[Sca-cooks] Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq Feast Menu

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 22 13:24:44 PDT 2012

Here's the partial/tentative menu for the Principality of the Mists Spring Investiture Feast on May 19, the dishes coming from Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's "Kitab al-Tabikh" (Book of Dishes), a compendium of 615 recipes from 20 cookbooks -- none of which has survived in its own right -- and 89 food poems -- some recipes in themselves -- from the ninth and tenth centuries.

The feast will be served as in period, including hand cleansing as recommended by Ibn Sayyar.

First Service - Bawarid ("Cold Dishes")

-- Roasted Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios
-- Fresh Sweet Apples, Grapes, and Melon
-- Barida of Carrots: cooked carrot coins in spiced vinegar with fresh herbs
-- Another Barida: basic vegetable to be determined, possibly fava beans
-- Bazmaward with citron pulp, called al-Ma'muni: shredded cooked chicken, fresh herbs, and citron (or lemon, depending on availability) pulp, rolled in lavash, and cut in slices
-- Bazmaward made for al-Mutawakkil: shredded cooked lamb, leafy greens, olives, spices, cheese, and sliced eggs, rolled in lavash, and cut in slices

Second Service - Hot Savory Dishes

-- Sikbaj by al-Rashid: beef and lamb cooked in vinegar with spices
-- White Tharidah of al-Rashid: chicken and chickpeas cooked with spices in milk, with almond-egg topping
-- Vegetables to be determined, possibly chard and eggplant
-- Lentils with spices and fresh herbs
-- Fresh Cucumber and Turnip Pickles
-- Olives with thyme
-- Fresh Homemade Bread
(Rice was at this time only rarely served and then cooked to mush)

Water, iced and at room temperature, will be served to diners as appropriate for their temperaments during the first two courses, as recommended by Ibn Sayyar.

Third Service - Sweets

-- Beverage Syrups:
----- Sakanjabin and Jullab (Rose), as appropriate to diners according to their temperaments, as recommended by Ibn Sayyar
----- a fruit syrup to be determined, possibly lemon
-- Muhallabiyya of Itriya: fine noodles cooked in milk with sugar and rosewater
-- Aqras ("tablets"): pan fried flat disks topped with white and variously colored sugar
-- Gharib Khushkananaj Wathiqi: baked domes of pastry flour, powdered sugar, and sesame oil
-- Halwa Mahshuwwa ("stuffed sweets"), also called Raghunin Ratb Muluki ("moist royal cookies"): slightly leavened dough cups filled with sugar and chopped nuts, baked and dipped in honey

The meal will conclude with toothpicks and hand cleansing, as recommended by Ibn Sayyar.
Ibn Sayyar also recommends physical activity before the meal and a nice nap afterwards.

I'll let folks know how things turn out - i'm still working out the recipes


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