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A medieval recipe for a Meatless Mushroom Dish

This 13th-century recipe comes from Iberia and is made with mushrooms, eggs, and other readily available ingredients. It comes from the cookbook Fiḍālat al-khiwān fī ṭayyibāt al-ṭaʿām wa-l-alwān by Ibn Razīn al-Tujībī, which has now been edited and translated by Nawal Nasrallah.

A Meatless Mushroom Dish (Fuṭr Mukhammar)

The famous Andalusi cooking technique of topping dishes with little sauce in them with a beaten egg mix, called takhmīr (literally, covering) is utilized here.

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Original recipe

Take as much as you want of fuṭr (mushrooms), wash them thoroughly and dice them into small pieces. Put them in a new pot with a small amount of water, salt, olive oil, coriander seeds, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onion, and black pepper.

Put the pot on the fire to cook. As soon as the mushrooms are done, add small amounts of vinegar and murrī (liquid fermented sauce) and top them (tukhammar) with a couple of eggs [beaten with] some flour—as is usually done with takhmīr (topping dished with eggs). Leave the pot on embers (ghaḍā) until it sets and thickens, and invoke the name of God and eat it, God Almighty willing.

Ingredients

A modernized version (Makes 2 servings):

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon wheat flour

Directions

1. Put the mushrooms in a medium-sized heavy skillet along with the olive oil, cilantro, water, onion, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Stir them frequently on moderately high heat for about 10 minutes, or until all the moisture evaporates.

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2. Add the vinegar and soy sauce, stir for a couple of minutes, and then remove the skillet from the burner.

3. Beat the eggs with the flour and season them lightly with pinches of salt, black pepper, and crushed coriander. Pour the eggs on top of the mushroom mix in an even layer. Put the skillet on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the eggs set, and then serve.

The original recipe – British Library, Or 592 fol. 183r

Best of Delectable Foods and Dishes from al-Andalus and al-Maghrib: A Cookbook by Thirteenth-Century Andalusi Scholar Ibn Razīn al-Tujībī (1227–1293)

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Translated by Nawal Nasrallah and published by Brill

The sophisticated cuisine that developed in the Iberian Peninsula when it was under Muslim rule is in full view in this thirteenth-century cookbook Fiḍālat al-khiwān fī ṭayyibāt al-ṭaʿām wa-l-alwān by the Andalusi scholar Ibn Razīn al-Tujībī, published in this volume for the first time in English, and more importantly it presents al-Tujībī’s complete text, based not only on the partial Berlin and Madrid manuscripts but also on a newly discovered, complete manuscript at the British Library, Or 592. This new discovery is now available for the first time in print format. The translation is supplemented with a thorough introduction and a detailed glossary, lavishly illustrated with 218 images of miniatures and period artifacts, the aim of which is to introduce readers to the wonders of cooking and foodways in al-Andalus and al-Maghrib.

You can buy this book on Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk or from Brill.

Nawal Nasrallah is a leading food historian, focusing on the medieval Arabic world. Click here to visit her website or follow Nawal on Twitter @iraqicuisine

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