Sekanjabin (Recipe by Claudia Roden; a recipe in the
Anonymous Andalusian cookbook for "simple sekanjabin" omits the
Ingredients: Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Mint Julab (from a recipe of Ibn Sina)
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Rose Water
It is made with a hen, pigeons, doves, small birds or lamb.
Take what you have of them, after cleaning, and cut up and put
in a pot with salt, an onion, pepper, coriander and lavender
or cinnamon, some murri naqî', and oil. Put it on a gentle
fire until it is nearly done and the sauce is dried. Take it
out and fry it in fresh oil without overdoing it, and leave it
aside. Then take fine flour and semolina, make a well-made
dough with leaven, and if it has some oil it will be more
flavorful. Then roll out from it a flatbread and put inside it
the fried and cooked meat of these birds, cover it with
another flatbread and stick the ends together. Put it in the
oven, and when the bread is done, take it out. It is very good
on journeys. You might make it with fish and that can be used
for journeying too.
Cook eggplants until soft by baking, boiling or grilling over
the fire, leaving them whole. When they are cool, remove the
loose skin, drain the bitter liquor and chop the flesh fine.
It should be coarser than a true purée. Grind walnuts fine and
make into a dough with vinegar and salt. Form into a patty and
fry on both sides until the taste of raw walnut is gone; the
vinegar is to delay scorching of the nuts. Mix the cooked
walnuts into the chopped eggplant and season to taste with
vinegar and ground caraway seed, salt and pepper. Serve with a
topping of chopped raw or fried onion.
much as needed of fine samidh flour (high in starch and
bran free). This bread is dry. The
dough is made similar to that of barazidhaj, except that this
bread is a little thinner and smaller, it is pricked a lot
with feathers [before baking], and neither buraq (bakers'
borax) nor any sweetening ingredients are used in making it.
However, you need to knead into it (olive oil from unripe
olives), the amount of which depends on how much oily you want
it to be. Moreover, after you stick them to the inside wall of
the tannur and they are fully baked, take them out and stack
them at the top of the oven. Keep them there until they are
completely dry. Store them in wicker baskets and use them as
Barazidhaj: Take 1 makkūk [7½ pounds] good quality, pure
flour, and mix with it 2 uqiyas
yeast, and 20 dirhams salt and (bakers' borax). Mix
them into dough [by adding water] and knead vigorously. Cover
it and let it ferment.
Divide dough into small
portions, the weight of each should be 1 Levantine uqiya (1 ½
ounces), brush each
portion with 2 dirhams
(olive oil from unripe olives),
and flatten it on a wooden board to medium thinness. Prick the
breads with feathers, but not much, and cover them with a dry
piece of cloth.
Sourdough, Salt, Olive oil
Crumbly crackers (al-Warraq)
Take 1 kaylaj fine samidh flour and
take for it ½ ratl tabarzad (white cane sugar) dissolved in 1
ratl water. Knead vigorously and set dough aside to ferment.
After dough has risen, pour on it, 5 Baghdadi
uqiyyas oil of skinned almonds and knead lightly.
Cut out dough into regular even-sized discs
using a mold (qalab) and sprinkle them with hulled sesame seeds.
Prick the pieces with a feather and bake them in the tannur
until they are golden. Take them out of the oven and set them
aside I nthe open air for about an hour until they dry out. When
eaten they will crumble in the mouth.
and core quince, put it in a pot with honey, and pour water on
it. Let the pot come to a boil then drain the quince, return
it to the pot and add honey to it. Do not use water this time.
Cook the qunce again until it is well done.
A Recipe for Conserving
Choose large and fragrant Lebanese apples, peel
and core them, and take 10 ratls of these.
Take honey [and vinegar], boil them in a pot, and
add the prepared apples to them. Let the apples cook gently on
slow fire stirring constantly until apples become as mushy as
khabis (thick pudding).
