash the yolks with the seasoned liquid until it forms a paste.

Stuff the whites with this.

Fasten egg halves together, insert a small stick into each egg, and

sprinkle them with pepper.


from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook - 13th century

translation by Charles Perry
Take a plump hen and take out what is inside it, clean that and leave

aside. Then take four uqiyas of peeled garlic and pound them unitl

they are like brains, and mix with what comes out of the interior of

the chicken. Fry it in enough oil to cover, until the smell of the

garlic comes out. Mix this with the chicken in a clean pot with salt,

pepper, cinnamon, lavender, ginger, cloves, saffron, peeled almonds,

both pounded and whole, and a little murri naqi. Seal the pot with

dough, place it in the oven and leave it until it is done. Then take

it out and open the pot, pour its contents in a clean dish and an

aromatic scent will come forth from it and perfume the area. This

chicken was made for the Sayyid Abu al-Hasan and much appreciated.
My Version:

Serves 8 as a main course

Several of the recipes above were for an "Iron Chef" feast. I served

first, then there were two other courses. The High Table judged. It

was deemed a tie between me and the final course, which was mostly

from Le Menagier de Paris.

This recipe was for the cook-off tie-breaker. I won.

1. If you get boneless chicken and cut it into cubes or strips, and

serve with toothpicks, it could become "finger food"

2. This must be kept refrigerated or well chilled while travelling.

Can be served warm or at room temperature
4 lb. chicken breasts and thighs

4 ounces of garlic, peeled

3 Tb. olive oil

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 Tb. cinnamon

2 tsp. lavender

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cloves

hearty pinch saffron

1/2 c. ground blanched almonds

3/4 c. peeled whole almonds

1-1/2 Tb. murri naqi
In honor of the noble gentles to whom i am serving this dish, and

especially the Princess's delicate sensibilities, i used skinless,

boneless chicken breasts and thighs and did not use any of the

chicken's innards.

1. Puree peeled garlic.

2. Fry it in oil until the smell of the garlic comes out.

3. Put chicken in pot, spoon garlic and remaining ingredients and

spoon over it.

4. Cover the pot well, place it on a medium-low fire, and cook until

done, stirring occasionally, and adjusting the heat, as necessary.

5. When done, pour contents onto serving dish.
Barida - 82-83
WAINES: This cold dish made from chicken was devised by Ibrahim ibn

al-Mahdi. The recipe is expressed in poetic form, not surprising from

a man who was not only a gourmand, but well known as a poet too. He

describes the dish as perfect summertime fare. The physician al-Razi

observes that such dishes of the bawarid type, when made with vinegar

or with the juice of sour fruits, serve to cool the temperament and

moderate it. Qutha and faqqus, mentioned in the original recipe, are

species of cucumber.

ORIGINAL: Two parts almonds and sugar and two parts vinegar and

mustard mixed together in a vessel with partially dried safflower

adding colour around the [one short word not legible in my photocopy,

may be "edges"]. Cucumber peeled, qutha and faqqas, and pomegranate,

chopped up small and sprinkled around the vessel. Add a little oil.

Take a fine young chicken, cooked in vinegar, jointed and cut up in

pieces and placed over the other ingredients in one vessel. Decorate

the dish with pomegranate (seeds) and with almonds and olives chopped

up fine.
I haven't made this yet, but just noticed the recipe, and i think it

looks great



white wine vinegar

mustard - i'm not sure if they mean powder or prepared

partially dried safflower

cucumbers, peeled and chopped up small

pomegranate seeds from a fresh pomegranate

a little oil, sesame or olive

a fine young chicken, cooked in vinegar

pomegranate (seeds)

almonds chopped up fine

olives chopped up fine

Mixed together equal parts of almonds, sugar, vinegar, and mustard in

a vessel with safflower for color.

Sprinkle cucumbers and pomegranate around the vessel.

Add a little oil.

Take a fine young chicken, cooked in vinegar, joint it and cut up in pieces.

Placed chicken over the other ingredients in one vessel.

Decorate the dish with pomegranate (seeds), almonds, and olives.
MUSTARD: I'd start experimenting by using prepared mustard,

preferably a Dijon mustard.

SAFFLOWER: Safflower is sometimes sold as "Mexican saffron". When it

is whole it doesn't look like saffron because it is flower petals.

But powdered it is sometimes falsely sold as saffron. It should be

cheap, whereas saffron is expensive. Here it is just used for color,

since safflower adds very little flavor, unlike saffron which has a

very rich flavor.

