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hummus-msg - 4/28/13

 

Modern "hummus" dip is not the same as period hummus.

 

NOTE: See also the files: beans-msg, peas-msg, spreads-msg, brd-mk-flat-msg, E-Arab-recip-art, ME-revel-fds-art, Md-Cu-Islmc-Wd-rev, ME-feasts-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

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Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 17:42:16 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking for a vigil

 

Hummus Kasa...Chickpea Blanket

 

3/4 15 ounce chickpeas, canned

1/16 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup Tahini

1/16 teaspoon black pepper, fine ground

3/4 tablespoon mint leaves, minced

3/4 tablespoon parsley, minced

3/8 teaspoon thyme, dried

1/8 cup walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistacios

3/8 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon, cinnamon z.

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/8 salted lemon or juice of 1/8 c juice

1/8 cup olives --, green or black

3/8 teaspoon caraway sauteed in olive oil

3/8 teaspoon coriander seed, ground

Puree chickpeas

 

add oil, tahineh, vinegar and lemon juice.  Blend further

 

Stir in nuts and spices.  Channon omitted the olives.

 

Dot surface of the spread with olives (?)

 

Cuisine:

"Period Middle Eastern"

Source:

"14th C The Description of Familiar Foods-"

 

Notes: Kitab Wasf al-At'ima Al- Mu'tada

       Hummus Kasa (chickpea blanket); kasa is the name of a

       coarse  woolen fabric). Take chickpeas and pound them fine

       after boiling them. Then take vinegar, oil, tahineh,

       pepper, atraf tib, mint, parsley, the refuse of dry thyme,

       walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, Ceylon cinnamon,

       toasted caraway, dry coriander, salt, salted lemons and

       olives. Stir it and roll it out flat and leave it

       overnight and take it up."

       Note, that salted lemons has been used as a substitute for

       lemon juice or other sour fruit in the recipe "Bazmaward"

       of the same manuscript. pg 381 As such I did not have

       salted lemons so I used fresh lemon juice.

       Ceylon cinnamon is true cinnamon, as opposed to Cassia

       which is what is commonly sold as cinnamon here. You can

       find true cinnamon (also known as cinnamon zeliacanum) in

       health food stores or food co-ops, many Indian and Middle

       Eastern grocers or on the internet. It is much milder than

       Cassia bark. It can be differentiated by it's appearance,

       true cinnamon is a thinner, almost paper like bark, where

       as Cassia is very thick and heavy in appearance.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 19:31:06 -0400

From: "Jim and Andi Houston" <jimandandi at cox.net>

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking for a vigil

 

I made this for a Winter ArtSci last year and loved it so much I made a

second batch and ate it for lunch for a week. Mine had a higher percentage

of fresh parsley, nuts (sliced almonds) and green olives. I also added fresh

cilantro. I smashed it instead of pureeing the chickpeas, leaving it a

chunky texture.

 

Delicious!

 

Madhavi

 

-----Original Message-----

Hummus Kasa...Chickpea Blanket

 

3/4 15 ounce chickpeas, canned <snip>

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2010 20:44:27 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking for a vigil

 

<<< Hummus Kasa...Chickpea Blanket

 

3/4 15 ounce chickpeas, canned

1/16 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup Tahini

1/16 teaspoon black pepper, fine ground

3/4 tablespoon mint leaves, minced

3/4 tablespoon parsley, minced

3/8 teaspoon thyme, dried

1/8 cup walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistacios

3/8 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon, cinnamon z.

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/8 salted lemon or juice of 1/8 c juice

1/8 cup olives --, green or black

3/8 teaspoon caraway sauteed in olive oil

3/8 teaspoon coriander seed, ground

Puree chickpeas

 

add oil, tahineh, vinegar and lemon juice.  Blend further

 

Stir in nuts and spices.  Channon omitted the olives.

 

Dot surface of the spread with olives (?) >>>

 

There is no "blend further" in the original; the chickpeas are

pounded, but none of the rest of it is. Your recipe leaves out the

final instruction: "roll it out flat and leave it overnight and take

it up." That doesn't sound like a puree used as a dip. Nor does the

"chickpea planket" name suggest that it is ending up blended together

into a dip--it's being rolled flat.

 

In my experience, at least, if you follow the original recipe you

don't come out with anything we would recognize as a version of

hummus bi tahini. The recipe you give strikes me as what happens if

someone starts out with a modern dish that he wants to produce and

ignores anything in the original that isn't consistent with producing

it.

 

You referred earlier to "period hummus recipes." That recipe I

knew--do you have any more?

