Convivencia, February 21, 2004

Lentils

Anonymous Andalusian, Charles Perry Translation, based on Redaction by Cariadoc and Betty Cook

Take boiled peeled lentils and wash in hot water several times; put in the pot and add water without covering them; cook and then throw in pieces of gourd, or the stems [ribs] of Swiss chard, or of lettuce and its tender sprigs, or the flesh of cucumber or melon, and vinegar, coriander seed, a little cumin, Chinese cinnamon, saffron and two ûqiyas of fresh oil; balance with a little salt and cook. Taste, and if its flavor is pleasingly balanced between sweet and sour, [good;] and if not, reinforce until it is equalized, according to taste, and leave it to lose its heat until it is cold and then serve.

  1. Combine lentils and water in slow cooker, cook about 1/2 hour on high
  2. Dice gourd in 1/2 inch cubes and chop up chard fine
  3. Add gourd, chard, vinegar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, saffron, to pot. Mix.
  4. Cook for at least an hour on high slow cooker setting
  5. Add salt, oil and vinegar to taste

Note: my version is really a combination of the recipe given above, and another lentil recipe from the Al-Andalus; as you may notice, the vegetables are cooked with the lentils instead of separately, and the oil and vinegar in last. The original was served cold, but since we aren't trying to fix a fever here, we will serve it warm. It's still, humorally, a moderately cold dish (chard and gourd make it cold), but is modified by the spices and vinegar and being served hot, so it is not extremely humorally cold.


From the files of Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jenne Heise), 2004