A digestive of lemon and quince

Recently I had been given Nawal Nasrallah’s recent translation of 14th century Egyptian cookbook “Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table” or Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid. I thought to try out a few of the recipes for digestives, although there is only one included in this post. From page 252, recipe number 353, Sharab laymun safarjali (concentrated syrup for lemon-quince drink).

Take a quince, peel it, cut into pieces, and remove the seeds. Boil it in water until it softens and is half cooked. Put the quince aside, and keep the boiling liquid.
Dissolve sugar in the water and boil it until it thickens. Throw in the reserved liquid in which the quince was boiled, and resume boiling it until the syrup is thick enough. Throw in the [boiled] quince and bring it to the boil once or twice, and then remove it. Squeeze one or two lemons on it, and scent it with rosewater.

My redaction-
3 quinces (peeled, cored and chopped)
5 cups water
2 & 1/2 cups raw sugar
2 lemons
3 tablespoons rosewater

Boil the water & quince together until tender.

Remove quince, add sugar and a few strips of lemon peel from the lemons. Boil until half reduced.

While reducing liquid, squeeze two lemons and strain to remove pips.

After liquid has reduced, remove peel and return quinces to pot.

After fruit has fallen apart, mash/blitz with blender. Add lemon juice and rosewater. Strain into jars.

Aruzziyya

In my Barony a Cooks’ Guild meeting was held. Having just gotten Nawal Nasrallah’s most recent book Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table (available from Brill Publishing) I thought to try a recipe that had caught my eye.

In the “miscellany of dishes” chapter (the largest in the book) recipe 85 reads-

You need meat, rice, black pepper, coriander, and dill (shabath).
Boil the meat, [take it out of the broth] and brown it. Pound the fat solids attached to it, and return them to the meat.
Pound black pepper and coriander with some meat and a bit of rice, and shape into meatballs (mudaqqaqa). After the rest of the meat brown [as mentioned above], pour it’s broth [back] on it. Add the meatballs, and let them cook until done.
Wash some rice, and add it to the pot along with a bit of dill, [and let them cook] and simmer gently and serve.

Ingredients-
800g minced beef
Bunch of coriander and dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried and ground coriander
1 & 1/4 cups Basmati rice
1 litre beef stock
1 egg
1 tablespoon ghee
1 table spoon olive oil

Method-
Mix minced beef, chopped coriander and dill (roughly one cup), black pepper and ground coriander in a large bowl with the egg and 1/4 cup rice. Roll into meatballs.
Heat oil and ghee in pressure cooker pot then fry the meatballs until brown. Remove from pot. Place washed rice in oil for 1 minute, stirring. Add stock and 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill, then place meatballs back. Once simmering, put lid on & pressure cook for 15 minutes. Once finished, stir and serve.

Pros and cons-
Needed much more pepper! The ghee was too heavy to make fluffy rice but I was unable to get any sesame oil. Recommend sesame oil if anyone wishes to try. Very easy to do, and doesn’t need a pressure cooker. I just wanted to do something relatively fast. The recipe didn’t have egg mentioned, but I tried to mix it without the egg and it wouldn’t hold together. The rice in the meatballs makes a difference from adding breadcrumbs. Beef was used although most likely to have been lamb. I picked up a packet of mince with a high fat content since the rendered fat is returned to the dish in the recipe. Tasted better the next day!