 

<<< Cuisine:

"Period Middle Eastern"

Source:

"14th C The Description of Familiar Foods-"

 

Notes: Kitab Wasf al-At'ima Al- Mu'tada

       Hummus Kasa (chickpea blanket); kasa is the name of a

       coarse  woolen fabric). Take chickpeas and pound them fine

       after boiling them. Then take vinegar, oil, tahineh,

       pepper, atraf tib, mint, parsley, the refuse of dry thyme,

       walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, Ceylon cinnamon,

       toasted caraway, dry coriander, salt, salted lemons and

       olives. Stir it and roll it out flat and leave it

       overnight and take it up." >>>

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:58:04 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Hummus, was cooking for a vigil

 

Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas. That's it. Chickpeas. It

does not imply anything else. Except, I guess, to non-Arabic speakers.

 

Now, if one actually means hummus bi tahini, I have yet to find an

SCA period dish that is truly like the modern Syrian/Lebanese dish of

which so many people are fond.

 

Below are three recipes: one has hummus and tahini and is nothing

like the modern dip; two follow, one with tahini and no

hummus/chickpeas; and one with hummus/chickpeas and no tahini. One is

a sauce and the other doesn't say how it is meant to be consumed.

 

===

 

1. This one includes both hummus and tahini but is clearly NOT a dip/spread.

 

Hummus Kasa

Chickpea Blanket

 

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

Take chickpeas and pound them fine after boiling them. Then take

vinegar, oil, tahineh, pepper, atraf tib (mixed spices), mint,

parsley, dry thyme, [pounded] walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and

pistachios, cinnamon, toasted caraway, dry coriander, salt and

[minced] salted lemons and olives. Stir it *and roll it out flat, and

leave it overnight and serve it.* (emphasis mine)

 

--- Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada

(The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods)

an anonymous 13th-century Egyptian cookbook

translated by Charles Perry, in Medieval Arab Cookery, p. 383

 

Kiri provided a very altered version to try to make it like the

modern dish. But if one follows the original directions, one will

have a rather thin, somewhat dry, highly textured, and tasty dish,

quite unlike the fluid modern hummus bi tahini.

 

===

 

2. Here's a period recipe for a tahini and walnut puree that contains

no hummus/chickpeas.

 

Sals Abyad

White Sauce

 

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

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

lemon juice.

--- Kitab Wasf al-At'ima al-Mu'tada

(Book of the Description of Familiar Foods)

translated by Charles Perry, in Medieval Arab Cookery, p. 389

 

Yes, that is all it says, so preparation directions are conjectural;

however, it is a sauce, so I have assumed it has a somewhat more

fluid character.

 

MY VERSION:

1/2 pound walnuts

several cloves garlic, smashed or pressed

3/4 tsp ground black or white pepper

3/4 tsp powdered cassia cinnamon

2 tsp to 1 Tb yellow mustard powder, according to taste

1/2 tsp salt (not called for, but improves the flavor)

2 cups sesame tahini (Sahadi brand is nice)

- - - dense sesame paste doesn't work as well

juice from 2 lemons

water as needed

more lemon juice as needed

 

1. Heat walnuts in 350 F. oven or a dry skillet on the stove, but do

not toast; then rub to remove skins while still warm.

2. Grind skinned walnuts finely.

3. Mix together garlic, pepper, cinnamon, mustard, and walnuts.

4. Stir seasoned walnuts into tahini.

5. Stir in lemon juice and water until the consistency of a sauce.

6. Let stand several hours or overnight for flavors to develop.

7. Shortly before serving add more water as needed and more fresh

lemon juice, a bit at a time, to get the appropriate consistency.

 

Note: This turns purple if the walnuts are not skinned.

 

Based on a number of other SCA period Arabic language recipes, I

suspect it was used as a sauce for fish. It is also delicious on

vegetables; and modernly I have cheated and used it as a dip.

 

===

 

3. And here's a period recipe for chickpea puree that contains no tahini:

 

Hummus bi-Zinjibil

Chickpeas with Ginger

 

ORIGINAL

Cook the chickpeas in water, then mash them in a mortar to make a

puree. Push the puree through a sieve for wheat, unless it is already

fine enough, in which case this step is not necessary. Mix it then

with wine vinegar, the pulp of pickled lemons, and cinnamon, pepper,

ginger, parsley of the best quality, mint, and rue that have all been

chopped and placed on the surface of a serving dish [zubdiyya].

