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hard, and as much as it stiffens, thin it carefully so that it

becomes like fresh milk. Take the carved mirror and heat it and pour

in it with the "emptier" and take it up. Then roll up pistachios,

sugar, musk, and rosewater in it. Pack them snugly, cut them, and put

hot sesame oil and syrup on them, and sprinkle them with sugar. This

can be eaten right away.
The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods - which has over 1/2

dozen Lauzinaj recipes - pp. 456-457;also in al-Baghdadi's The Book

of Dishes, on p. 84, both in Medieval Arab Cookery
My Recipe:

1) This is a modern adaption - there was definitely some sort of thin

dough for the wrapper, but I don't know if it was as fine as modern

phyllo. And the filling may not have been as finely ground as modern

marzipan, but it was easier to make this way.
2) I special ordered the marzipan from a market in Berkeley. I might

also have been able to get it from a bakery. There are sometimes

small packets or cans in the supermarket, if you need to fall back on

3) Also, I would consider grinding some almonds and stirring them

into the marzipan for more color and texture, as I found the marzipan

too sweet (but then, I don't like sweet things very much).

1 package phyllo / filo dough sheets

5 pounds marzipan (almonds, sugar, bitter almonds)

several capsful rose water, Cortas brand

1 cup light sesame oil or clarified unsalted butter

1 cup honey

6 ounces shelled natural (i.e., uncolored) pistachio nuts

NOTE: The directions look complicated, but this was actually a rather

simple and easy procedure.

Thaw and prepare phyllo according to package directions - thaw for

several hours then place on a clean plate, cover with waxed paper and

then with a clean damp towel. Do not let the towel touch the phyllo.

2. Put marzipan in a large bowl and with the hands work rose water into it.

Prepare a clean dry surface large enough to hold 10 marzipan snakes

about 1/2 inch in diameter as as long as the largest dimension of

your phyllo sheets. Cover with waxed paper.

4. Then with the hands, roll the marzipan into "snakes" no more than

1/2" in diameter and as long as the longest dimension of your phyllo

sheets, then place them on the waxed papered surface. Make ten


5. Prepare a clean dry baking sheet about the size of a phyllo sheet

- cover with baker's "parchment" - this is a type of paper available

in baking and gourmet shops. It will keep the pastry from sticking to

the pan.

6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

7. Cover another clean dry surface the size of a phyllo sheet with

waxed paper. Fold back the damp towel and the waxed paper, very

carefully and gently remove one phyllo sheet, and place on prepared

waxed paper surface. Recover remaining phyllo sheets.

8. With a pastry brush, gently brush phyllo sheet with sesame oil,

being sure to get the edges very well.

9. Again, gently take a phyllo sheet from the pile, lay it on top of

the first prepared sheet, and brush well with sesame oil.

10. Then place one marzipan "snake" about 1" from the long edge of

the phyllo sheets. Carefully draw up the one inch margin over the

"snake", then roll "snake" in the dough.

11. Gently remove phyllo-wrapped "snake" to parchment covered baking

sheet and brush well with sesame oil.

12. Continue process of brushing phyllo sheets with oil, layering

them, and rolling marzipan "snakes" in them, then transferring them

to baking sheet and brushing outer surface with oil. Repeat until you

have make ten "snakes".

13. Although my directions look long, this whole process went rapidly

with me and one assistant.

14. With a sharp knife mark the top "snake" into ten equal pieces.

Then with the knife, cut through all ten "snakes" so that you have

one hundred pieces. Size will vary depending on size of phyllo

sheets. Mine were 18 inches in the largest dimension, so each cut

piece was approximately 1-3/4 inches long.

15. Put baking sheet in center of oven and bake for about 5 minutes.

Check to see if pastries are browning evenly. If not, turn pan so

paler pieces are in the warmer part of the oven.

16. Bake for several more minutes and check again. The phyllo will

brown fairly quickly and you don't want to over cook them. Most ovens

don't heat exactly accurately, some being hotter and some cooler,

which is why it is important to check frequently.

17. When pastries are a medium golden-brown, remove from oven and let

cool on heat-proof surface.

18. If you decide they aren't brown enough, you can reheat them

before serving.19. Just before serving, gently and carefully remove

pastries from baking sheet onto serving plates, drizzle with warm

honey and sprinkle with crushed pistachio nuts.
NOTE 1: I used three large baking sheets as work surfaces - one

covered with waxed paper for the marzipan "snakes", a second covered

with waxed paper to hold unfolded phyllo sheets and on which "snakes"

were rolled in phyllo, and a third on which to actually bake the

phyllo-wrapped marzipan. All the sheets were approximately 18 inches

long and 12 inches wide.

