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saffron Is Used In mukhallals


This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

Saffron is used in mukhallals, jimlis, muthallaths, mahshis and chicken dishes in which vinegar and murri enter. Some dissolve saffron in water and then put it in the pot at the end of cooking, but saffron should be put in only at the beginning with the meat, boiled with pepper and suitable spices, to regulate its cooking and color. There are others who put in vinegar and murri at the end, after the cooking is done; the taste of the raw vinegar stays in the sauce, and none of its flavor enters into the meat. They think that if they put it in at the start, its acidity will go away and diminish its taste. But it is not as they believe; cooking rather augments and sharpens the flavor of the vinegar, for it evaporates the water from the vinegar and strengthens its acidity, and hides any greasy or heavy flavor it has, and makes that flavor vanish on serving the meat and whatever was cooked with it, like that which is made with saffron, if it is put in at the start.

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