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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DIRHAM WITH AN EGGPLANT DISH TO DIE FOR


M40_Dirham_Al Andalus_Hishamil_1
Photo from: Enez 35
OCast dirhem, Gr drachme, Eng. dirham, a coin or an Arab measurement, Perry maintains that in 13th C Andalusia one dirham weighed 3.9 gr. or ¾ teaspoon. Arberry, on the other hand, states that one dirham equals 0.13 ounce and that 2/5 dirhams are about 1/3 ounce. One dirham equals six dānaq. See dāniq (blog published November 27, 2013). [Anon/Arberry. 2001:36; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5, 02:Gen Notes; and Peterson. 1980:329]

A DISH OF EGGPLANTS WITH SAFFRON ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S ANON AL-ANDALUS #74 PLATO DE BERENJENAS CON AZAFRÁN

Ingredients

1 lb eggplants
salt
2  tbsp vinegar
½ tbsp murri[1]
A Dirham of Saffron
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 tsp coriander
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp cumin
1 chopped onion
1 fennel stalk chopped
1 garlic clove mashed
½ dirham –a pinch of saffron
½ dirham –salt to taste
1 c cilantro leaves
6 eggs
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp flour
1 c cilantro juice
12-18 citron leaves[2]
olive oil for frying

Garnish: sprigs of rue and mint and citron leaves and salsa fina[3]

Preparation

Frying Eggplant Patties
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Cut eggplants in half. Rub salt on each half and place them face down on paper towels for 30 minutes to release the bitterness. Squeeze salt water out of each half of eggplant.

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add eggplants and gently boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put the eggplants in cold water.

Put the vinegar into a pot with murri, ground coriander, pepper, caraway, cumin, onion, fennel stalks, garlic, saffron, salt, a spoonful of oil and a little water. Then cook. When done place the pot on the hearth and let sit overnight.

Put cilantro leaves in a food processor with 1 c water, chop and strain.

Separate the yolks and the whites of 3 eggs. Boil the three egg yolks in water.

Beat the 3 whites with three whole eggs, breadcrumbs, sifted flour and cilantro juice. Heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Remove the flesh from the eggplants. Squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Take two boards and sprinkle both with flour. Press the flesh between the to boards to remove as much liquid as possible.

Beautifully Medieval for Colors
A Dish No Eggplant Lover Should Miss!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Make 12-18 patties, a little smaller than a hamburger. Dip them in flour and fry in oil until browned. Place the patties in a casserole dish containing a layer of citron leaves. Pour the egg mixture on top of the patties except the egg yolks which were set aside.

Pour the onion and spice mixture over the eggplant patties and top this with the egg yolks. Garnish with rue, mint and citron leaves. Sprinkle with salsa fina and serve.

Gourds may be prepared in the same manner but saffron is omitted but sprigs of thyme are added.



[1] See blog titled almori published August 25, 2011 for recipe. 
[2] If not available use the leaves from other herbs. 
[3] See blog titled dárselo published November 29, 2013 for recipe.

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