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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ALBARICOQUE - JUDHAAB - SWEET APRICOT PUDDING 9th C RECIPE

APRICOT IN BLOOM
Photo by: GRAZIA ZITARA (Medorra) (85)
OCast. prisco, albérchico, albérchigo albérchigo, quasi persico, Arag, Cat alberge, L. Prunus armeniaca, Ar. tuffāh armīnī (Armenian apple), al-barqug, al bérchigo, Fr. abricot, Eng. apricot. This fruit is over 4,000 years old. It is thought to be a native of China but is sited in the first Sumerian herbal written some time after 2500 B.C. The Armenians introduced the tree to Greece. Records show it spread from Mongolia to Turkey. It appeared in Italy in the 1st C. A.D. Since, apricots have been cultivated in all parts of central and southeastern Asia, southern Europe and North Africa. Spain is a leading producer followed by Iran, Syria, France and Italy. The tree blossoms before the peach and bears fruit earlier in summer. The skin and meat are yellow and the meat is very juicy. It is rich in vitamin C, a good source for vitamin A and high in natural sugar content. It is slightly laxative. Apricots were served as a dessert, fresh, as compote seasoned with any variety of spices from aniseed to nutmeg or baked in a variety of pastries. It can be made into marmalade or dried, which is rich in iron. Some kernels are sweet and can be made into oil like almonds. There are used to make liquors. Other kernels are poisonous. The Archpriest refers to them in a stanza saying a tambourine or flute are more worthless than an apricot. The small ones were held in low esteem Avenzoar states that if inhaled, the aroma strengthens those with fainting fits; if eaten, it produces vitreous and noxious humors and at times long and fatal fevers. [Cajador. 1990:321; Font. Plantas. 1999:222:349; Gázquez. 2002:249; ES: Renfrow.Glos. Jun 16, 04, Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:75; Ruíz/Brey.1965:1230d:193:271; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]

JUDHAAB - SWEET APRICOT PUDDING - CHARLES PERRY'S TRANSLATION IN COOKING WITH THE CALIPHS 

"This favorite dish of medieval Baghdad consisted of a sweet pudding which was set at the bottom of a tannuur oven to catch the juices of roasting meat, which would be served with the pudding. Here we have a recipe from the collection of Caliph al-Wathiq (842–847)."

JUDHAAB
Drawing by: turntoislam.com
Ingredients

1 chicken
¼ c plus 2 tbsp rosewater
ground saffron
1 lb dried apricots
2 fresh lavashes, Mexican flour tortillas or other flatbreads, 12″ in diameter
½ c sugar

Preparation

Wash chicken and pat dry. Mix 2 tablespoons rosewater with pinch of saffron and rub on chicken, inside and out. Set chicken on high rack in 350-degree oven. Put apricots in small saucepan, add water to cover apricots by ½ inch and stew until softened. Place one lavash in baking pan. Arrange stewed apricots on top, sprinkle with sugar and ¾ cup rosewater in which pinch of saffron has been dissolved, then cover with remaining lavash. When juices begin running from chicken, set baking pan under it. 

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