By Nawal Nasrallah
This English translation of al-Warraqs tenth-century cookbook deals a distinct glimpse into the culinary tradition of medieval Islam. thousands of recipes, anecdotes, and poems, with an in depth creation, a word list, an Appendi and colour representation. Informative and pleasing to students and basic readers.
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Extra info for Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook
Water was added to the pot, with meat and fat, and was skimmed as needed. Within the course of the cooking, other ingredients would be added such as vegetables, spices, herbs, and thickening, sweetening, and souring agents. 109 When everything was cooked, fuel was cut from underneath the pot, which allowed the pot to simmer gently in the remaining heat. The general instruction was to leave it in this state for an hour s§ba, which need not be taken literally. A telling sign that the stew was ready to serve, was when the pot’s oils and fats separated and rose up to the surface.
The small portable stove k§nån ‘brazier’ was also used, especially on picnics. A porridge dish called harÊsa k§nåniyya was eaten at the same place where it was cooked ( ﺗﺆﻛﻞ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻜﺎﻥChapter 50). Other portable stoves al-Warr§q mentioned were n§fiÕ9 nafsihi and k§nån bajl§n (Chapter 59). e. it does not need someone to blow it to keep it going. It seems to have been a relatively familiar gadget in the affluent kitchens of medieval times. 103 K§nån bajl§n was another type of slow-burning brazier.
The question of who scooped from whom or whether both al-Warr§q and author/compil- 55 Al-ó9az§lÊ (d. 1111), in his section on bakers, cooks, and butchers in Sirr al-b$lamayn (8), recommends that cooks consult Kuê9§jim’s cookbooks (ﻛﺘﺐ ﺍﻟﻄﺒﺎﺋﺦ )ﻟﻜﺸﺎﺟﻢ. Ibn à9§kir al-KutubÊ (d. net) 456. ) to Abå ó9§nim al-Quraê9Ê, relative of the Umayyad Caliph Sulaym§n bin bAbd al-Malik (mentioned in al-Warr§q’s book, (503)). , Al-Wußla il§ ’l-0abÊb fÊ Waßf al•ayyib§t wa ’l-•Êb by Kam§l al-DÊn Ibn al-bAdÊm, 2 vols (Aleppo: Mabhad al-Tur§ï9 al-bIlmÊ al-bArabÊ, 1986) 1: 243.