[Sca-cooks] Al-Warraq and Hummus Kasa

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Sat Jun 27 18:46:48 PDT 2009

We had a very small cooking workshop today--Elizabeth, me, and one 
other person. Devoted almost entirely to al-Warraq.

One of the things I did was the Khushananaj in the form of crescents 
recipe. I've done al-Baghdadi's Khushkananaj for many years, but it 
has a number of unclear things, and this is a more detailed recipe 
for a fairly similar dish. Al-Baghdadi says to use scented sugar. 
Al-Warraq tells you to use sugar, rose water, camphor and musk. I 
haven't located a source for musk--which would probably have to be 
synthetic--but we found an Indian grocery store that had edible 
camphor after I visited three that didn't and called about five of 
which one did. And Al-Warraq gives fairly clear explanations for how 
you combine filling and dough. Came out very tasty.

I also tried, yesterday evening, making the hummus Kasa from 
_Medieval Arab Cookery_. Has anyone else done it? It has hummus and 
tahini, among other things, but pretty clearly isn't the hummus 
dip/spread we're used to. It also has spices and ground up nuts. You 
are supposed to roll it out and leave it over night, although I 
haven't figured out the point of that--it seemed pretty much the same 
in the morning. I'm wondering if the effect would be different if I 
used a much higher ratio of nuts to chickpeas.

My other recipes were ka-ak--I redid it including the saffron which I 
left out the first time because I couldn't find any, and no doubt the 
result would be an improvement for those who like saffron--and the 
crumbly crackers of Ibrahim ibn al Mahdi. The latter aren't 
bad--something between a sweet cracker and a cookie. Someone else did 
a lentil dish with eggs, similar to the dish of lentils we have long 
done from the 13th c. andalusian cookbook that isn't Manuscrito 
Anonimo but with cheese and greens, which I thought an improvement.

And Betty did a soused chicken from al-Warraq, which hopefully will 
end up providing another item for her "Pennsic without a cooler" 
class, and a redo of Platina's stuffed eggs.

Now we can collapse.

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