Add to the pot, 2 uqiyyas cassia, and 1 uqiya of
each of the following: black pepper, cloves, black cardamom, and
mace. Also add ½ uqiyya spikenard and 3 nutmegs with outer skins
scraped. However, before adding them to the pot, you need to
grind and sift each spice separately then mix them well, and add
them to the pot. Besides, the amount of honey and vinegar used
should be enough to cover the apples.
Finally, add 1 mithqal (4 ½ g) crushed saffron.
Stir the pot until the ingredients mix well and look like
khabis. Transfer the conserve into a clean vessel, God willing.
Know that pear conserve is done exactly like
Cut fat meat into middling pieces and put into the saucepan,
with a covering of water. Add cinnamon-bark, a little salt, a
handful of peeled chickpeas, and half a handful of lentils.
Boil until cooked: then add more water, and bring thoroughly
to the boil. Now add spaghetti (which is made by kneading
flour and water well, then rolling out fine and cutting into
thin threads four fingers long). Put over the fire and cook
until set to a smooth consistency. When it has settled over a
gentle fire for an hour, remove.
Tabâhajah [from the Manuscript of Yahya b. Khalid]
Take an earthenware pot and pour in one quarter ratl of
Nabataean murri, and of good honey an ûquiyah, and beat them.
When they are mixed, strain with a sieve, then put with them a
dirhem of coriander, one and a half dirhams of cinnamon and
two dâniqs of ground pepper. Then take two ratls of tender
meat and slice fine in wide strips and put them in this
condiment for a while. Then put the pot on the fire and pour
in four ûquiyahs of good oil. And when the oil begins to boil,
throw the strips in the pot with the condiment and two dâniqs
of milled salt. Then cook the meat until it is done and the
condiment is dried. Then take it off the fire and cut up on it
some cilantro, and rue, and some green mustard, and serve. And
it [can be] a Tabâhajah with asafoetida, if you wish.
Choose sweet and
fully ripe apricots an remove the pits. In a clean judhabadan
layer the apricots alternately with a layer of sugar until the
pan is full. However, before doing this, yous should have lined
the bottomof the casserole with a thin round of bread (ruqaqa),
and [after you finish] you need to cover the apricots with
another thin round of bread (ruqaqa).
If you wish, add a
little bit of saffron and drench the apricots and sugar in rose
water. [Put the casserold in a hot tannur,] suspend a fine plump
chicken above it, [and let it roast], God willing.
[We combined this recipe with the following, using apricots but
layering the bread as in the banana recipe]
A recipe for Judhaba of
Bananas by Ibn al Mahdi
Peel the bananas and set them
aside. Spread a ruqaqa [thin round of bread] in the pan and
spread a layer of bananas over it. Sprinkle the banana layer
with pure sugar, and spread another ruqaqa all over it. Repeat
the layering of banana, sugar, and ruqaqa until the pan is full.
Pour enough rose water to drench the layered ingredients, [put
the pan in a hot tannur,] suspend a fine chicken over it, [and
let it roast] God willing.
Dried apricots, sugar, thin bread (ruqaqa and lavash), rose
[Ruqaq contains flour, sourdough, baking powder, salt, olive
oil. Lavash contains flour and yeast.]
Khall wa zayt (al-Warraq)
Prepare a deep platter. In
a big cup, put 3 ratls wine vinegar, a piece of ice, and water.
Stir the mixture until ice dissolves. Add to the mixture, a lump
of sugar, a bit of salt, and dry well leavened white ka’k. Stir
the mixture with a spoon. Take the ka’k out put it on the
patter, and pour the remaining liquid in the cup over it.
Pour olive oil over
it, and chop in it pulp of small and smooth cucumber, fresh
thyme leaves, pungent fresh basil, and a little salt.
Serve the dish, God
willing, with hot [roasted] pullets.