Finally pour over a generous amount of oil of good quality

 

--- Kanz al-Fawa'id fi Tanwi' al-Mawa'id

(The Treasure-Trove of Delicious Things for the Diversification of

the Table's Dishes)

anonymous Mamluk Egypt - between 1250-1517, probably 14th c.

translated by Lilia Zaouali, in "Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World", p. 65.

 

How this Hummus was eaten was not specified.

 

MY VERSION

 

one 1-lb can chickpeas

1/4 c. white or red wine vinegar [see Note 1]

the pulp of 2 Moroccan salted lemons (or to taste - you may prefer less)

- - - [see Note 2 for substitution]

1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground black or white pepper

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

[adjust spices to taste]

3 Tb. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 Tb. finely chopped mint

1/4 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil or cold-pressed sesame

oil (i used a bit more)

additional high quality extra-virgin olive oil or sesame oil for garnish

[do NOT use dark roasted sesame oil - that's Far East Asian]

 

1. Drain canned chickpeas well.

2. Remove skins by hand: gently rub chickpeas between your hands and

discard the skins. You don't have to be perfectionist - a few getting

through is OK.

3. Puree the skinned chickpeas.

4. Mix puree with wine vinegar, the pulp of salted lemons, and

cinnamon, pepper, ginger. Adjust flavor.

Note: Flavor will develop if this is not eaten immediately and is

allowed to sit for a while.

5. To serve, reserve some chopped parsley and mint; then sprinkle

most of chopped herbs over the surface of the serving dish [zubdiyya].

6. Put puree in center.

7. Sprinkle with the reserved herbs.

8. Top with a generous amount of oil - high quality, really green,

extra-virgin olive oil will look and taste very nice - and high

quality cold-pressed golden sesame oil will taste lovely as well.

 

Note 1: Including some champagne and/or sherry vinegar would taste

nice, although neither would be historically accurate.

Note 2: If you didn't make your own salted lemons, here's a quick substitute:

Wash well, then quarter (preferably organic) lemons. Put lemons in a

small sauce pan and cover with much *non-iodized* salt and just

enough lemon juice or water to start dissolving the salt - more juice

will come out of the lemons as they cook. Simmer, stirring

occasionally, until the lemon peels are just translucent. If this is

too dry add a bit more lemon juice or water - this should NOT burn or

even caramelize at all.

 

===

 

Since modern pita is not much like period bread, I serve lavash which

is VERY like period ruqaq, and with some modern Persian and Afghan

breads. The latter are not necessarily like period breads, but they

seem quite close, after reading the large number of bread recipes in

ibn Sayyar's 10th c. compendium. Plus they are a pleasant change from

the same-old same-old dull boring pita. There's a lot more to ancient

and modern Near and Middle Eastern bakers' repertoires than pita!

--

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 16:12:26 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book Question

 

On 27/04/2011 8:30 AM, Ursula Whitcher wrote:

> (including medieval hummus with salted lemon and feta pies).

 

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo replied:

> Don't be a spoon-tease!

 

Here is the original recipe as translated by Zaouali:

 

from Kanz al-fawa'id fi tanwi al-mawa'id

(The Treasure-Trove of Things Delicious for the Diversification of

the Table's Dishes)

Mamluk period - late 13th to early 16th, probably 14th c.

 

Cook the chickpeas in water, then mash them in a mortar to make a

puree. Push the puree through a sieve for wheat, unless it is already

fine enough, in which case this step is not necessary. Mix it then

with wine vinegar, the pulp of pickled lemons, and cinnamon, pepper,

ginger, parsley of the best quality, mint, and rue that have all been

chopped and placed on the surface of a serving dish [zubdiyya].

Finally pour over a generous amount of oil of good quality

--

"Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World: A Concise History with 174 recipes"

by Lilia Zaouali

University of California Press, 2007

p. 65

 

1. i would recommend removing the skins from the chickpeas if you use

a blender or food processor - if you actually force them through a

strainer, the skins will stay behind.

 

2. "oil of good quality" may be olive oil; I would also suggest using

cold-pressed unroasted sesame oil. There is absolutely nothing to

suggest that in SCA-period cooks using Arabic-language books used

roasted sesame oil, which is used as a condiment (not for cooking) in

Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine; one reason is that sesame oil

was used for frying - and one would NOT use roasted sesame oil for

frying. And no kind of sesame oil will produce a result that is like

modern hummus bi-tahini, since ground sesame seeds have a different

flavor and texture from sesame oil.

