Original recipe from al-Baghdadi:
Isfanakhiya. Take fat meat and cut into medium sized pieces. Slice the fresh tail, dissolve, and remove the sediment. Put the meat into this oil and stir until browned; then cover with water that has been heated separately. Add a little sail: boil, and remove the scum. Throw in a handful of chickpeas that have been soaked and peeled. Take fresh spinach, wash, remove the lower roots and cut with a knife into fingers, then pound in a stone mortar, and put into the saucepan. When nearly cooked, add dry coriander, cumin, brayed pepper, mastic, small pieces of cinnamon-bark, and a little garlic bruised fine. Now fill with water as required, letting the water be lukewarm. Meanwhile prepare red meat minced fine and made into cabobs, and fry these in oil with the usual seasonings. When the concoction is ladled out, strew over it this fried meat, together with the oil as required, sprinkle with fine-ground cinnamon, and serve.
- Jung, Nizamat, trans. A Baghdad Cookery-Book by Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Karim al-Katib al-Baghdadi as compiled by Dr. Daoud Chelebi. Mosul, 1923. Found in A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks as compiled by Duke Cariadoc of the Bow and Duchesa Diana Alena, Private Printing, 1991.
Isfanakhiya is featured in Coronation Feast of H.R.H Kenna
Michael Hobbes is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, living in Columbus, Ohio. He was recently awarded the Laurel, the SCA's highest honor for arts & sciences, for his work in cooking.
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