Ka'k (al-Warraq) included in the Khall wa zayt above
Take 1 kaylaja or
1 makkuk fine samith flour. Make it into dough using 100 dirhams
ground sesame seeds that have not been extracted of their oil, 1
uqiya almond oil, and 2 dirhams salt. For each makkuk add 2
uqiyyas white sugar and 3 dirhams saffron. Knead the mixture
with 10 dirhams yeast [and some water].
When dough is fully fermented,
rub it with a little fat and rosewater beaten together. Roll it
out on a board into a square and cut it into small squares. Bake
them in the tannur by sticking them. When done, take them out
and leave them at the top of the tannur for a short while to dry
out, God willing.
Semolina, Tahini, Almond oil, Salt, Sugar, flour (in
sourdough, very small amount), rose water, olive oil for fat
(saffron omitted since this was supposed to be white ka'k)
Wash and pick over
hulled lentil and cook it until it falls apart and becomes
mushy. Cook with it round onion, olive oil, and salt. Add some
You have the option of adding to it sugar and
saffron. Alternatively, if you do not like to use saffron or
onion, put bruised garlic cloves and a dusting of cumin in the
pot after adding the vinegar.
Boil the carrots,
cut them [crosswise] into rings like dirhams (coins),
and set them aside.
Chop onions, fresh herbs, and rue. Fry them
very well in olive oil and pour on them murri and
vinegar. Add as well cassia, black pepper, galangal, coriander
seeds, caraway seeds, ginger, spikenard, and cloves, all ground.
Bring the pot to a good boil, and pour the vinegar mixture all
over the carrots, which have been put on a platter. Chop rue on
it and serve it, God willing.
Two kinds of ruqaq are made:
labiq, and jarmāzaj. The first variety is small and neatly
shaped into perfect rounds flattened into extreme thickness.
Jarmāzaj is larger.
Ruqāq is made, kneaded, and cut the
same way barāzidhaj is done. However, labiq weights 2 Baghdadi
ūqiyaas (2 ounces) and karmāzaj weighs 3 to 4 ūqiyas (3 to 4
ounces). Moreover, ruqāq breads are not priced with feathers and
the tannūr is heated before flattening the breads. As soon as
one piece is flattened, it is immediately stuck into the tannūr,
which is to remain hot all the time.
You cannot bake more than one bread at
a time [because they are thin and bake fast]. You need to
flatten the ruyqāqa, stick it into the tannūr, and wait until it
is done. It should be wiped with water the moment it is taken
out and while it is still at the top of the oven. The breads are
to be stacked as they bake until the whole batch is finished,
(barāzidhaj--recipe referred to in the above)
Take 1 Makkūk (7 ½
pounds) good quality, pure flour and mix with it 2 ūqiyyas (2
ounces) yeast, and 20 dirhams (2 ounces) salt and būraq (bakers’
borax). Mix them into dough [by adding water] and knead
vigorously. Cover it and let it ferment.
into small portions, the weight of each should be 1 Levantine
uqiyaa (1 ½ ounces), brush each portion with 2 dirhams (1 t)
(olive oil from unripe olives), and flatten it on a wooden board
to medium thinness. Prick the breads with feathers, but not
much, and cover the with a dry piece of cloth.
tannur. Let it get hot then wipe clean its inner wall and wait
for the fire to subside. With the help of a piece of cloth
transfer the breads to the tannur and stick them into the oven.
If you like, squirt some water on them [before baking].
are done, take them out of the oven, and drape them with a piece
of cloth for an hour or so, God willing.
Latticed fritters (al-Warraq)
Make soft dough
using ½ ratl good quality fine samidh flour, yeast, [and water].
Cover the dough and let it ferment overnight. In the following
morning, knead ½ ratl starch with yeast dissolved in water, and
mix it with the pepared batch of fermented dough. Knead them
together, adding water bit by bit until the dough becomes very
soft—similar to ‘ajin al qatayif (crepe batter). Add a small
amount of (baking borax) that has been dissolved in some water.
