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ME-revel-fds-art - 10/22/04


A collection of medieval Middle Eastern foods suitable for a revel or buffet by Anahita.


NOTE: See also the files: ME-feasts-msg, olives-msg, chicken-msg, dates-msg, fd-Mid-East-msg, fd-Turkey-msg, finger-foods-msg, 14C-Fingerfds-art, Islamic-Feast-art, E-Arab-recip-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 11:59:33 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Lady Sionnan wrote:

> Hi there.  I am looking to plan an event for this year in which it will have

> a definite middle eastern theme (thousand and one arabian nights,

> Concordia's crystal snowflake ball).  I am looking to instead of a feast

> provide what amounts to a never ending buffet through out the day and was

> wondering what suggestions people might have as to where to look for

> recipes, recipes or dishes.


I've sent out recipes to several Laurel Vigils for Near or Middle

Eastern personae. Since a Laurel Vigil is often something of a never

ending buffet, i think they would be suitable.


Here's a recent collection of recipes i sent to someone in Canada

(i'm in The West). There are a couple non-period items which are

marked as such.


I'm send it in three parts as it is rather long




----- MENU -----



I suggest using Lavosh and any other Middle Eastern flat breads you

can find. I get Persian and Afghani breads where i live. But Pita

will do - pita as we know it is not like period breads - i can find

no suggestion that they ate such a tough bread with a pocket.

You can also use Ak-mak crackers (in health food stores and Middle

Eastern markets in the US) - although from what i can gather, folks

would have dampened the crackers to soften them.



Sals Abyad = White Sauce - Spiced Walnut-Sesame Butter

Badhinjan Buran = Princess Buran's Eggplant - pureed with yogurt and


Isfanakh Mutajjan - Stir-fried Spinach



Zaitun Mubakhkhar - Smoked and Spiced Olives

Jazr - Carrots with spiced oil and vinegar dressing

Minted Cucumber Fresh Pickle

Moroccan Carrot, Orange & Radish Salad - MODERN



Andalusian "deviled" eggs

Thumiyya - Chicken with garlic, lavender, and spices

Barida - chicken cucumber salad

merguez - lamb sausages with spices and lavender flowers

Andalusian Spiced Meatballs - while recipe calls for lamb these can

be beef, turkey, whatever

Sinab - Mustard-almond-honey sauce for meatballs



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


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 - is period only for the very late 15th and the 16th centuries

even in the Near East. But what the heck, i drink it at events and my

persona is from the first half of the 10th century. I use my version

of Paula Wolfert's Ras al-hanout for Coffee. I drink my coffee and

tea unsweetened, but coffee with this ras al-hanout is definitely

better slightly sweetened - the sugar seems to bring out the flavors

of the spices, gums, and flowers in the blend.


Masala Chai - As far as i can tell it isn't period, but it's tasty

and warming. Hearing it called "chai tea" drives me nuts, and i was

already close enough to walk.  "Chai" means "tea", so that's like

saying "tea tea". Well, enough ranting. Masala chai is tasty and

warming, as i said, and i like it myself with milk and no sweetener.


----- RECIPES PART ONE -----



Serves 100 - 150


NOTE: If you make this ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator. It

won't need to be kept refrigerated while travelling. Add water and

more lemon juice on-site before serving.


The name of this dish is from some European word for sauce. The

recipe is purely Near Eastern, however. Mustard was used to spike up

some dishes. In Southwest Asia cooks used powdered mustard seed,

while in al-Andalus and al-Maghrib they used prepared mustard.


Original Recipe:

Walnuts, garlic, pepper, Chinese cinnamon, white mustard, tahineh and

lemon juice.

The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods = al-Kitab Wasf

al-At'ima al-Mu'tada, 1373[complete text translated and introduced by

Charles Perry, Medieval Arab Cookery], p. 389


My Recipe:


4 pounds walnuts

4 quarts sesame tahini

several ounces prepared garlic paste with NO additives or preservatives

2 Tablespoons pepper

1/4 cup powdered cinnamon

2 ounces yellow mustard powder

juice from 10 lemons


1. Grind walnuts finely in blender or food processor.

2. In large bowl, stir together ground walnuts with 2 quarts of tahini

3. Mix garlic, pepper, cinnamon and mustard into one quart of tahini

4. Mix seasoned tahini into walnut-sesame paste.

5. Let stand overnight for flavors to develop.

6. Shortly before serving stir in fresh lemon juice

7. Serve with Near Eastern flat breads - I served Lavosh and a

Persian flat bread whose name I have forgotten.


