[Sca-cooks] Salma (Lamb and Round Noodles), was Khabisa with Pomegranate

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 31 23:02:18 PDT 2008

Again, another of Shirvani's Ottoman additions to 
his late 15th C. translation of al-Baghdadi, from 
my translation, which appeared in Kiri's banquet. 
Yes, this isn't Hauviette's version. It's mine, 
but i like to share.


First, Yerasimos's comments

      The name of the dish comes from the Turkish 
verb salmak (toss, throw, drop). It is so named 
because of the pieces of dough that are dropped 
into the pot. This appellation is preserved today 
in the Stambuliot cuisine in a dish of risotto 
with mussels - midye salmasi - cooked in their 
shells, but which no longer corresponds to the 
original etymology. In Anatolia, the name of 
salma is given to a dish of cabbage with bulgur 
or rice where the original sense appears to be 

      It was part of the breakfast of Mehmed II on 
16 June 1469 mixed with yogurt. At the time of 
the celebration of the circumcision of 1539, it 
appears among the dishes offered to the military 
and religious dignitaries in the proportion of 
750 gr of honey to 1 kg flour. It thus becomes a 
sweetened dish that is suitable for solemn 

      The "salma of wheat" (bug(carat over g)day 
salmasi) mentioned among the dishes of winter 
served at Topkapi in the 16th century is a 
variant in which wheat in grains replaces the 
pieces of dough, as it is elsewhere indicated in 
the recipe which we use.

      This does not appear in the original Arabic 
of Baghdadi, but uniquely in the Turkish 
additions of Shirvânî.

[MY NOTE: Stambuliot - adj.-  of or from 
Istanbul. I think it's a nice word and i'm 
stickin' to it]


Original Recipe

Salma / Bughra-yi kharazmi
The art of salma is a dish of wheat.

First cut in small pieces a quantity of meat of 
fat sheep, wash it clean and place it in the pot, 
add enough water to cover the meat and some salt. 
Let it boil and lift off the foam so that the 
meat is suitably cooked and add a quantity of 
crushed chickpeas so that they cook at the same 
time. Color it all with a little saffron and add 
one or two handfuls of blanched sweet almonds.

Clean one or two heads [cloves?] of garlic, crush 
them with a handful of dried mint in a mortar, 
mix with a quantity of strong vinegar and a 
quantity of honey and leave it to rest.

Next pass through a sieve of silk a quantity of 
flour that is good, white, and pure, knead it 
with a quantity of hot salted water, knead well 
with the hand and cover with a clean damp cloth. 
Then cut the dough with a knife into several thin 
strips, fill 2 bowls with hot water, pour the 
strips of dough in the water and let 2 or 3 
people set to work in cutting pieces a little 
bigger than a hazelnut, plunge them (the pieces) 
in the water in the hollow of the palm of the 
hand, flatten them and throw them into the pot in 
the process of boiling. Throw rapidly into the 
pot in question a sufficient quantity of this 
dough flattened in the palm of the hand and 
plunged in the bowl of water and boil strongly.

Adjust the salt and then add the mixture of 
vinegar, garlic, and honey, and cook it all 
according to their taste, more sweet or more 
sour. Sprinkle on top a little dried mint. 
Withdraw it from the fire after cooking and let 
it rest. Then serve it and eat it.
----- Shirvani, folio 120, recto-verso

[above paragraph breaks added by me for ease of reading]

[below are my notes]

I suggest comparing with:
Salma. Dough is taken and twisted and cut in 
small pieces and struck like a coin with the 
finger, and it is cooked in water until it is 
done. Then yoghurt is put with it and meat is 
fried with onion for it and mint and garlic are 
put with it.
--- Ibn al-Mabrad, 9th C.

The 9th C. recipe suggests that the meat and the 
noodles are cooked separately, then served 
together, whereas the Ottoman recipe seems a bit 
unclear - it might be interpreted that the 
briefly boiled noodles are added to the pot of 
meat then the sweet-and-sour sauce is added and 
they are cooked briefly before being served 
sprinkled with mint.

I must say that salma remind me of those noodles 
called "orecchiette" or "orechietti", from the 
Italian "orecchio"=ear, only salma are fresh and 
orecchiette are dried.


Yerasimos's modern version

600 gr leg of lamb
4 soupspoons oil
150 gr cooked chickpeas
2 handfuls sliced almonds (at least 1/2 cup)
1 large clove garlic
2 handfuls dried mint
1 soupspoon vinegar
1 soupspoon honey
150 gr flour

Cut meat in dice and brown them in oil. Add 400 gr hot water and let cook.
Meanwhile mix one handful of mint with the 
crushed clove of garlic. Mix vinegar and honey. 
Then mix both together.

After the meat is cooked, add chickpeas, saffron 
crushed in a little of the broth from the pot, as 
well as the almonds previously blanched.

Mix flour with hot salted water and knead to make 
dough, and leave to rest for about 20 minutes, 
covered with a damp cloth. Next flatten dough 
with a rolling pin, cut in strips, prepare a bowl 
of hot water, cut the strips into little pieces, 
plunge them into the hot water while making them 
into little balls the size of a hazelnut, flatten 
them slightly, and throw them into the pot. Let 
cook, adding hot water if necessary.

When done cooking, adjust salt, add mixture of 
honey, vinegar, mint, and garlic. Lower the fire, 
sprinkle with dried mint, and let rest.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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