[Sca-cooks] Taro was Re: looking for lentil recipe

Susan Fox selene at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 10 10:38:57 PST 2011

The monthly meeting of the Culinary Historians of Southern California is 
this Saturday.  The lecture topic has no bearing on this email thread, 
but I expect Charles Perry to be there and I may have to ask him about 
Taro in Arab cookery.  Taro, same as in Japanese cookery?  I don't 
remember seeing this ingredient around in Arabian recipes.

Gently bewildered Selene

On 3/10/2011 10:28 AM, lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:
> I wrote:
>> This recipe is from a 15th c. cookbook attributed to Ibn al-Mabrad; 
>> the recipes use relatively few spices. It was translated by Charles 
>> Perry, in "Medieval Arab Cookery". It is vegan.
>> Adas
>> The best way of cooking lentils is to crush them and then cook them 
>> and put with them chard and taro. When it is done, sumac, fried 
>> onion, parsley, vinegar and oil are put with it.
>> I found the 15th c. recipe as written too bland. So i combined 
>> aspects of both recipes, leaving out the meat but including the 
>> spices of the adasiyya, making a vegetarian recipe with more 
>> seasoning than the 15th c. recipe.
> I would like to add that the 15th c. Syrian cookbook attributed to Ibn 
> al-Mabrad (or Mubarrad) -- fully translated by Charles Perry and 
> published in "Medieval Arab Cookery" -- appears to be recipes NOT from 
> the elite classes and it uses remarkably few spices throughout all its 
> recipes. It is unclear whether
> (1) indeed no spices or herbs were used at all by cooks of that class,
> or
> (2) if perhaps the seasoning of the dishes was understood to be at the 
> discretion and affordability of the cook
> Quite a few of those commonly used in elite cookbooks were locally 
> grown, easy to grow, and not expensive, such as cumin, caraway, 
> coriander seeds, coriander greens (cilantro), mint, parsley, etc..
> This uncertainty is another reason i felt it was plausible to add 
> those commonly used seasonings to my interpretation.

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