Ottoman Recipes I Have Cooked &/or Taught



Muhammed ibn Mahmud Şirvani (parts sometimes romanized as Mehmet bin Mamoud Shirvani) (ca. 1375-1450) was born in Shirvan, a highly cultured and Persianized city in what is now Azerbaijan. He eventually moved to Edirne, the Ottoman capital from 1365-1453, where he worked as the palace doctor and wrote a number of medical texts in Old Ottoman, Eski Osmanlı Türkçesi. One of his works is Murshid (Tutor), a comprehensive work on ophthalmology and the treatments of eye diseases. He also wrote Tohfeyi-Muradi (Murad’s Gift) on the healing properties and life-giving powers of minerals and precious stones, which he dedicated to Ottoman sultan Murad II (ca. 1421-1451), whom he served. Şirvani also translated a number of important medical works on medicine and pharmacology from Arabic and Persian into Old Ottoman. What interests me most are the recipes he added to his translation of Muḥammad bin al-Ḥasan bin Muḥammad bin al-Karîm al-Baghdâdî’s early 13th c. cookbook, Kitab al-Ṭabiḫ (Book of Dishes).

Since translating Stephane Yerasimos’s book À la table du Grand Turc into English in 2006, i have been cooking and teaching actual SCA-period Ottoman recipes. I have since purchased a number of books on Ottoman food. One book in modern Turkish, 15. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Mutfağı (15th century Ottoman cuisine), includes all of Şirvani’s translation of al-Baghdâdî’s cookbook, as well as his addition of between 77 and 80 recipes, and i have made several recipe translations from it.

I have also translated a fair amount of the food sections of Hans Dernschwam’s accounts of his the mid-16th c. visit to the Ottoman capital, Kostantiniyye (Constantinople), where the capital had relocated in 1453.

Prounuciation Guide:

  • In Ottoman transcriptions and in modern Turkish:

    ş = sh, as in "short"
    ç = ch, as in "chuck"
    c = j, as in "jerk"
    g = hard "g", as is "go"
    ğ = in early Ottoman, similar to Arabic "gh" (ghayin), that is, similar to a French "r"; in modern Turkish it is silent but elongates the following vowel.
    a = short a, as in "start" or "far"
    e = short e, as in "bend" or "bell"
    i (dotted i) = long i = "ee"
    ı (undotted i) = short i, as in "lip"
    o = long o (as in foe)
    ö = like German ö
    u = "oo" as in "moon"
    ü = like German ü or "ew"

  • In Arabic and some Turkish transcriptions,

    â = broad A, as in American "bad"
    î = "ee"
    û = "oo" as in "moon"
    "gh" (the letter ghayin) = like a French "r"

    There is no "e" - "o" - hard "g" - "p" in Standard Arabic.

List of Recipes

Notes:

  • ALL recipes are from my own translations into English.
  • The recipes preceded by a folio number (and r (recto) and/or v (verso)) are from Şirvani’s mid-15th century cookbook.
  • Rice, Bulghur, and Soup recipes are from 15th and 16th c. account books, palace menus, and descriptions of feasts
  • Two recipes are from the mid-16th c. detailed accounts of Hans Dernschwam.

From Şirvani

  1. -     69. Senbûse Mukallele - butter-fried small triangular pastries filled with almond-paste and dusted with powdered sugar - originally from al-Baghdâdî
  2. -     80v.-81r. Mastâve [Persian: mast (yogurt) and âb (water)] Arabic: Silk bi-Laban - Chard with Labneh - originally from al-Baghdâdî
  3. -     108r.-109r. Şeker Börek - Almond-Paste-topped yeasted “Cookies”
  4. -     110r.-v. Muhallebi - Delicate Rose-Scented Rice Flour and Milk Pudding
  5. -     111r. Dane-i Saru - Safranli Pilav - Saffron Rice
  6. -     111v.-112r. Tavuk Çevermesi - batter-fried Chicken on toasted bread with sweet-&-sour sauce
  7. -     112r.-v. Zirvâ - Lamb with Fruit
  8. -     114 r.-v. Mantı - Boiled thin dough wrappers filled with seasoned ground Lamb with garlic-sumac-yogurt sauce
  9. -     114 v. Yumurta - Fried Eggs in Caramelized Onions
  10. -     120. Salmâ-yi ve Bughrâ-yı Hurd - Stewed Lamb with Salma Pasta Coins & Honey-Mint-Garlic Sauce
  11. -     124 r.-v. Merserem - Lamb and Chard in Herbed Yogurt
  12. -     125 r.-v. Kâçkül-i kabak - Spiced Stewed Gourds
  13. -     126v. Buyresiyye (Kadin Tuzlugu Çorbasi) - Meatball Soup with Barberries
  14. -     126v. Nohut Çorbasi / Nokhadab - Chickpea Soup
  15. -     128v. Seferceliyye - Lamb with Quinces, almonds, rosewater, saffron
  16. -     130r. Terkîb-i kayğana / Lalangade - Egg Pancakes with Honey and Crushed Nuts - possibly Byzantine in origin
  17. -     132 r.-v. Mâhmûdiyye - Chicken and Apricots with Noodles and Almonds