Let it rest for a short while.
Prepare a nut cup for the batter. It is made by cutting off the
rounded end of a coconut, which leaves you with a cup-like
shell. Pierce a small hole in its botom, the width of a mil
(probe or bodkin).
Choose an iron or
copper frying pan with a flat base. Pour fat, enough to cover
the zalabiya [while frying]. Light the fire underneath the
pan. When the fat becomes hot, scope some of the batter into
the coconut shell, held with the left hand, and the hole
blcoked with a finger. Then hold the filled shell from its rim
with the right hand—above the frying pan—and let the batter
run through the hole into the hot fat, simultaneously moving
your hand in circles to make the lattice form. You can make
them like discs, balls, or squares. If your batter was done
right, the moment the batter falls into the hot oil, it will
puff and look like a bracelet with a hollow interior.
As soon as one
zalabiya is done, take it out of the fat and dip it in honey,
which has been boiled and skimmed of its froth and perfumed
[with rose water, musk, or camphor]. Keep the pieces drenched
in the honey
until they absorbe enough of the syrup. Then take them out and
arrange them in the dessert platter.
turn out to be good, serve them. (further instructions if they
don’t turn out right omitted)
Sourdough, Starch, Baking soda ("Baker's Borax--conjecture),
Olive oil, Honey, Rose water
Take fine white flour, and with every
ratl mix three uqiya of sesame-oil [one part oil to four of
flour], kneading into a firm paste. Leave to rise; then make
into long loaves. Put into the middle of each loaf a suitable
quantity of ground almonds and scented sugar mixed with rose
water, using half as much almonds as sugar. Press together as
usual, bake in the oven, remove.
flour, Whole wheat flour, Sesame oil, Sourdough, Almonds, Sugar,
Hais (al Baghdadi)
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
varieties are many. Among them are the sweets made of natif.
You put dibs [fruit syrup], honey, sugar or rubb [thick fruit syrup]in the pot, then
you put it on a gentle fire and stir until it takes
consistency. Then you beat eggwhite and put it with it and
stir until it thickens and becomes natif. After that, if you
want almond candy you put in toasted almonds and 'allaftahu;
that is, you bind them. walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts,
toasted chickpeas, toasted sesame, flour. [apparently
beat in the natif until it thickens. For duhniyyah you put in
flour toasted with fat. As for ... [other versions.]
Ingredients: Sugar, Egg
white, nuts or dried apricot or both
Byzantine Murri (Kitab Wasf, Sina'ah 52, p.
56, Sina'ah 51, p. 65: Charles Perry tr.)
Description of byzantine murri [made]
right away: There is taken, upon the name of God the Most High,
of honey scorched in a nuqrah [perhaps this word means 'a silver
vessel'], three ratls; pounded scorched oven bread, ten loaves;
starch, half a ratl; roasted anise, fennel and nigella, two
uqiyahs of each; byzantine saffron, an uqiya; celery seed, an
uqiyah; syrian carob, half a ratl; fifty peeled walnuts, as much
as half a ratl; split quinces, five; salt, half a makkūk
dissolved in honey; thirty ratls water; and the rest of the
ingredients are thrown on it, and it is boiled on a slow flame
until a third of the water is absorbed. Then it is strained well
in a clean nosebag of hair. It is taken up in a greased glass or
pottery vessel with a narrow top. A little lemon from Takranjiya
(? Sina'ah 51 has Bakr Fahr) is thrown on it, and if it suits
that a little water is thrown on the dough and it is boiled upon
it and strained, it would be a second (infusion). ...
Note: Rue has been regarded at least since Roman
times as an abortafacient but also extensively used as an herb and
medicinally. I have been unable to find any clear evidence of what
dose is hazardous and my guess is that the tiny amount used in one
of our recipes is not, but women who are or may be pregnant may
wish to avoid the dish or at least avoid the bits of green leaf on
it, some of which are rue.