NOTE: Use a Middle Eastern brand of sesame paste/tahini (Sahadi is

one such brand). Health food brands of sesame paste doesn't work as

well - they're rather thick and they're less oily.


NOTE:  I suspect this is supposed to be more liquid than the very

dense nut butter I got. When I make it again, I'll add enough water

and lemon juice to give this the consistency of modern

hummos-bi-tahihi. So shortly before serving, add water to the above

recipe. It will probably suck it up. So to make a dipping

consistancy, you'll need to add a fair bit. This will dilute the

flavors, so you'll need more lemon juice, too. RealLemon isn't very

good, but some of the brands in squeezable plastic bottles are decent.






Serves 100 to 150


This is a dish of legend. And I may have created one of my own, as

people came up to me after the feast and confessed that they hated

eggplant and had eaten three servings of it. As for the history of

the dish, Charles Perry has an entire essay devoted to it in

"Medieval Arab Cookery". I'm sure that my interpretation was also

colored by all the multitude of other Buran and Buraniyya recipes I



Original Recipe:

Take eggplant and boil lightly in water and salt, then take out and

dry for an hour. Fry this in fresh sesame oil until cooked: peel, put

into a dish or large cup, and beat well with a ladle, until it

becomes like khabis [pudding]. Add a little salt and dry coriander.

Take some Persian milk, mix in garlic, pour over the eggplant, and

mix together well. Take red meat, mince fine, make into small kabobs,

add melting fresh tail, throw the meat into it stirring until

browned. Then cover with water, and stew until the water has

evaporated and only the oils remain. Pour on top of this eggplant,

sprinkle with fine-ground cumin and cinnamon, and serve.


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

al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Karim al-Katib al-Baghdadi, a 13th century

cookbook. On p. 59-60, Medieval Arab Cookery


My Recipe:


NOTE: This must be kept refrigerated or in a cooler until shortly

before serving. Allow to come to room temperature


12 pounds eggplant - I used the large ones because they were cheaper,

but I suspect that smaller Asian eggplants would be better

1 pint light sesame oil (or olive oil)

2 quarts whole milk yogurt with NO additives or thickeners - I used

Pavel's Russian Yogurt - there's nothing in it but milk and yogurt

culture - no gums, no gelatin, no thickeners, etc.

1/4 cup salt

1 Tablespoon pepper

2 to 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons ground coriander seed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons ground cumin seed

Fresh mint

1 fresh pomegranate

1 pint whole milk yogurt


1. If using large eggplants, remove stem end and quarter. Small

eggplants, leave whole.

2. Boil briefly, until just barely tender. I did this in multiple

stages as all the eggplant wouldn't fit in one pot.

3. Put eggplant in a sieve or colander over a bowl or in a clean sink

and let drain. Again I did this in stages. I didn't drain the pieces

for a whole hour. After batches had drained for 15 minutes or so, I

removed them to a large bowl.

4. Put enough sesame oil in a large frying pan to cover the bottom,

then heat on a  medium-high fire.

5. When oil is hot, add some of drained eggplants - one layer of

eggplant only. Cook until tender, then remove - I drained them in a

colander as I removed them from the pan.

6. When all have been cooked and allowed to cool, puree them. I used

a food processor but a blender would work. And a potato masher or

ricer should work too.

7. When all the eggplants were pureed and in a big container, I added

two quarts of Pavel's yogurt. I honestly believe the quality of the

yogurt affected the taste of the finished dish. But use the best

plain yogurt you can find.

8. After mixing yogurt and eggplant, add spices. Allow to sit

overnight in a cool place for flavor to develop.

9. Peel pomegranate and remove white pith. Separate seeds into a bowl.

10. Dish eggplant into serving bowls, decorate the edge with fresh

mint leaves or sprigs, place a dollop of yogurt in the center of each

dish and top with pomegranate seeds.







al-Baghdadi's Book of Dishes, p. 79, in Medieval Arab Cookery

Take spinach, cut off the lower roots, and wash: then boil lightly in

salt and water, and dry. Refine sesame-oil, drop in the spinach, and

stir until fragrant. Chop up a little garlic, and add. Sprinkle with

fine-ground cumin, coriander seed, and cinnamon: then remove.


My version:

Serves 8 as a primary vegetable side dish


When I was in Morocco in Dec 2000-Jan 2001, I was served a dish very

like this in a "palace" restaurant in Fez. It was a real surprise to

find Baghdadi's 14th c. dish in 21st c. Morocco.


2 lb spinach

1/2 c sesame oil (cold pressed, NOT the roasted Asian kind)

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp. salt

1 t cumin

1 t coriander

1/2 t cinnamon


Parboil spinach in salted water 2-4 min. (or less).

