[Sca-cooks] Banana Recipe

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 20 09:23:53 PDT 2010

Stefan wrote:
Master Cariadoc related a banana recipe and his redaction:
>  A recipe for Judhaba of bananas by Ibn al Mahdi
>  Al-Warraq p. 375

>I'm assuming that the spit is in front of the fire with the layered 
>bananas and bread underneath this. So it gets the drippings and some 
>of the general heat from the fire, but not being over coals or a 
>fire doesn't really bake. Or does it get browned from being this 
>close to the fire? Or am I wrong about it not being over coals? In 
>the latter case, it would seem to cook much faster than the chicken 
>and risk being burned.
>Hmmm. But the original *is* is an oven (tannur), right? So maybe it 
>is meant to get 'baked' more than it would be sitting in front of 
>the fire.

It isn't spit roasted. It is cooked in an oven, with the chicken 
suspended over the tray of sweet stuff. It is, in its own odd way, 
sort of the medieval Arabic world equivalent to the much later 
English roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Cariadoc did what he did 
because few of us have tannurs in our homes. One can get tannurs for 
the home now, in the US and UK, but one was quite a bit more 
expensive than i could afford.

>Also, I'm not familiar with this cookbook, although we've probably 
>discussed it here before. Where is it from and when?

Abu Muhammad al-Muzaffar ibn Nasr ibn Sayyar al-Warraq of Baghdad 
compiled a cookbook, al-Kitab al-Tabikh, Book of Dishes, in the 10th 
century, including recipes from the 9th and 10th centuries, as well 
as info on poems on food, etiquette, humors, table talk, etc.

It was published in December 2007 by Brill, a scholarly publisher in 
the Netherlands, as translated and with commentary and glossaries by 
Nawal Nasrullah as Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar 
al-Warraq's Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook (in the series: Islamic 
History and Civilization).

I have used recipes from it, and it has been discussed on this list a 
number of times, before and after its publication.

Some time ago, Charles Perry translated a few of its recipes, which 
Cariadoc included in... the Miscellany, i think... or else in 
Cariadoc's most useful collection of cookbooks.

>It sounds interesting. I don't know where I could find this rugaga 
>though. I wonder if flour tortillas or perhaps pits bread might make 
>a reasonable substitute.

Lavosh is more appropriate. I have sometimes used white flour 
tortillas, but they are a bit different from ruqaq. Pita would be 
wrong wrong wrong.
Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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