NOTE 2: For the event, the marzipan snakes were a bit larger in

diameter and only wrapped in one sheet of phyllo. The directions

above will make what I think is a better pastry.
Carrot Paste

The 13th c. Anonymous Andalusian cookbook

translated by Charles Perry
Take a ratl of carrots, of which you have cleaned the interior. Cook

it in a ratl of water, some two boilings, then take it off the fire

and let it dry a little, over a sieve. Add it to three ratls of

honey, cleaned of its foam, and cook all this until it takes the form

of a paste. Then season it with ginger, galingale, cubeb and flowers

[of clove?], half an ûqiya in all for each ratl. Eat it like a

nut at meals. Its benefits: it fortifies coitus and increases desire

beautifully; it is admirable.

5 lb. carrots

5 c. water

2-1/2 lb. honey

2 cups sugar

1 Tb. + 1-1/2 tsp. ginger

1 Tb. + 1-1/2 tsp. galingale

1 Tb. + 1-1/2 tsp. cubeb

1 Tb. + 1-1/2 tsp. clove

1. Cook carrots in water until soft.

2. Add honey to carrots.

3. Cook until very tender, mashing a bit.

4. Add sugar and a bit more water.

5. Cook and continue mashing until it forms a paste. If you mash by

hand, there will be some lumps, which is what I did. For a smoother

paste, you could puree the pulp in a blender.

6. Remove from heat, then season it with ginger, galingale, cubeb and clove.


1. I added sugar instead of more honey because I think the flavor of

the honey is overpowering, whereas sugar adds sweetness with a less

assertive flavor.

2. This reminded me incredibly of a modern Gujarati sweet i've eaten

which is made with grated carrots cooked with sugar, cardamom, other

spices, and pistachios. It is also related to a modern Persian jam.

3. There were many favorable comments on this recipe. I thought it

was delicious.
al-Baghdadi p. 214/14
Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of

this, and three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with

the stones removed, together with three uqiya of ground almonds and

pistachios. Knead all together very well with the hands. Refine two

uqiya of sesame-oil, and pour over, working with the hand until it is

mixed in. Make into cabobs, and dust with fine-ground sugar. If

desired, instead of sesame-oil use butter. This is excellent for


2 2/3 c bread crumbs

2 c (about one lb) pitted dates - good dates

1/3 c ground almonds

1/3 c ground pistachios

7 T melted butter or sesame oil

enough sugar

Mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts. Cariadoc and Elizabeth use a food

processor or blender. Form into one inch balls.

Syrup of Pomegranates
Take a ratl of sour pomegranates and another of sweet pomegranates,

and add their juice to two ratls of sugar, cook all this until it

takes the consistency of syrup, and keep until needed. Its benefits:

it is useful for fevers, and cuts the thirst, it benefits bilious

fevers and lightens the body gently.
a ratl of sour pomegranates

a ratl of sweet pomegranates

two ratls of sugar
Mix pomegranate juice with sugar

Cook until it becomes a syrup.

Drink mixed with water.
To make it easier on yourself, get unsweetened pomegranate juice at

health food store or Middle Eastern market, then cook with sugar to

make syrup.
Syrup of Lemon
Take lemon, after peeling its outer skin, press it and take a ratl of

juice, and add as much of sugar. Cook it until it takes the form of a

syrup. Its advantages are for the heat of bile; it cuts the thirst

and binds the bowels.

a ratl of lemon juice

a ratl of of sugar

Mix juice and sugar.

Cook until forms a syrup.

Drink mixed with water. I think we did about 1 part syrup to 5 parts water.
Syrup of Tamarind
Take a ratl of tamarind and steep in five ratls of water, throw away

the dregs immediately and add the clarified water to a ratl of sugar.

Cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup. Drink two uqiyas of

it in three of cold water. It is beneficial in jaundice, and takes it

away easily; it cuts bilious vomit and thirst, awakens the appetite

to eat, and takes the bitterness of food out of the mouth.

a ratl of tamarind

five ratls of water

a ratl of sugar
Steep tamarind in water. I recommend smooshing it with your fingers

in a small amount of water first, to get it mixed as well as possible.

When well mixed, strain and retain the clarified liquid, discarding

fibers and seeds.

Mix liquid with sugar in a saucepan.

Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until it

forms a syrup.


To drink, mix two parts syrup with three of cold water, says the

original recipe. I suggest taste testing...

Of course, you can find tamarind syrup in various ethnic markets - to

save yourself time.

Syrup of Mint: Way of Making It
Take mint and basil, citron and cloves, a handful of each, and cook

all this in water to cover, until its substance comes out, and add

the clear part of it to a ratl of sugar. The bag: an uqiya of flower

of cloves, and cook all this until a syrup is made. Its benefits: it

frees bodies that suffer from phlegm, and cuts phlegmatic urine,

fortifies the liver and the stomach and cheers it a great deal; in

this it is admirable.
I haven't made this yet, but it's definitely on my list of things to try.
a handful of mint

a handful of basil

a handful of citron (leaves? peel?)

a handful of cloves (reduce quantity)

water to cover

a ratl of sugar

Cook in water until "its substance comes out"


Cook clarified liquid with sugar until a syrup is formed.

Drink mixed with water.

