[Sca-cooks] Atraf al-Tib

Susanne Mayer susanne.mayer5 at chello.at
Fri Jan 30 09:59:38 PST 2009

I seem to have missed the first posts (will have to look them up) but here are just my two bits of wisdom:

There IS a sort of Lavender that can be mixed up with spikenard. In German it is Called Speik-lavendel  Lavandula latifolia, syn. L. spica and use to perfume soapes 
So I can see where this one comes from. It could be possible that it was used in Spain instead of the indian spikenard as it growes there in the wild between 200 and 500m  and smells definitley different than *normal* (Lavandula angustifolia) (it has much more camphor (up to 15%) ) than normal Lavender.



Even in the wiki thread on lavender and spikenard there are references to both plants used ans one and the same spikenard by the ancient Greeks and Romans, so probably both are valid to use (or what ever you have handy)


n Latin names: 
Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula stoechas; part used: flowers; uses: sedative, anxiolytic, insomnia, appetite stimulant, aromatherapy; precautions: CNS depression. Also called 
aspic, echter lavendel, English lavender, esplieg, French lavender, garden lavender, lavanda, lavande commun, lavandin, nardo, Spanish lavender, spigo, spike lavender, or 
true lavender.
Jonas: Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier.

I did have the same problem with spikenard 

I do have both oils at home and have so far not found the time to test if they do produce the same  sort of *spicines*

rose buds:

Do the arabs ever use rose hips? As far as I know rose petals and dried buds are fairly comon, even in modern arab cooking.

Regards Katharina
Ad Flumen Caerulum

BTW does anyone have recipes where I can use all the sumak I got from Riad?

> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 16:49:30 -0500 (EST)
> From: lilinah at earthlink.net
> Subject: [Sca-cooks] Atraf al-Tib
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Message-ID:
> <10817135.1233179370895.JavaMail.root at mswamui-blood.atl.sa.earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> As i have previously written...
> Atraf al-tib contains twelve ingredients. Which they are depends in part on the translator:
> -- A.J. Arberry, p. 132, Medieval Arab Cookery;
> -- Charles Perry, p. 21, Medieval Arab Cookery;
> -- Nawal Nasrallah, pp. 643-644, Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens, listed in the index as afwah al-tib.
> Unfortunately, the one book that lists ingredients, the 'Abbasid "Kitab Wusla ila al-Habib", gives no proportions.
> 10. rose buds (Rosa damascena) (zir ward) (Arberry & Nasrallah)
> -- Perry gives rose hips, which is unlikely in my opinion, given how common rose petals are in cooking and how rarely rose hips appear.
> 11. spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) (sunbul) (Perry & Nasrallah)
> -- Arberry gave lavender, but we now know that this is inaccurate. Lavender does not appear in recipes from the Eastern Mediterranean and not in the medicinal manuals i have from the region, although it is frequently used in savory dishes in al-Andalus.

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list