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Friday, May 29, 2015

INDICA, SURGE CACTUS LIKE PLANT




Euphoria indica (1)
Photo from: Vijayasankar Raman
euforbio, L. Euphorbia indica, Fr. euphorbe indienne, Eng. Indian euphorbia, spurge. This cactus-like plant originated in India, spread to Africa and world-wide. Pliny claims that when it was discovered Juba II, King of Mauritania (62-46 BC), named the plant in honor Euphorbus, his Greek physician. Since, euphorbia has come to mean an exaggerated feeling of well-being or euphoria due to the effect of the resin or milky juice in the plant on those who use it. Unfortunately, the king seemed to lack euphoria when the Romans invaded in 46 BC. He committed suicide. 

The plant is contains euphorbium, an extremely acrid gum resin consisting of a milk juice. This produces cheerfulness. It is used in medicine for its emetic, anti-depressant and purgative properties. In the 13th C. Avenzoar prescribed an electuary made with the resin of euphorbia and snake meat. He described it as hot and dry and used it to dissolve intestinal obstructions and to prevent epidemics of illnesses. 

Vatti-k-kanni (Tamil: வட்டிக்கண்ணி)
Dinesh Valke
In powder form, it has been a favorite of practical jokers as it causes violent sneezing. It was used as a drastic purgative, dropsy cures and for chronic eye, ear and brain problems but the action of the drug is so severe that such practices have been abandoned. It is an extremely irritant plant. 

Those dealing with it must cover their mouth and nose with a cloth but they burn their fingers when making incisions in the branches to collect the resin. The part sold is a yellowish-brown transparent waxy substance called ‘tears.’ It gives off a slight aroma when heated. Dissolved in alcohol and burned, it becomes very aromatic. It barely has any taste at first. Then it becomes quite acrid. 

It is said to have been used in paints for ships to protect the bottoms from rotting. In Al-Andalus during the 13th C, the plant was imported from Morocco and used as kindling as noted by Perry in his translation of Anon Al-Andalus. In Mogador today the branches are used in leather tanning. 

It is interesting to note that the poincetta is a member of this family but its resin is poisoness.

[ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5 00; ES: Felter. Euphorbia. Apr 1, 03; ES: Grieve. “Spurges.” 1995; ES: Vandaveer. Aug 23, 05; Font Quer. Plantas. 1999:100:190:266:388 and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:114-115]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

INAPETENCIA WITH FRESH FABA BEANS AND LAMB

A Spring Patter of Faba Beans and Lamb
Photo by: Lord-Williams
diuretic. [ES: Lord. Apio. Oct1 27, 11; and Chirivía, Dec 24, 12]


FRESH FABA BEANS WITH MEAT CALLED 
FISTAQIYA ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #316. HABAS FRESCAS CON CARNE QUE SE LLAMA LA FISTAQIYA, pp 176-177 

Ingredients

1 lb lamb, preferably forelegs
2 tbsp olive ol
2 c  baby faba beans or skinned beans
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp murri[1]
salt to taste

Preparation



Wash the meat and put it in a pot with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover with wáter. When the meat is almost done add the faba beans freshly shelled from the pods.

When done remove from heat and put fabas in a food processor to purée them.  Add vinegar, murri and salt to taste.

Carve the meat and fry until browned. Serve. 


[1] See blog titled al-morí published on August 25, 2011 for recipe.


HUICI’S TRANSALATION FROM HISPANO-ARABIC TO CASTELLANO OF 
ANÓN AL ANDALUS #316 HABAS FRECAS CON CARNE QUE SE LLAMA
LA “FITAQIYA”[1], pp 176-177
     Se toma carne de carnero joven o de cordero, con preferencia de los brazos, de la durra, el jauş [144] y ‘anqara[2] y después de lavarlo, se pone en la olla con dos cucharadas de aceie dulce y el agua que cubra la carne; se lleva al fuego y luego se echa mano de las habas verdes, a las que se limpia de sus vainas y se echan sobre la carne; cuando se ha hecho, saca la carne y amasa las habas muy fuertemente con una cuchara hasta que no quede nada de ellos entero; luego se vierte en la olla una cucharada de vinagre, otra de almorí de pescado y algo de sal, lo que baste; luego se echa en la olla la carne y se fríe un poco; luego se saca al rescoldo hasta que tome forma, se vierte y se sirve.


[1]  No entra en su composición el fustāq o fistāq – pistacho.
[2]  Desconozco la durra y el jauş. La ‘angara es la parte grasosa del cuello del buey, conocida hoy en Marruecos como ‘angra.


PERRY’S TRANSALATION INTO ENGLISH OF 
ANÓN AL ANDALUS
#316. [117]FRESH BEANS WITH MEAT, CALLED FUSTUQIYYA
      
Take the flesh of a young sheep or lamb, preferably from the forelegs, the durra, the jaus and the 'anqara[118] and after washing put in the pot with two spoons of fresh oil and water to cover the meat; put on the fire and then take a handful of fresh beans which have been shelled from their pods and throw over the meat; when it is done, take out the meat and knead the beans vigorously with a spoon until none of them is left whole; then pour in the pot a spoon of vinegar, another of fish murri and some salt, however much is enough; then throw the meat in the pot and fry a little; then take it to the embers until its face appears, dish up and use.
      .
[117]This is a poetical or fantasy name: the green fava beans are compared to pistachios. (CP)
[118]I do not know "durra" and "jaus." 'anqara is the fatty part of a bullock's neck, known today in Morocco as "'angra." (HM)