A Recipe for khabis of carrots and dates (Carrot-date pudding)
SOURCE: Original is from al-Kitab al-Tabikh, as translated by Nawal Nasrallah, in Annals of the caliphs' kitchens: Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq's tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook., p. 396. Modern version by Mathilde Eschenbach.
Take as much as you like of similar amounts of sweet and tender carrots, milk and dates. Put them in a clean soapstone pot, which you lower into a tannur heated with medium fire. Close the bottom vent but leave a finger-wide opening.
Let the pot simmer until the ingredients fall apart. Take it out, and add ground walnuts and ½ dirham ground spikenard and ginger. Beat the mixture very well.
If the pudding turns out to be too sweet and thin, add breadcrumbs. If it turns out perfect—sweet and thick enough—add fresh sesame oil and ladle it with its oil into platters. If it turns out deficient in sugar and too thin in consistency, beat the mixture and return the pot to the tannur until it thickens. When the pudding is done. Drench it in sesame oil [and serve it], God willing.
When I worked on this, I hadn't yet acquired any spikenard, and I wanted a bit more flavor than just the ginger, so I added some cloves. I later found the entry on sunbul (spikenard) on p. 673 which notes that al-Biruni says that spikenard is always used with cloves.
This is quite good as is, however, in the future I will also use spikenard since I have some now, maybe increase the other spices, and try a cooking at a higher temperature to reduce the cooking time.
- 1 qt whole milk
- 1 lb baby carrots
- 1 lb dates
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 cup ground walnuts
- 2 T sesame oil
- Put carrots, dates, milk and spices in Dutch oven.
- Bake at 375º for 3 hours.
- If the milk looks somewhat curdled and the carrots break up easily, it is done.
- Purée the mixture using your utensil of choice--in my case, a potato masher.
- Stir in the walnuts and sesame oil.
[return to home page]