Tag Archives: Al-Andalus Cookbook

13th Century Al-Andalus Cookbook: Syrups

The Book of Cooking in Maghreb and Andalus in the era of Almohads, by an unknown author. Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook is 13th Century with a variety of recipes from “healthful cooking” to many things you wouldn’t think was so healthy at all. I’ll be posting a few samples from this cookbook. My source for the cookbook was found over here complete (I believe this is a reposting from David Freeman’s version, but I am not 100% sure).

Charles Perry was the translator of the text.

Some Syrups:

Syrup of Mint: Way of Making It
Take mint and basil, citron and cloves, a handful of each, and cook all this in enough water to cover, until its substance comes out, and add the clear part of it [filter it] to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar.

The [spice] bag: an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of flower of cloves. And cook all this [the essence, the sugar, and the spice bag] until a syrup is made.

Its benefits: it frees bodies that suffer from phlegm, and cuts phlegmatic urine, fortifies the liver and the stomach and cheers it a great deal; in this it is admirable.

Syrup of Fresh Roses, and the Recipe for Making It
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of fresh roses, after removing the dirt from them, and cover them with just boiled water for a day and a night, until the water cools and the roses fall apart in the water. Filter it and take the clean part of it and add to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar. Cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of this with two of hot water. Its benefits are at the onset of dropsy [swelling from water, edema], and it fortifies the stomach and the liver and the other internal organs, and lightens the constitution; in this it is admirable.

Syrup of Simple Sikanjabîn [vinegar syrup]
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of strong vinegar and mix it with two ratls [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar, and cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of this with three of hot water when fasting. It is beneficial for fevers of jaundice, and calms jaundice and cuts the thirst

Since sikanjabîn syrup is beneficial in phlegmatic fevers: make it with six ûqiyas [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of sour vinegar for a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of honey and it is admirable.

Syrup of Pomegranates
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sour pomegranates and another of sweet pomegranates, and add their juice to two ratls [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar. Cook all this until it takes the consistency of syrup. Keep until needed.

Its benefits: it is useful for fevers, and cuts the thirst, it benefits bilious fevers and lightens the body gently.

Syrup of Lavender [Halhâl]
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of lavender and cook it in [enough] water to cover it until its substance comes out. Then take the clear part of it [filter it] and add it to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of honey. Cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] and a half of this with three of hot water. Its advantages are in cleaning the brain and the stomach; it lightens the body and dries up black bile gently, but it contracts the breath, and it is fitting to regulate the drink with a cheering drink or cheering water.

Syrup of Lemon
Take lemon, after peeling off the skin, press it [to a pulp] and take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of juice, and add as much of sugar. Cook it until it takes the form of a syrup.

Its advantages are for the heat of bile; it cuts the thirst and binds the bowels.