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The Preparation Of Bilâja


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

The Preparation of Bilâja. Take the meat of young, plump sheep, without bones or tendons -- rather, pieces of its meat and its fat, waist, intestines, liver, heart and belly. Cut all this in very small pieces and put them in a pot with salt, a piece of onion, coriander, oil and a little murri naqî'. Put it on a moderate fire and cook it until it is done. Remove it from the fire, strain off the sauce, and fry [the meat] in a tajine with plenty of oil until it is browned. Then put it in another pan and pour over it as much as necessary of the fat and broth in which it cooked. Break over it enough eggs and add pepper, coriander, and lavender, and sprinkle it with peeled, split almonds, color it with saffron to taste, and beat it until it is mixed. Pour on plenty of oil and bury inside it as many eggyolks as possible, put it in the oven and leave it there until the broth is dried and the top is browned, and take it out. This recipe for bilâja is the one that used to be made in the West, such as Cordoba and Marrakesh and the lands between them.

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