From Ottoman Palace Account Books, Menus, and Other Records

  1. -     Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Small Noodles, with Egg-Lemon Sauce - palace records and 1539 feast account book
  2. -     Bademli Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Almonds and Egg Sauce - palace records and 1539 feast account book
  3. -     Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Gourds and Chestnuts, with Egg-Lemon Sauce - palace records and 1539 feast account book

  4. -     Çılbır - Poached Eggs in Yogurt Sauce - menus of Sultan’s meals

  5. -     Rice in Four Colors, White, Yellow, Red, and Green - 16th c. Ottoman account books and feast menus
  6. -     Rice in Three Colors - 16th c. Ottoman account books and feast menus
  7. -     Bulghur with Chestnuts, cinnamon, and ginger - winter feast menus
  8. -     Bulghur with Chestnuts and Pine Nuts, butter, currants, and cinnamon - winter feast menus

  9. -     Zerde = “Yellow” Rice Pudding with Saffron and Nuts - from descriptions + early 17th c. Mughal recipe
  10. -     Sour Cherry Sharbat - cherry juice, cane sugar - 15th and 16th C. Ottoman feast menus

From mid-16th c. Descriptions by Hans Dernschwam

  1. -     Grape Leaf Sarma - stuffed with sour plums and ground lamb
  2. -     Gourd Dolma - stuffed with ground lamb and served with garlic-yogurt sauce

When and Where Prepared

Note: The five recipes preceded by a and a folio number and r. and/or v. appear earlier in the list.

2006? Kingdom A&S

80v.-81r. Mastâve - Silk bi-Laban - Chard with Labneh
124 r.-v. Merserem - Lamb and Chard in Herbed Yogurt
- -   Plain Rice

2007 West Kingdom Royal Feast at Pennsic

Included among a dozen dishes was...
114 r.-v. Mantı - Lamb “tortellini” with yogurt sauce.

2007 Mists Fall Investiture

126v. Buyresiyye (Kadin Tuzlugu Çorbasi) - Barberry Meatball Soup
Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Small Noodles, with Egg-Lemon Sauce
114 r.-v. Mantı - Lamb “tortellini” with yogurt sauce.
124 r.-v. Merserem - Lamb and Chard in Herbed Yogurt
132 r.-v. Mâhmûdiyye - Chicken and Apricots with Noodles and Almonds
125 r.-v. Kâçkül-i kabak - Spiced Stewed Gourds
Rice in Four Colors, White, Yellow, Red, and Green
Bulghur with Chestnuts, cinnamon, and ginger
Zerde = “Yellow” Rice Pudding with Saffron and Nuts
69. Senbûse Mukallele - Butter-Fried Almond-Paste Filled Pastries, dusted with (corn starch free) powdered sugar
108r.-109r. Şeker Börek - Almond-paste-topped yeasted “cookies”
110r.-v. Muhallebi - Delicate Rose-Scented Rice Flour and Milk Pudding

2008 Mists Spring Investiture

Refreshment Table Sweets for Princess Kamiilah and the Populace

Included among the dishes were...
69. Senbûse Mukallele - Butter-Fried Almond-Paste Filled Pastries
Sour Cherry Sharbat

2008? West Cooks Collegium

120. Salmâ-yi ve Bughrâ-yı Hurd - Stewed Lamb with Salma Pasta Coins & Honey-Mint-Garlic Sauce
- -   another dish i can’t remember, probably a vegetable
- -   Saffron Rice

2008 Mists Fall Coronet - Private Royal Feast

Included among a number of dishes were...
112r.-v. Zirvâ - lamb with fruit
Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Gourds and Chestnuts, with Egg-Lemon Sauce
Rice in Three Colors

2009 AnTir Culinary Symposium

127v.-128v. Seferjaliyye - Lamb with Quinces, almonds, rosewater, saffron
111r. Dane-i Saru - Safranli Pilav - Saffron Rice
Bademli Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbasi - Chicken Broth with Almonds and Egg Sauce

2010 Kingdom A&S

111v.-112r. Tavuk Çevermesi - Batter-Fried Chicken on Toasted Bread with Sweet-&-Sour Sauce
111r. Dane-i Saru - Safranli Pilav - Saffron Rice
80v.-81r. Mastâve - Silk bi-Laban - Chard with Labneh

2010 West AnTir War Cooks’ Camp

130r. Lalangade / Kayghana - Egg Pancakes with Honey and Crushed Nuts
Çilbir - Poached Eggs in Yogurt Sauce
Yumurta - Fried Eggs in Caramelized Onions

