Decoding a 1000 year old dish | Medieval Cuisine | the Nirbaj

Decoding a 1000 year old dish | Medieval Cuisine | the Nirbaj


today we have a very special video with
a thousand years old recipe found in one of the oldest cookery books around the
world the Baghdadi cookery book which was the golden era of the Middle Eastern
cuisine a new video a thousand-year-old recipe the NIRBAJ
let’s start chefs
always say that you need to make a dish a thousand times until you perfect it, now
imagine making a dish that is thousand years old and nobody actually makes it
and start from below zero so first things first we gonna start with the
walnuts which we’re gonna toast them until they’re pretty warm you can make
it either put them in the oven for 10 minutes or 15 minutes or just toast them
as they are in the pan and then you’re gonna mix them pretty well until you get
like a walnut butter now if you read all the recipes from the Middle Eastern
cuisine in the medieval times the golden era of this cuisine you’ll find a lot of
use in walnuts almonds and pistachios and until today they’re pretty considered
one of the most expensive things that you can use and what I mean by most
expensive because they used a lot of it after we’ve made the walnut butter I’m
gonna star make something what is called milking the walnuts and I’m gonna put
some liquid into it which will be in this case some Brown stock you can put
water but because the meat give it much more taste and it will be a meaty dish
so I’ll use stock to get more flavor now this technique or process is referred in
the book by milking the walnut it took me a while and a couple of times to try
it until I came to this technique what does he meant the author by saying
milking the walnuts, because sometimes it’s getting pretty tricky to read all these
old Arabic texts about cooking not because you cannot understand it Arabic
doesn’t change you can read always the same language whatever the time and this
is the good thing about Arabic language but the thing is that the context may
change so what he meant thousand years ago and you read it today if you maybe
understand something different and because all those recipes include only
the ingredients without the measurements so sometimes get a little bit tricky and
you need to try it a couple of times or at least understand it from the context
what they actually meant by it so we’re gonna add always the liquids ladle by
Laden and cook it on low heat all this time this is how we get the maximum
flavor from the walnuts here is another example in the book he’s
always mentioning meat it doesn’t tell you which meat it is but if you
understand it from history and the context it always will be
lamb or sheep so I’m gonna take a deboned bond leg of lamb which is one of the
best parts of the lamb and then I’m gonna cut it into medium-sized pieces
like two-inch each piece now there are different types of lamb me and depend
where you are around the world you’ll have also different tastes and different
amounts of fat inside of it, but what is good about this dish that is not about
the meat that is inside you can put different types of meat it’s about the
other ingredients and spices and the technique you use to give you at the
end the flavor that you seek I’m gonna add some sea saltto get the maximum flavor and then cover all the meat with a brown stock you can
replace the brown stock with water think about it like a consomme that you cook
always the meat inside the broth to get the maximum flavor and therefore the
sauce that we’re gonna get it will be richer, we’re gonna let it simmer
and skim it when the form gray foam forms at the top you gonna always skim
this foam whatever meat you’re cooking it always to cook the meat first
skim the foam and then continue with the spices and different things
so will gonna let is simmebetween half an hour until forty minutes on low heat now comes the most tricky part in decoding
old recipes in general and this one in particular which I’ll address you in just
a moment first I’m gonna show you this mastic or is also called Arabic gum it’s
a raisin obtained from a tree you can read about it more on the Internet and
you can check the name of it in the recipe down below but what can I
tell you about it right now is the whiter it is the better quality it has
and the better taste but if you use a lot of it you’ll get a bitter taste to
be careful, so we’re gonna use mastic then I’m gonna add some coriander and
then some ginger which will give it some heat you can use also fresh ginger cook
it with the meat but I prefer adding it like this with the spices now freshly
ground pepper will go inside and always instead of only black pepper, I use
different types of pepper sometimes six seven which I think we’re gonna cover in
another video and I explained to you how to add maximum flavor just by adding
pepper then will come the cinnamon I use always Cylon cinnamon, I like it more
than the cassia but whatever you have it it workes fine, then I’m gonna add
some dry mint and at the end I’m gonna add dry roses and this is will be our
spice mixture for our today’s thousand years old recipe. what I meant by saying
it’s very tricky to decode the taste and the spice mixture because the spice
mixture will give you the taste and in those books when you read it there are
no exact measurements so he just tell you add some mint or add some cinnamon
but he doesn’t give you the measurements and this is why because the book was
written actually for chefs and cooks so they need to know by themselves how much
there should be! the difference is that before thousand years they had the taste
they knew what it should be like even if they didn’t know
measurements but after thousand years we don’t know what they meant and I came
to this formula after reading hundreds of recipes from that golden era until I
came to this formula after understanding in context how much it should be and how
the taste should be like look about the walnuts now after we cook them slowly
and always adding ladle by ladle some of the brown stock that we have after we
simmered the meat we’re gonna start at the flavors a lot of mint will go inside
then the spices you should really feel the mint inside the stock and the meat
later and we’re gonna sweeten it with some honey you also can use date honey
now for another ingredient that is sweet sour we’re gonna add some pomegranate
molasses or pomegranate juice and here it’s get a little bit also tricky
because some of the juice or molasses that you find today are pretty sweet
and they contain a lot of sugar I prefer to buy something that is less sweet and
more hundred percent pomegranate and then you can add the honey and stabilize
all the dish with the sweet and sour taste we’re gonna mix everything
together and cook all this dish we’re gonna cook it for another half an hour
on low heat to get all the flavors in and after that we’re gonna add our
walnuts the ole nuts already made like a paste all the flavors came outside mixed
with the stock and what’s wonderful and amazing about these walnuts how much I
added a lot of liquid it was always absorbing more and this is what’s gonna
do now it will start absorbing all those liquids and this is the thickening agent
of our dish and think about it how rich is this cuisine because normally today
we thicken our sauces with some very basic and cheap things like flour we’re
gonna cook all these ingredients together until it thickens up like you
see the sauce should be not too thick not too liquidy something that
look like this our new batch is done I’m gonna garnish it more with some royal
stuff like roses and some walnuts you can add also pistachios when you
garnish such thing you need to think royal you need to think expensive stuff
stuff that will make you flourish fresh and you like it and look at the colors
and even the taste and I can tell you proudly that we can say we have decoded
a thousand-year-old dish that is amazing and what’s a better way to companion it
with a saffron basmati rice royal rice and royal dish just amazing look also
the colors I really hope you try this at home at least once and believe me you
will feel always connected to those times I will bring you back to medieval
and middle eastern golden era we’re gonna be focusing on the Golden Age of
the Middle Eastern cuisine through our next videos so if you’d like this video
don’t forget the thumbs up and subscribe to the channel until next video thank
you for watching

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