[Sca-cooks] Musing on Mongol

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 14:33:15 PDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:

> I have managed to get a copy of the first article published in the PPC some
> years ago, although i've never seen the follow up article which was
> published one or two issues later (anyone have that?)

Yes, I do...what do you need to know?  (By the way, I'll be here tomorrow,
but then will be out of touch until Wednesday of next week, probably...

> Not much vegetarian among them. They follow clearly Chinese cooking
> techniques and i look forward to making some, but nearly all involved meat
> in some way. I had been hoping there'd be more vegetarian recipes among
> them.
> However, this makes me think that having a course of "fringe" foods might
> work, or one or two "fringe" dishes in each course - both purely Arabic and
> purely Chinese, and maybe a Turkish recipe or two - might help diversify the
> food for non-meat eaters.

Here is the recipe for the spinach dish I mentioned, along with my redaction
and notes:
p. 76.  #8.  Isfanakh Mutajjan*

**Cut off the lower roots and wash spinach.  Dry after boiling lightly in
salted water.  Fry spinach in refined sesame oil until fragrant.  Add
chopped garlic.  Season by sprinkling with finely-ground cumin, coriander
and cinnamon.

5 oz. Spinach
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 T. Sesame oil
1/2 clove Garlic, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. Cumin, ground
1/8 tsp. Coriander
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon

Thoroughly wash the spinach.  Steam the spinach very lightly with salted
water. Stir fry spinach in sesame oil until fragrant.  Stir in finely
chopped garlic and mixture of cumin, cilantro and cinnamon (Chinese cassia)

Note:  This particular recipe was not part of the Mongol treatise, but
rather from another group of Muslim recipes that were included in the book
to show the relationship between the two cuisines.  In a conversation with
Dr. Buell, he indicated to me that this was probably transported to China
well within our period and came into common use there.
This is a fairly common recipe...very similar in seasonings to Saag, a
Mughal dish, and only differs in seasoning from several European spinach
dishes, Spynoches yfryed, for example, from A Forme of Curye.  As I know you
know, there was so much "cross pollination" in that part of the world that
who's to say what recipes were served where, especially after the Mongols
conquered China!

I also suspect that your recipe for Jazr would be compatible as well.

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

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