Press out excess water and chop roughly.

Stir fry as recipe directs, adding spices toward the end.


NOTE: I make this at camping events. I buy frozen organic chopped

spinach. I pour it into a large skillet and cook until thawed. Then I

pour in the sesame oil and stir.  I push the spinach over to one

side, put inthe garlic, cook until soft, then add the other

ingredients, and stir well.


NOTE: It is likely that they didn't use spinach originally, but a

leafy green called orach. You can also use chard, but you'll need to

chop it first and par-boil it before putting it in the pan with the



NOTE: Cook ahead of time and keep chilled before serving. This can be

served at room temperature or warmed.


If you want to use this as a dip, you might try making it, cooling it

a little, then putting it in the blender for a smoother consistency.





Serves 100 to 150 people


NOTE: If you make these ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator until

you leave. They won't need to be kept chilled while you're

travelling, if you serve them within a day or two


This recipe was quick and easy to make. The original calls for

smoking the olives. As I don't have the necessary equipment, I added

a few drops of smoke flavor to the drained olives.


Original Recipe:

Take olives when fully ripe. If you want take them black, and if you

want take them green, except that the green are better for smoking.

Bruise them and put some salt on them, as much as needed, and turn

them over every day until the bitterness goes away. When they throw

off liquid, pour it off. When the bitterness is gone from them,

spread them out on a woven tray until quite dry.


Then pound peeled garlic and cleaned thyme, as much as necessary.

Take the quantity of a dirham of them, and a piece of walnut with its

meat in it, and a dirham of wax, and a piece of cotton immersed in

sesame oil, and a piece of date seed. Put these ingredients on a low

fire on a stove [kanun] and seal its door, and put the tray the

olives are in on top of it, and cover it with a tray so that it is

filled with the scent of this smoke, which does not escape. Then

leave it that way for a whole day.


Then you return them to a container large enough for them and mix the

pounded garlic and thyme with them, and a little crushed walnut meat,

and a handful of toasted sesame seeds. Take as much fresh sesame oil

as needed and fry it with cumin seeds, and throw them on it and mix

them with it.


Then take a greased pottery jug [barniyya] and smoke it in that

smoke. Put the olives in it and cover the top, and it is put up for

[several] days. It is not used until the sharpness of the garlic in

it is broken.


The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods = al-Kitab Wasf

al-At'ima al-Mu'tada, 1373 [complete text translated and introduced

by Charles Perry, Medieval Arab Cookery], p. 403


My Recipe:

4-1/2 pounds cracked green olives in brine, drained

        I bought Greek olives in a resealable plastic barrel for

under $10 at a Near Eastern food shop

a few drops liquid smoke flavoring

1-1/2 heads garlic, peeled

a couple tablespoons dried thyme or zataar herb

1 cup shelled walnuts

1 cup white sesame seeds

1-1/2 Tablespoons light sesame oil

2 to 3 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds


1. Drain olives well.

2. Add a few drops of smoke flavoring to the drained olives. Be sure

to mix very very well.

3. Crush garlic cloves in a food processor or by hand with in a

mortar with a pestle (the latter is what I did).

4. Add thyme to garlic and crush further.

5. Add garlic and thyme to olives. Blend well.

6. Crush walnuts medium-fine in a mortar with a pestle. Add to olives

and mix well.

7. Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan with NO oil, over medium to

medium-low heat, stirring very very frequently, until toasted fairly

evenly to a rich golden color - do NOT allow to burn.

8. Add sesame seeds to to olives and mix well.

9. Put a few tablespoons of sesame oil in frying pan, add several

tablespoons of whole cumin seeds, and cook on medium to medium-low

heat until cumin darkens slightly and aroma comes out. Be careful not

to burn. Stir into olives.

10. Taste. Add more smoke if necessary - use a sparing hand, as too

much is awful.

11. Let olives season for several days well covered in a cool place,

stirring once a day to distribute flavorings. I made them Tuesday

night and served them Saturday night.


NOTE: It is difficult to find plain zataar herb. Every shop I visited

that had zataar had the kind that was a blend of zataar herb, salt,

sesame seeds, and sumak. This blend is not suitable for this recipe.


A friend of mine of Lebanese descent suggested I try the herb called

"Greek oregano". This is NOT the standard oregano sold in

supermarkets, which is "Mexican oregano" and which flavor I do not

like. I did see "Greek oregano" in some of the Near Eastern markets

and will try it when I make these olives again, which I most

definitely will, as they were delicious.




