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Friday, July 6, 2012

CAMELLO WITH 10TH C RECIPE FOR CAMEL STEW

camel meat anyone?
Photo from: run comrade
camel. Villena stated that camels lived in Mayorca in the beginning of the 15th C. Camel meat is called juzar in Arabic which literally means "that which is slaughtered" and sometimes includes mutton. It was strictly prohibited by the Torah but specifically permitted by the Koran. Avenzoar wrote that camel meat has a very dense substance; it is dry, cold and digested slowly. While Arabs countered that it is hot not cold. It was popular in Al-Andalus where Hispano-Arabs found it temperate. Supposedly, they had innumerable recipes for cooking it in a tajine but none appear in the 13th C Al-Andalus cookery. Kitab al Tabikh, also known as the  Bagdad Cookery Book from the 10th C, is said to contain an entire chapter dedicated to camel meat stews. Today, in the Middle East, camel kebabs and burgers are most popular. The hump is the prized part. Medieval physicians warned against eating too much camel meat as it was thought to “be heating” and to “engender thick blood.” Too, the meat was thought to provoke urination. Physicians went on to say that it was only suitable for those performing hard labor. Others eating it were subject to having a “hot stomach” and diarrhea. The fat is denser than that of any other animal and for this reason it gives the impression that it is solidified. It is warm when felt. Cejador wrote that it was thought that if it was bleed on a starry night, it would drive one crazy if he drank it. Laza confirmed this medieval belief with Moroccan witch-doctors. Avenzoar said that camel’s milk invigorates the stomach and liver. Strangely enough the rennet does not coagulate and, therefore, cannot be made into cheese. Galen stated that camel milk is very smooth. Aristotle praised it. Huertas claimed that it was the thinnest of all milks and somewhat salty. Arabians thought that the milk loosens the stomach. Pliny maintained that fresh camel milk helps those suffering from asthma and those with respiratory difficulties, dropsy and liver or spleen obstructions. It is also imbibed to counteract poisoning.  See leche y sus productos and unto. [Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:135; ES: Helou. Mar 1, 10; Ibn Zuhr/García  Laza. 2002:109; Sánchez. 1992:56:62;and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b]

JAZURIYYA BI-LAHM JAZUR, CAMEL STEW ADAPTED FROM 
KITAB AL TABIKH OF THE 10TH C BY CHARLES PERRY[1] 
hump_meat.jpg
Photo from: missginsu
Ingredients

Camel rib and leg meat
Camel hump
Onions
Vinegar
Soy sauce[2]
Pepper
Coriander
Caraway
Mixed spices (abzar, probably like the baharat or hawayij of modern Arab cookery)

Camel meat 1
Photo from: Ismaeil
Preparation

Slice up the meat and hump as if you were going to make the medieval fry-up called qaliyya. Cook the sliced meat in a pot until it gives up all its moisture, then add onions and the sliced hump and cook everything together until the hump renders its fat.

Add the vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, coriander, caraway and mixed spices to taste (the recipe gives no measurements at all) and continue cooking until everything is done.




[1] Found at: < http://www.anissas.com/blog1/?p=1071>
[2] Perry uses soy sauce instead of murri. A recipe for murri can be found in Medieval Spanish Chef blog almorí, published Aug 25, 11. 

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