The Great Cheering Syrup: Way of Making It
Take half a ratl each of borage, mint, and citron leaves, cook them in

water to cover until their strength comes out, then take the clean part

and add it to a ratl of sugar. Then put in the bag: a spoonful each of

aloe stems, Chinese rhubarb, Chinese cinnamon, cinnamon and clove

flowers; pound all these coarsely, place them in a cloth, tie it well,

and place it in the kettle, macerate it again and again until its

substance passes out, and cook until [the liquid] takes the consistency

of syrups. Take one uqiya with three of hot water. Benefits: It profits

[preceding two words apparently supplied; in parentheses in printed

Arabic text] weak stomachs, fortifies the liver and cheers the heart,

digests foods, and lightens the constitution gently, God willing.
half a ratl of borage

half a ratl of mint

half a ratl of citron leaves

water to cover

a ratl of sugar
The Bag:

a spoonful of aloe stems

a spoonful of Chinese rhubarb

a spoonful of Chinese cinnamon

a spoonful of cinnamon

a spoonful of clove flowers

Cook borage, mint, and citron leaves in water to cover until their

strength comes out

Strain and add liquid to sugar.
The bag:

Pound coarsely aloe stems [probably aloeswood], Chinese rhubarb,

Chinese cinnamon, cinnamon and clove flowers.

Place pounded spices in a cloth and tie it well.

Place the cloth "bag" in the kettle, macerate it again and again

until its substance passes out.

Remove bag and cook until [the liquid] takes the consistency of syrup.

Drink one uqiya of spice syrup with three of hot water.

A Syrup of Honey
Take a quarter uqiya each of cinnamon, flower of cloves and ginger,

mastic, nutmeg, Chinese cinnamon, Sindi laurel, Indian lavender, Roman

spikenard, elder twigs, elder seeds, oil of nutmeg, bitter and sweet

nuts, large and small cardamom, wild spikenard, galingale, aloe stems,

saffron, and sedge. Pound all this coarsely, tie it in a cloth, and put

it in the kettle with fifteen ratls of water and five of honey, cleaned

of its foam. Cook all this until it is at the point of drinking. Drink

an uqiya and a half, and up to two, with hot water. Its benefit is for

weak livers; it fortifies the stomach and benefits dropsy among other

ailments; it dissolves phlegm from all parts of the body and heats it a

great deal, gives gaiety, lightens the body, and it was used by the

ancients like wine for weariness.

I haven't tried this yet, either, and it will need some adjustment -

subsitutions for some ingredients and some just left out.

a quarter uqiya of cinnamon

a quarter uqiya of flower of cloves

a quarter uqiya of ginger

a quarter uqiya of mastic

a quarter uqiya of nutmeg

a quarter uqiya of Chinese cinnamon

a quarter uqiya of Sindi laurel [probably malabathron leaves]

----- use bay leaves - South Asians living in America do

----- Sind was the old name for what is now Pakistan

a quarter uqiya of Indian lavender

a quarter uqiya of Roman spikenard

a quarter uqiya of elder twigs, elder seeds

a quarter uqiya of oil of nutmeg

----- just use grated nutmeg - too much nutmeg oil can be hazardous

a quarter uqiya of bitter and sweet nuts

a quarter uqiya of large and small cardamom

a quarter uqiya of wild spikenard

a quarter uqiya of galingale

a quarter uqiya of aloe stems [aloeswood?]

a quarter uqiya of saffron

a quarter uqiya of sedge
Pound all this coarsely.

Tie it in a cloth.

Put "the bag" in a large kettle with:

fifteen ratls of water

five of honey
Cook all this until it is at the point of drinking.
Drink an uqiya and a half, and up to two, with hot water.
my version, derived from, but not identical to Paula Wolfert,

"Couscous and other good food from Morocco". Coffee was drunk in the

Near East VERY LATE in SCA period (15th & 16th c.), in the Yemen and

Ottoman Turkey, as well as some other places. I have no idea when

Moroccans started drinking coffee - certainly no sooner than the 16th

century - nor when they began spicing their coffee, so this is most

likely OOP
Ras el-Hanout for coffee - Makes approx. 1/3 c. of spice blend
12-16 dried rosebuds

15 white or green cardamom pods

2 whole nutmegs - 4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 Tb ground ginger

4 sticks cinnamon - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground galangal - also called laos (Indonesian) / kha (Thai)

1/2 tsp. ground mace

12 whole cloves - 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. whole grains of Paradise

3/4 tsp ground WHITE pepper

1 Tb. white sesame seeds
Before grinding the nutmegs, I cut each one in quarters.

Grind all ingredients in electric coffee grinder.

Store in glass bottle in cool dark place.

Makes about 1/3 cup of spice blend.

To make coffee:

Add 1/4 tsp. spice mix to every 1/2 c. ground coffee before brewing.

Problem: it clogs paper filters.

So, i'd say, make the coffee, stir in the spices and keep warm, stirring.

Then let spices settle.
I normally don't drink coffee with sugar, but coffee with Ras

el-Hanout really needs sugar to bring out the flavors of the spices.

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