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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BILĀŶA (Ar and Hisp Ar) WITH 13TH C EGG & MEAT CASSEROLE RECIPE

Arjona[1] states that it is a pie filled with chicken or fowl eaten in Al-Andalus as a first course during the meal. The recipe in the 13th Anón Al-Andalus, however, is for a meat and egg casserole, which would appear to be a second course. [Anón/Huici.1966:68:49-50; and Arjona. 1983:28:29]

BILĀŶA [2] ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #68 HECHURA DE LA “BILĀŶA,” P 49-50
Frying Almonds
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For 4 persons

Ingredients

1 c almonds in skins
olive oil for frying
1 lb lamb or other meat cut into bite size pieces
1 small onion chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp Byzantine murri[3]
 ½ c cream
8 eggs
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp lavender 
¼ tsp saffron


Preparation

BILĀŶA in individual bowl
Photo by: Lord-Williams
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/175ºC

Boil water in a saucepan. When boiling, add the almonds. Let them sit for a minute or two. Remove them and skin them. Put enough olive oil in a frying pan to cover the almonds. Heat it and when boiling add the almonds and brown them.  Grind them in a food processor and set them aside.

Using the same oil, fry the onion and brown the meat. Add salt, coriander and murri. When done place in an ovenproof casserole dish or individual dishes.

Sprinkle the almonds over the meat and onions. Pour cream over this.  


Beat 4 eggs. Add the rest of the seasoning and mix well. Then pour the egg mixture over the almonds. Put 4 egg yolks on top. Bake uncovered until the top is browned and the eggs have solidified, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

[1] Arjona does not provide a recipe.
[2] The manuscript states that this recipe for bilāŷa used in the West, such as Cordoba and Marrakesh and the area between them. Bilaja is the name of a town in Iraq, which suggests that this recipe might have originated in Persia.
[3] See almorí, published on August 25, 2011, for the recipe.



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