03 June 2011

Fish Cakes, called Muqluba al Turrikh

Maqluba al Tirrikh (Fish cakes)
al-Baghdadi, 13th century recipe

Take tirrikh and fry in sesame-oil: then take out, and place in a dish to cool. When cold, cut off the heads and tails, remove the spine, bone, and scale with the greatest care. Crumble and break up the flesh, and sprinkle with dry coriander, cumin, caraway and cinnamon. Break eggs, throw on, and mix well. Then fry in sesame-oil in a frying pan as maqluba is fried, until both sides are browned: and remove.

½ lb cod fillets
1 t caraway
2 T sesame oil, divided (pale “golden” Middle Eastern oil; not Asian toasted sesame oil)
1 ½ t cinnamon
½ t coriander
1 egg
1 t cumin
1 t salt

Tirrikh is a freshwater fish similar to salted herring. When using other fresh (or frozen) fish include the salt.

10" skillet, 1 Tbl sesame oil, cook the fillets 3-5 minutes on medium heat, removed them to paper towels to cool. Crumble the fillets into a bowl and add the spices and egg. The mixture will be moist, but should hold together well. Make 8 small patties approx 2" diameter and fry them in another tablespoon of sesame oil for 3-5 minutes each side, or until they are nicely crispy and brown. Carefully remove the patties to paper towel to drain, they are delicate.

Serve hot with warm pita and a vinegar based sauce.

I am grateful for the help of Maestra Giovanna di Battista da Firenze in testing this recipe, offering a revised redaction, and suggesting that salt and more spice was warranted. Her suggestion prompted me to see if the Internet held more details about what tirrikh might be, which allowed us to likely come closer to the original flavor of this recipe.~~Sayyeda al-Kaslaania

Translation and original redaction from: How to Milk an Almond Stuff an Egg And Armor a Turnip: A Thousand Years of Recipes By David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook ISBN: 978-1-460-92498-3 http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/To_Milk_an_Almond.pdf Used with permission.

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