Jazr - pp. 92-93


This was printed in "In a Caliph's Kitchen" by David Waines. The book

is now out of print. I have not reproduced Waines' worked out

recipes, since they generally are very far from the originals. The

part below marked "Waines" is the modern author's comments on the

recipe.  Next is the original. I've never made this one, but you can

see my comments at the bottom...


WAINES: There are a few dishes in the medieval Arabic repertoire

where a vegetable is highlighted by itself. In this case it is used

to decorate the plate on which something else is served; it is, in

fact, a perfect accompaniment with a dish of plain rice. Carrots, at

least, can be treated on their own as the carrot family of plants

(which includes caraway, cumin, coriander, and dill, all common to

medieval Arab cooking) is characterized by strongly scented essential

oils. This recipe is thirteenth century Moroccan.

[Anahita sez: hmm-mmm, this might be in the 13th C. Andalusian



ORIGINAL: Cut the carrots into pieces without peeling them. Select

the middle bits and cut each piece in half and cook in salted water.

Dry the pieces off and fry in a pan with fresh oil. Then pour over it

boiling vinegar with crushed garlic and caraway. One can then either

leave the carrot pieces without frying (or else place them after

frying) as decoration on a platter.


[My Comments: This is *VERY* like a modern Moroccan recipe - the

biggest differences are that the modern recipe uses cumin, not

caraway, generally substitutes lemon juice for the vinegar, and often

includes powdered red chili]


Recipe Breakdown (i haven't made this)


carrots, cleaned

salted water to cover

fresh oil for frying, either olive or sesame

white wine vinegar

crushed garlic

caraway seeds, crushed - or cumin seeds (my preference)

(salt to taste)


1. Cut the carrots across into pieces

2. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.

3. Cook carrots in salted water until just tender.

4. Drain and dry carrots.

5. Put vinegar, garlic, and seeds in a saucepan and simmer for 5 to 10


6. Fry carrots in a pan with fresh oil.

7. Then pour hot vinegar with crushed garlic and caraway over carrots.


MY NOTE: This would look nice with flat-leaf parsley chopped and

tossed with the carrots before serving.




Minted Cucumber Fresh Pickle





Modern version by Anahita bint 'abd al-Karim al-Fassi

Serves 50-75


5 lb. medium cucumbers



white wine vinegar

1 very large bunch fresh mint


1. Wash and peel cucumbers. (peels are usually bitter)

2. Cut cucumbers in half and scoop out the seeds.

3. Cut cucumber halves into 1/4" thick "moons".

4. Put cucumbers in a food safe container.

5. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and toss.

6. Tear up mint leaves.

7. Add mint leaves to cucumbers and stir.

8. Cover cucumbers with equal parts of water and vinegar, enough to

cover cucumbers, and stir well.

9. Let stand at least several hours.

10. Once pickled, must be kept in refrigerator. Will only keep a couple



I think it would be good drained and tossed with shredded fresh mint

when it's time to serve.




Carrot, Orange & Radish Salad

Modern Moroccan Recipe

Serves 8


This isn't Medieval, but i'm very fond of it


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

prepare on site. It might travel ok if not made too far ahead of time

- say, one day - and kept chilled.


1 lb Carrots, peeled & shredded

2 large Oranges, cut into bite-sized chunks - Blood Oranges are good

2-3 bunches red  Radishes, sliced

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 tablespoons Orange Juice

1 tablespoon Orange Flower Water

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon, or to taste

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped


Peel and grate carrots.

Slice radishes.

Peel oranges, remove all outside membrane carefully, so as not to

break segments--if using blood oranges, remove seeds. When fruit is

free of membrane, carefully lift out and place in serving dish. As

orange juice comes out, save it in a bowl.

Combine carrots, oranges, radishes & cilantro in a salad bowl.

Mix juices with sugar, flower water, cinnamon and salt to taste.

Pour over the salad.

Cover and chill. (well, I don't bother with this at events)

Serve sprinkled with cilantro. Alternately, you could use chopped

flat leaf parsley.



Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 11:59:51 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Here is Part Two of Middle Eastern Buffet Recipes.





Stuffed Eggs - Andalusian "deviled" eggs

Thumiyya - Chicken with garlic, lavender, and spices

Barida - chicken cucumber salad

merguez - lamb sausages with spices and lavender flowers

Andalusian Spiced Meatballs - while recipe calls for lamb these can

be beef, turkey, whatever

Sinab - Mustard-almond-honey sauce for meatballs




The Making of Stuffed Eggs


Take as many eggs as you like, and boil them whole in hot water; put

them in cold water and split them in half with a thread. Take the

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 earthlink.net

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


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

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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