--

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 08:29:09 -0700

From: Ursula Georges <ursula at tutelaries.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book Question

 

Urtatim wrote:

<<< Here is the original recipe as translated by Zaouali:

 

from Kanz al-fawa'id fi tanwi al-mawa'id

(The Treasure-Trove of Things Delicious for the Diversification of

the Table's Dishes)

Mamluk period - late 13th to early 16th, probably 14th c.

 

Cook the chickpeas in water, then mash them in a mortar to make a

puree. Push the puree through a sieve for wheat, unless it is already

fine enough, in which case this step is not necessary. Mix it then

with wine vinegar, the pulp of pickled lemons, and cinnamon, pepper,

ginger, parsley of the best quality, mint, and rue that have all been

chopped and placed on the surface of a serving dish [zubdiyya].

Finally pour over a generous amount of oil of good quality

--

"Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World: A Concise History with 174 recipes"

by Lilia Zaouali

University of California Press, 2007

p. 65 >>>

 

My redaction (with power tools):

 

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until soft

1/2 cup olive or un-toasted sesame oil

1/4 salted lemon, pureed

1/3 cup vinegar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 cup chopped herbs (some combination of parsley, mint, and/or rue)

 

Drain the chickpeas (you may want to reserve some of the cooking water

to thin the puree).  Puree in a food processor.  Stir in the other

ingredients.

 

This makes quite a bit; you can cut the recipe in half for a smaller

quantity, or freeze some of it.  I generally find that the salted lemon

adds enough salt, but you could increase the quantity to taste.

 

--Ursula Georges.

 

 

Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 06:51:56 -0500

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] hummus

 

http://idlelion.blogspot.com/2010/01/50-food-item-five-period-hummus.html

 

Here is a redaction I have of chickpea puree.

 

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania

 

From her blog:

---------

A&S 50: Food item five: Middle Ages hummus recipe

 

Period hummus recipe : Puree of Chickpeas with Cinnamon and Ginger

redaction Julia May, aka Samia al-Kaslaania

April 2009

 

Cook the chickpeas in water, then mash them in a mortar to make a puree. Push the puree through a sieve for wheat, unless it is already fine enough, in which case this step is not necessary. Mix it then with wine vinegar, the pulp of pickled lemons, and cinnamon, pepper, ginger, parsley of the best quality, mint, and rue that have all been chopped and placed on the surface of the serving dish [zubdiyya]. Finally, pour over a generous amount of oil of good quality.

 

Kanz al-Fawai’ad fi tanwi’ al-mawa’id (“The Treasures of Useful Advice for the Composition of a Varied Table”). 13th C Egypt. Translated by M.B. DeBevoise. As it appears in Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World by Lilia Zaouali.

 

2 cans of Chickpeas, peeled (liquid reserved)

1/4 C White wine vinegar

5 tiny pickled lemons

Cinnamon

Pepper

Ginger

 

Parsley

Mint

Rue

 

Sesame oil (raw/golden, not toasted)

 

Crush peeled chickpeas with the juice of the lemons (strained of seeds), the vinegar, and some of the reserved liquid until you have the desired consistency.  mix in 1/2 t. of pepper, 1/2 t. of ginger and 1 t. of cinnamon. Chop fresh mint and parsley, adding a tablespoon of each. Layer chopped fresh rue on the bottom of the serving plate, put the puree on top and create a well in the middle. Pour sesame oil in the well and over the rest of the hummus.

 

 

This image shows the chickpeas in the bowl, the skins next to it, and the pickled lemons in front. I found a jar of the pickled lemons at a Mediterranean grocery in Minneapolis. I hate peeling chickpeas, but it makes for an awesome puree. You just squeeze the end and the pea pops out of the skin-- a few hundred times. While they're submerged in water, you can rub the cooked chickpeas in your palms to coax off most of the skins. The lemons are full of seeds, give yourself extra time for straining these out with a mesh sieve.

 

Clearly the biggest difference between this and modern hummus is the lack of tahini (sesame seeds crushed to the consistency of peanut butter). Pickled lemon, of course, has a different flavor than fresh lemon. The other differences is the change in spices. Instead of olive oil we have raw sesame oil (giving us the hint of tahini flavor) and four spices not seen in modern hummus. Rue has an extraordinary flavor that must be experiences to understand-- fresh rue is clearly preferred. The cinnamon and ginger are well suited to the chickpea flavor.  

 

I pureed it in a food processor, using the chickpea liquid to thin the paste to the desired consistency. I haven't decided if the parsley, mint and rue are place on the surface of the dish, or mixed in. I tried mixing this one in and it resulted in a good flavor, but I didn't have the fresh herbs I would have preferred.

------

 

<the end>



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