[Sca-cooks] More al-Warraq--report on a cooking workshop

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Sun Sep 9 19:53:49 PDT 2012

Saturday's cooking workshop went well, even though we had only three 
visitors (plus three of us--my daughter Rebecca did one dish). Two were 
my elder son and his girlfriend, who hopefully will be going to Pennsic 
next year and camping with us, and Alys, a nice lady from Ansteorra who 
recently moved to the area.

One of the most successful dishes was mine,

*Judhaba by al-Mu'tamid:*

Take a whole bread made with the finest samidh flour, let its weight be 
1 ratl. Cut it into morsel-size pieces, which you then soak in water in 
a green-glazed bowl for about an hour. When bread pieces are saturated 
and puffed, put them in a judhabadan. Pour on them 1 ratl honey, 2 ratls 
tabarzad sugar (Pure and white cane sugar), and 1 ratl water. There 
should be enough to cover the bread and a little bit more. Mix in 
aromatic spices and saffron, too.

[Put the pan in the bottom center of a hot tannur], suspend a plump 
chicken over the pan, [and let it roast until done,] God willing.

This is the second Judhaba I've done, the earlier one being a judhaba of 
bananas, also from al-Warraq. The basic idea is to cook something--the 
translator sometimes refers to it as a pudding--under a roasting 
chicken. For the aromatic spices, I found a list by al-Warraq and 
selected from it cinnamon, pepper, spikenard, nutmeg, and cloves.

It turned out to be very good--my younger son, who wasn't participating 
and has rather conservative tastes in food, loved it, and everyone liked it.

We also redid the barida of beans, this time with fresh fava beans that 
my elder son, who came with his girlfriend, brought down from Berkeley, 
where they apparently have all sorts of exotic foods (but he couldn't 
find me clarified sheep butter). Much better than the first try with 
dried favas. My daughter did two versions of a lentil dish which was 
quite good and has the virtue of using nothing that doesn't keep, so can 
easily be done at Pennsic. Other people did a variety of other things. 
Everything turned out at least edible, and a number of things much 
better than that. And the crackers and cookies  that I did earlier from 
al-Warraq are still reasonably good, which means we can make them a 
couple of days before Pennsic starts--we generally visit with some 
friends near Chicago en route--and have them there.

I didn't get to do the latticed fritter, because I noticed too late that 
the batter had to be mixed up in advance and left to ferment over night. 
The instructions say to use a half coconut with a hole in the bottom as 
the funnel for making what are essentially funnel cakes--an Islamic 
equivalent of crispes. I actually got a coconut, at my daughter's 
urging, although I doubt using it instead of a funnel will make any 
difference. But we have so many leftovers that I'm leaving that project 
for a few days from now.

-- David/Cariadoc

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list