MORE MODERN: One could take the chicken meat off the bones and either

lay it on the other ingredients as directed, or toss the cut up meat

and the other ingredients to make a more modern chicken salad.
Recipe for Mirkas (Merguez Sausage)

from the 13th century Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook

It is as nutritious as meatballs (banadiq) and quick to digest, since

the pounding ripens its and makes it quick to digest, and it is good

nutrition. First get some meat from the leg or shoulder of a lamb and

pound it until it becomes like meatballs. Knead it in a bowl, mixing

in some oil and some murri naqi', pepper, coriander seed, lavender,

and cinnamon. Then add three quarters as much of fat, which should

not be pounded, as it would melt while frying, but chopped up with a

knife or beaten on a cutting board. Using the instrument made for

stuffing, stuff it in the washed gut, tied with thread to make

sausages, small or large. Then fry them with some fresh oil, and when

it is done and browned, make a sauce of vinegar and oil and use it

while hot. Some people make the sauce with the juice of cilantro and

mint and some pounded onion. Some cook it in a pot with oil and

vinegar, some make it rahibi with onion and lots of oil until it is

fried and browned. It is good whichever of these methods you use.
I made this, but didn't write down quantities, so what i have below

is a rough guess. Adjust spices to your taste. Don't use too much

lavender or it can taste unpleasant.
15 lb. meat from the leg or shoulder of a lamb

3 Tb. sesame oil

3 Tb. murri naqi' or Japanese soy sauce

1-1/2 Tb. ground pepper

3 Tb. ground coriander seed

1-1/2 Tb. ground cinnamon

1-1/2 Tb. lavender

three quarters as much of fat (i left this out)

washed casings

fresh oil for frying


vinegar and oil

OPT: juice of cilantro and mint and some pounded onion
OPT. Topping:

onion browned in oil

1. Pound lamb until it becomes like meatballs - i recommend putting

ground lamb in a food processor and processing until fairly smooth,

almost a paste.

2. Knead meat in a bowl, with some oil, murri naqi', pepper,

coriander seed, lavender, and cinnamon.

3. Add fat, which should not be pounded, as it would melt while

frying, but chopped up with a knife or beaten on a cutting board.

4. Using the instrument made for stuffing, stuff it in the washed

gut, tied with thread to make sausages, small or large.

5. Then fry them with some fresh oil, until it is done and browned

6. Make a sauce of vinegar and oil and use it while hot. Some people

make the sauce with the juice of cilantro and mint and some pounded

onion. Some cook it in a pot with oil and vinegar, some make it

rahibi with onion and lots of oil until it is fried and browned. It

is good whichever of these methods you use.
1. I can get lamb for $1.99US/lb. at my local hallal market, but if

you can't get cheap lamb, use other ground meat

2. You can substitute soy sauce for murri, according to Charles

Perry, who actually made some from scratch.

3. Buy lavender at a health food store and get assurance they are

untreated. Lavender intended for potpourri often has chemicals added

that are not safe to eat.

4. I didn't add any extra fat.

5. I couldn't find non-pork casings in a quantity i could afford, so

i didn't make sausages. I just rolled the meat into small sausage


6. I didn't fry them, since they weren't really sausages - i put them

in a single layer in a baking pan and baked them at 350 for about 15

minutes - test to see if the inside is the color you want. Bake more

if necessary.

7. These can be frozen. Thaw the day before and bake the day of the feast.

NEW NOTE: Just a couple days ago, the butcher in my Whole Foods

Market said he could sell me small quantities of lamb casings, so now

I have some for next time...

Makes 600 meatballs for 100 to 150 people

NOTE: These should be cooked ahead of time - then freeze and thaw or

reheat on site - they can be served at room temperature. Depending on

how long your trip is, they can also keep unfrozen in a cooler. Also,

if you freeze them, you can take them to the event and allow them to

thaw along the way.
This recipe is based on an analysis of several meatball recipes in

the 13th c. Anonymous Andalusian cookbook. In some the meatballs were

boiled, some fried, some simmered in a sauce. Because these meatballs

were served with Sinab, a mustard sauce, they were cooked simply,

rather than boiled in sauce.
30 lb. ground meat - we used beef

10 lb. onions

3 bunches fresh cilantro

3 Tb. salt

6 Tb. ground coriander seed

4 Tb. + 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin seed

3 Tb. powdered cinnamon

3 Tb. ground white pepper

12 eggs
To keep meatballs consistent, I suggest doing this in batches by

dividing ingredients by 3 or 4.

1. Peel onions, cut off tops and tails, then quarter.

2. Puree onion in blender or food processor with cilantro, salt and spices.

3. Beat eggs.

4. Mix eggs with onion-spice puree.

5. Mix egg-onion-spice puree with ground meat. Be sure all

ingredients are blended well together.

