[Sca-cooks] Ottoman Soup Choices

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 25 17:18:56 PDT 2007

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa wrote:
>They all sound good. My only concern is 'how much rice can you serve?'
>since all of them seem to have rice...

 From what i can tell, the amount of rice in the soup was light - the 
soups are mostly broth with limited thingies floating in them. So i 
could make one soup with rice...

And a whole lot of the meat recipes include rice, too. In fact, in 
reviewing the meat dishes, 5 out of 10 that are purely Ottoman 
included rice. Since both chicken dish choices have fruit, i'm 
planning to cook a meat dish without fruit... Only 3 out of 10 had no 
fruit - two of them included rice and one included pasta...

In the 15th and 16th centuries they did serve A LOT of rice. I'm 
planning not to... Well, it may seem like a lot, but i'm not making 
meat-plus-rice dishes (i'll make the dish without the rice), and i 
don't want rice in both my soups, either. I do plan to make one or 
two rice desserts.

Additionally, just about all the desserts, and many main dishes, 
include almonds... sigh... I guess if one was allergic to almonds, 
one did not survive past a certain age.

>The two you have in detail are both fruit soups. Do you have a source
>for barberries?

Yes, i do. There's a Persian store near me where i often shop - they 
sell some prepared dishes with barberries - and i've bought dried 
barberries there.

>I'd say one of the detailed ones, and one non-rice-- like
>chicken broth and chickpeas, maybe?

Well, chickpeas feature in a lot of recipes, too, sigh... They're 
mashed with the meat to fill the manti, for example, and feature in 
most of the meat dishes.

Reading what the Sultans ate and what the Palace pages and eunuchs 
ate... it was really monotonous. The weekly menu has two meals, the 
morning meal being much more expansive and varied than the evening 
meal. And the same dishes are pretty much repeated week after week, 
so one would always know what was going to be served on Tuesday, on 
Wednesday, etc. There were limited seasonal variations, such as which 
sour fruit was added to a soup, or what vegetable would be cooked 
with the lamb.

Feasts featured dish after dish of rice - plain rice, seasoned and 
colored rice, rice with a slab of meat resting on top of the bowl, 
rice and meat cooked together, rice with chicken, etc. European 
visitors tended to complain a lot about it. The same was true in 16th 
and 17th C. Persia, as well. We modern folks might not mind the 
various rice pilafs, but Europeans of the time were more used to one 
rice dish and several separate meat dishes.

As i said, however, i'm going to limit the amount of rice. There will 
be a tray with moderate amounts of four kinds of rice: plain white, 
green (with herbs), yellow (saffron), and red (with pomegranate 
juice) served with the main course, and one or two rice desserts 
among the cookies, fried pastries, etc.

I went through the recipes in Yerasimos again, and found that of the 
42 recipes he has, there are only 3 purely Ottoman chicken recipes. 
One is batter-covered fried chicken with a sweet-and-sour sauce which 
i consider too labor intensive and time sensitive for a feast. The 
other two are for chicken cooked with fruit and nuts, so i'm 
definitely serving a sweet fruity chicken. They also ate dishes from 
al-Baghdadi, but i want to focus on the actually Ottoman recipes, 
although clearly al-Baghdadi has not been fully utilized in SCA 
feasts yet.

So that means i won't be serving a sweet lamb and fruit dish. 
Unfortunately, most of the recipes for lamb include fruit. Some even 
involve practically candying the meat before serving (really!)... and 
i'm not a big sugar fan.

But thank you for your feedback. I'll definitely take your 
suggestions into consideration.

Still musing on the menu,
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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