[Sca-cooks] Tharida questions (long)

Jim and Andi jimandandi at cox.net
Sun Nov 8 10:55:36 PST 2009

As far as I know, Martinelli has no expertise in medieval Islamic 
cooking. She's simply taken the Perry translation and added her own 
comments, reorganized, etc. Some of her comments are lifted from 
Perry's footnotes, but I don't think this one is, so I would ignore 

** ***
Very good to know. I searched the Florilegium section on ME Food for
mention of Martinelli and found nothing, so I thought it would be
prudent to ask. Thank you!**

>On reading the two tharida recipes specified above, what would you
>is the texture of the final dish; soft like a savory bread pudding, dry
>like a steamed couscous dish, or something else entirely?

As best I can tell from looking at recipes,  tharid is basically 
stuff cooked in liquid, then poured over crumbled bread crumbs. So 
not at all like a bread pudding. Hope that helps.
Yes, I can see how you could get that from some of the recipes for
tharida, but not all of them:

Tharida made with Fattened Chickens or with Well-Fed, Fattened Capon

"leave until the crumbs absorb the sauce and it is ready"

Tharida made with Garbanzo water, Chicken, Cheese and Olives

"When the pigeons are ready, take the pot to the hot ashes and break in
five eggs. Then crumble in enough clean white bread and moisten it with
the sauce until it soaks it up."

Tharida of Zarbada

""Put it on the fire and when the spices have boiled, take read and
crumble it, throw it in the pot and stir smoothly while doing so. Pour
out of the pot onto a platter and knead this into a tharida and pour
clarified butter over it"

All of these examples seem to me more like a refined sops, where the
crumbs are intentionally soaked in broth, which would make a soft mass.
It is not then baked like an American bread pudding but could certainly
be considered steamed like an English one in the residual heat of the
pot and broth. 

Also, especially in the spinach and cheese tharida, it specifies that
the meat is taken out but not the spinach and cheese, since they are
part of the broth that the bread crumbs would soak in. This would make,
in effect, a molded bread "pudding" studded with spinach and cheese,
which would then be turned out onto a plate.

Could this be possible?

I shall cook this tonight and reply with more notes.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list