At this point, I suggest that you cook a couple small meatballs first

and taste them to see how seasoning is. If it needs adjustment, write

down what you add and process remaining batches with the same amount

of spices. If the sample batch tastes find

6. Form into meatballs about the size of a walnut.

7. Cook meatballs. Some recipes call for frying, others for boiling.

You could also try baking. Do whatever is most comfortable or

convenient for you. If you want, you could even try all methods


8. When meatballs are cooked, cool them until they are cool enough to handle.

9. When they are cool enough, freeze them in zip-close plastic bags.
To Serve:

Meatballs can be served at room temperature.

Thaw in refrigerator. Heat water and pour into a large container -

immerse bags of meatballs in hot (not boiling) water until they are

warm enough.

If you like, you can add any or all of the following:

1. Murri

Murri is a Medieval Middle Eastern liquid seasoning, originally made

with fermented barley and seasonings. There is a simpler, quicker

recipe which can be found at:

For 30 lb. of ground meat, I suggest using 1-1/2 cups of murri.

Note that Charles Perry who translated the 13th c. Anonymous

Andalusian Cookbook made murri from scratch from barley and said it

tasted a lot like soy sauce, so one can substitute that.
2. Crushed Garlic

For 30 lb. of ground meat, I suggest purchasing either a jar of

already crushed garlic or a bag of already peeled garlic cloves and

puree the necessary amount in a blender or food processor. It takes a

long time to separate and peel the cloves from multiple heads of

garlic. Once you have your garlic, use the equivalent of 150 cloves

(that's one per diner).
3. Saffron

Crumble and blend with the onion-and-cilantro (it needs moisture to

release its color and flavor). For 30 lb. of ground meat, I suggest a

minimum of 1 Tb.

4. White Wheat Flour

You can add this to extend meat and make the balls hold together, if

you like. Ours stayed together fine with no flour.

Serves 100 to 150, with above meatballs

NOTE: This is best made ahead of time. It doesn't need to be

refrigerated if you use it within a day or two of making. Otherwise

refrigerate - should keep for a week.
From the 13th c. Anonymous Andalusian cookbook.

Clean good mustard and wash it with water several times, then dry it

and pound it until it is as fine as kohl. Sift it with a sieve of

hair, and then pound shelled almonds and put them with the mustard

and stir them together. Then press out their oil and knead them with

bread crumbs little by little, not putting in the bread crumbs all at

once but only little by little. Then pour strong vinegar, white of

color, over this dough for the dish, having dissolved sufficient salt

in the vinegar. Then dissolve it well to the desired point, and

strain it thoroughly with a clean cloth; and there are those who

after it is strained add a little honey to lessen its heat. Either

way it is good.

Easy Version
2 quarts of prepared Dijon mustard

3 lb. almonds, very finely ground - about 3-1/2 cups

several slices of white bread, barely toasted and ground to make 3-1/2 cups

1-1/2 quarts honey

1. Pour mustard into a large bowl and stir in almonds.

2. Then stir in bread crumbs, and mix well. Make sure there are no

pockets of dry almonds or crumbs.

3. Then add honey and mix well.

This can be made to suit your taste. Add more honey, if you like it

sweeter. Add more almonds and/or bread if it's too sharp or too sweet.


To save time, I used purchased mustard. The Dijon was quite sharp, so

I added a lot of honey. You may prefer more or less. The diners

seemed to like it quite a bit. Mixing your own is better than buying

commercial honey-mustard as you can control the sweetness vs. the

spiciness. I do not care for commercial honey-mustards - they're too

sweet for me.
If you make this ahead of time and keep refrigerated before the

vigil, the flavor will mellow, so add less honey than you think it

needs. If you deem it too strong on the day of the vigil, add more

Serve at room temperature, NOT cold - the human mouth tastes things

better if they're closer to body temperature.

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 12:00:11 -0700

From: lilinah at

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] looking for middle eastern

To: sca-cooks at
Here is Part Three of Middle Eastern Buffet Recipes.

