[Sca-cooks] al-Bagdadi substitution question

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 7 16:56:16 PDT 2010

Stefan wrote:
>How much is "half a rub"?

It literally means "a quarter", and in some recipes it just means a 
quarter of something.
For other measures, it equals about 1 (American measuring) cup (23.5 
And in measuring spices, it is one quarter of a dirham, or about 3/4 of a gram
-- Charles Perry, p. 287, Medieval Arab Cookery

>How do you "peel" sesame seeds? Aren't these rather small, tiny 
>seeds? Or are what I am thinking of already have been peeled?

You can purchase unpeeled/unhulled and peeled/hulled sesame seeds at 
the store. Peeled are quite a bit paler than unpeeled.

Modern methods may use chemical, steam, or mechanical hulling. I 
don't know how they were peeled within SCA period, probably 
mechanical hulling.

They are hulled because the skins are somewhat tough and definitely a 
bit bitter, and are generally removed before making tahini (although 
one can buy it made from unpeeled sesame seeds in the whole foods 
store) or sesame halvah. Some people prefer them unhulled as they 
don't get rancid as quickly and may contain more calcium.

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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