Convivencia, February 21, 2004
A Jewish Dish of Eggplants Stuffed with Lamb
Manuscript, trans. by Charles Perry
eggplants and take out their small seeds and leave [the skins] whole. Take
leg meat from a lamb and pound it with salt, pepper, cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon
and spikenard. Beat it with the whites of eight eggs and separate six eggyolks.
Stuff the eggplants with this stuffing.
Then take three pots and put in one of them four spoonfuls of oil, onion juice,
spices, aromatics and two spoonfuls of fragrant rosewater, pine-nuts, an "eye"
of citron [leaves], another of mint, and sufficient salt and water; boil well
and throw in half of the stuffed eggplants.
In the second pot put a spoonful of vinegar, a teaspoon of murri, a grated onion,
spices and aromatics, a sprig of thyme, another of rue, citron leaf, two stalks
of fennel, two spoonfuls of oil, almonds, soaked garbanzos, some half a dirham
of ground saffron, and three cut garlics. Boil in sufficient water until it
boils several times, and throw into it the rest of the stuffed eggplants.
And in the third pot put a spoonful and a half of oil, a spoonful of cilantro
water, half a spoon of sharp vinegar, crushed onion, almond, pine-nuts, a sprig
of rue and citron leaves. Sprinkle with rosewater and dust with spices.
Decorate the second with cut-up eggyolks and cut rue and sprinkle it with aromatic
herbs; cut an egg cooked with rue over the third pot, sprinkle it with pepper,
and present it.
- 12 medium-sized standard
- 15-17 lb leg of lamb
- 2 tsp ground ceylon
- 2 tsp ground Chinese cinnamon
- 2 tsp black pepper, ground
- Salt to taste
- Eggs: whites of eight
- 6 hard boiled egg yolks
- 7 1/2 tablespoons of olive
- 3 medium onions
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 1/2 tablespoons rosewater
- Spices and Aromatics: equal
parts cinnamon, grated nutmeg, cloves, pepper, a smidge of ground myrrh and
a pinch of yellow sandalwood
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of murri or soy
- three sprigs of fresh thyme
- two stalks of fennel or
1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 4 tablespoons almonds
- 2 tablespoons soaked chickpeas
- 1/4 tsp ground saffron
- 6-9 cloves garlic
- 2 stalks cilantro
- Cut tops off of eggplants,
blanch until barely tender in boiling water
- Hollow out eggplants. Reserve
eggplant innards for vegetarian dish.
- Chop up onions and puree
in food processor. Separate into 3 equal parts
- Strain one onion's worth
of puree to get onion juice. Discard the strained puree.
- Chop the cilantro coarsely
and soak in a few spoonfuls hot water for 15 minutes to make a tea. Strain,
reserving the liquid and discarding the cilantro
- Remove the lamb meat from
the leg bones.
- Grind the lamb meat in the
- Mix lamb meat with salt,
pepper, cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon and egg whites. Add more spices if necessary
- Stuff eggplants with this
- In pot one, put 4 tbsp of
oil, the onion juice, 1 tbsp of the spices & aromatics mixture, 2 tbsp
of rosewater, 2 tbsp pine-nuts, the mint leaves, and sufficient salt and water
- In pot two, put 1 tbsp vinegar,
1 tsp murri/soy sauce, 1 portion of the pureed onion, 1 tbsp spices and aromatics
mixture, the thyme, fennel, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp almonds, 2 tbsp chickpeas,
saffron, and garlic.
- Bring both pots to a boil
- Using a strainer spoon, place
half the filled eggplants in one pot, half in the other. Cover and steam until
lamb is done.
- In a third pot, mix 1 1/2
tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cilantro tea, 1/2 tbsp vinegar, 1 portion of the pureed
onion, 2 tbsp almond, 2 tbsp pine-nuts. Sprinkle with rosewater and dust with
cinnamon. Heat on low to combine.
- Cut up hard boiled egg yolks.
- Plate mixture from third
pot in small containers with some egg yolk on each, and sprinkle with pepper.
This is the sauce.
- Plate 1 eggplants from each
pot per plate, sprinkling cut egg yolk over the one from the second pot, and
add the container of sauce.
Spikenard and citron leaves have been omitted here, due to difficulty
in obtaining them.
Rue is omitted since it can be toxic to some individuals, including
pregnant women and small children, as well as causing dermatological reactions
in sensitive individuals.
With the "spices and aromatics" I'm really just guessing--
I strongly suspect that musk, civet, ambergris, storax and/or benzoin are indicated
here, but it doesn't say specifically, so I'm going with heavily scented spices
that I can get and which should be safe for food.
Because I don't have a source for 'cilantro water' (hydrosol of
distilled cilantro), I am substituting an infusion of cilantro.
From the files of Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jenne Heise), 2004