[Sca-cooks] Mujadara vs. muzuwwara, related or not?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 9 12:44:23 PDT 2006

A couple of the recipes in al-Baghdadi have the rice simmered with the meat 
and sauce until cooked.  I don't recall if they had lentils also.

The Arabs cultivated rice in Egypt, Spain, and Cyprus as well as Sicily.  It 
was also grown in late Medieval France along the Mediterranean and in other 
parts of Italy.  It is fairly certain that the Arabs introduced rice 
cultivation to Mediterranean Europe from Egypt with the Islamic expansion 
and that rice was introduced into Egypt from Persia, but that introduction 
could be anywhere from the 4th Century BCE to the 8th Century CE.

A one liner in The Cambridge World History of Food suggests that although 
the Romans did not grow rice, they imported rice wine.


> I had been suspecting as much, that both dishes just were variations on 
> the word "lentil." I had also surmised that rice may be a more modern 
> addition for "poor folks" food, because at least in the Middle Ages, rice 
> was costly and considered in Europe sickbed food or food for the rich.
> That being said, were there rice and lentil pottages in period, found in 
> Arabic or Arabic-influenced cookery? I have one factoid: the Arabs had 
> cultivated rice in Sicily. So how did they eat it? That's what I have been 
> trying to figure out.
> Gianotta

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