Rutab Mu'assal - Honeyed Dates - stuffed with almonds, scented with rosewater

Sliced Oranges with Rosewater and Cinnamon

Lauzinaj - Phyllo-wrapped rose-scented marzipan

carrot paste


bowls of dried fruit - especially apricots

and nuts (no pecans or peanuts or cashews)

but walnuts, almond, filberts/hazelnuts, and pine nuts are good

beverage syrups:




Coffee Ras al-hanout


Serves 100 to 150

NOTE: This does not need to be kept refrigerated or chilled
Although I find even dates NOT cooked in honey to be cloyingly sweet,

they were a big hit. People came from the dining room to pick them

off the trays after my course had been removed.
Original Recipe:

Take fresh-gathered dates, and lay in the shade and air for a day:

then remove the stones, and stuff with peeled almonds. For every ten

ratls of dates, take two ratls of honey: boil over the fire with two

uqiya of rose-water and half a dirham of saffron, then throw in the

dates, stirring for an hour. Remove, and allow to cool. When cold,

sprinkle with fine-ground sugar scented with musk,camphor and

hyacinth. Put into glass preserving-jars, sprinkling on top with some

of the scented ground-sugar. Cover, until the weather is cold and

chafing dishes are brought in.

al-Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of Dishes) by Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn

Muhammad ibn Karim al-Katib al-Baghdadi. On p. 88, "Medieval Arab

Cookery", and p. 39, "In a Caliph's Kitchen")
My Recipe:

100 pitted Deglett-Noor dates

200 blanched peeled whole almonds

1-1/2 cups honey

1 capful rose water, Cortas brand - or more to taste
1. Put 2 almonds into each date, one at a time. Some dates won't hold

2 almonds. Also, check for pits - dates are mechanically pitted and

the machine could miss something and you don't want to break any of

your diner's teeth. Since dates are dry, do this over several days.

No rush.

2. When all dates are filled, warm up honey in a saucepan on medium

heat until it flows smoothly.

3. When honey is warm, stir rosewater into it.

4. Then put dates into the pan of honey on the stove. There should be

just barely enough to cover the dates on medium-low heat. DO NOT STIR.

5. When honey just gets bubbly around the edges, remove from heat and

let cool. DO NOT STIR. I assume the dates they used were somewhat

hard. Most of our dates are pretty soft and stirring them after

they've cooked in the honey will break them up or even dissolve them.

NOTE: While there are some wonderful delicious soft dates, don't use

them. They'll practically dissolve in the warm honey. While in my

opinion Deglett-Noor are not good to eat as they are, because they

are dry, they are perfect for heating up as they retain their shape

as long as you don't stir them.
I've heard that the following is Medieval, but I haven't yet seen a

Medieval recipe for it.



This is a modern recipe, but I hear from time to time that there is

reference to a dish like it in the Andalusian or Spanish corpus, but

i don't recall seeing it there, so until I see the reference I would

qualify this as peri-oid.

NOTE: If you have the facilities, take the ingredients and tools with

you, and make this on site. It's better fresh, but should be fine if

made earlier in the day.
5 lb bag sweet oranges

1 cup sugar

2 Tb. cinnamon

2 Tb. orange flower water

2 Tb. rose water
1. Cut of the ends of each orange and peel off orange skin - leave white pith.

2. Slice oranges crosswise, across the sections. Remove seeds as necessary.

3. Put oranges into large shallow bowls.

4. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, then with flower waters.

5. Toss to distribute seasonings.

6. Keep cold until serving.

7. They can be garnished with a bit more cinnamon just before serving.

Serves 100

NOTE: Cook shortly before going. Can be kept in the refrigerator

overnight. It should travel ok without refrigeration. I would suggest

not pouring on the honey until shortly before serving.
This is a originally a Persian dish. References to it can be found in

pre-Muslim Persian literature. It was the only dish in the pre-Muslim

legendary history "King Khusraw and His Page" recommended as being

suitable for both summer and winter.

Isa ibn Hisham said, "Bring us some throat-easing Lauzinaj, for it

slips into the veins. Let it be... [fresh], the crust paper thin,

generously filled, pearled with almond oil, starry in color, melting

before it meets the teeth..."

Another writer said, "lauzinaj... in a wrapper as gossamer as

grasshopper wings."

Original Recipes:

Lauzinaj: One part almonds, pounded coarsely. Put a like quantity of

finely pounded sugar on it with a third as much rosewater, and melt

it with it. When it thickens, throw one part sugar on it and take it

from the fire. It is dry lauzinaj.
As For The Moist: It is that you take a pound of finely milled sugar,

and you take a third of a pound of finely milled blanched almonds,

and knead it with rose-water. Take thin bread such as sanbusak bread

- it is better if even thinner; the best and most suitable is kunafa

- and spread out a sheet of that bread and put the kneaded sugar and

almonds on it, then roll it up and cut it in small pieces. Arrange

them in a vessel and refine as much fresh sesame oil as needed and

put it on them. Then cover them with syrup dissolved with rose-water

and sprinkle them with sugar and finely pounded pistachios, and serve.
Another Variety: It is that you take starch [sc. flour?] and knead it

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