2011 AnTir Culinary Symposium

126v. Nohut Çorbasi / Nokhadab - Chickpea Soup
Grape Leaf Sarma - stuffed with sour plums and ground lamb
Gourd Dolma - stuffed with ground lamb and served with garlic-yogurt sauce
Bulghur with Chestnuts and Pine Nuts, butter, currants, cinnamon

Bibliography

Muhammed bin Mahmûd Şirvanî, original author
Mustafa Argunşah, author & translator
Müjgan Çakır, author & translator
15. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Mutfağı [15th Century Ottoman Cuisine]
Gökkubbe, Istanbul: 2005
ISBN-10: 975-6223-84-7
A translation into Modern Turkish of and comments on Şirvanî’s translation into Eski Osmanlı Türkçesi of al-Baghdâdî’s 13th century Arabic-language cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh, along with the 15th century recipes he added. Includes originals in Eski Osmanlı Türkçesi transcribed into the Roman alphabet.

Stephane Yerasimos
À la table du Grand Turc [At the Sultan’s Table]
Sindbad (Série l’Orient gourmand)/Éditions Actes Sud, Arles, France: 2001.
ISBN-10: 2-7427-3443-0
I translated the entire book into English. It is the source of very detailed information on 15th and 16th century Ottoman cuisine, including some of the recipes added by Mahmoud Şirvani to his translation into Eski Osmanlı Türkçesi of al-Baghdâdî’s 13th century Arabic-language cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh.

Günay Kut
On the Additions by Shirwani (15th Century?) to his Translation of a Cookery-book (13th Century). Pp. 176-180.
in First International Food Congress [Birinci Milletlerarasi Yemek Kongresi], Turkey, 25-30 September 1986
Ministry of Culture and Tourism Publications [Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Yayınları] Turkey.
ISBN-10: 975-17-0092-8
Includes a list of all the recipes Kut counted in Şirvani's additions and a few recipes translations.

Hans/Johannes/Jan Dernschwam
-- Hans Dernschwams Bericht über Ern‰hrungsgewohnheiten in der Türkey, Ungarn usw. (16. Jh.)
-- Hans Dernschwam’s report on 16th century food, foodways and cookery in Turkey, Hungary, etc. (16th c.)
-- Textgrundlage: Hans Dernschwam’s Tagebuch einer Reise nach Konstantinopel und Kleinasien (1553/55). Nach der Urschrift im Fugger-Archiv herausgegeben und erl‰utert von Franz Babinger. München/ Leipzig 1923, 123-131 (Studien zur Fugger-Geschichte 7).
[(my trans.) Basic text: Hans Dernschwam’s Diary of a Journey to Constantinople and Asia Minor (1553/55). After the copy in the Fugger archives published and annotated by Franz Babinger. Munich / Leipzig 1923, 123-131 (Studies in History of the Fuggers 7). ]
http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/dernfood.htm [as of September 2011]

Marianna Yerasimos; Sally Bradbrook, translator
500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine
Boyut Publishing, Istanbul: 2005
ISBN-10: 975-23-0161-4
Includes recipes from many historical cookbooks, but, alas, only in M. Yerasimos's worked out modern recipes; however, Yerasimos does include some other useful history and details from account books.

Suraiya Faroqhi and Christoph K. Neumann, editors
The Illuminated Table, the Prosperous House: Food and Shelter in Ottoman Material Culture
Band 73, Turkische Welten [4.] Beiruter Texte und Studien.
Ergon-Verlag, Wurzburg, Germany: 2003.
ISBN-13: 978-3-89913-323-3

Nihal Kadioğlu Çevik, editor
Imperial Taste: 700 Years of Culinary Culture
Ministry of Culture [Kültür Bakanlığı], Republic of Turkey, Ankara: 2000.

Semahat Arsel, editor
Timeless Tastes: Turkish Culinary Culture
Divan, Istanbul: 1996.
ISBN-10: 975-9495-71-6

Alan Davidson, editor and contributor.
The Penguin Companion to Food (paperback edition of The Oxford Companion to Food)
Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: 1999, 2002.
ISBN-10: 0-14-200163-5

Nawal Nasrallah, introduction, English translation, notes and Glossary
Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens: Ibn Sayyâr al-Warrâq’s Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook
Vol. 70, Islamic History and Civilization Series
Brill Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands: 2007
ISBN-13: 978-90-04-15867-2
Has a very useful Glossary by Nasrallah describing many ingredients and recipe history details.

Nicholas de Nicolay
The Nauigations, peregrinations and voyages, Made into Turkie…
Translated out of the French by T. Washington the younger.
Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, 1585
facsimile edition: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd., Amsterdam, & Da Capo Press, NYC: 1968

Charles Perry
Grain Dishes of the Early Turks
in Paul D. Buell and Eugene N. Anderson
A Soup for the Qan: Introduction, Translation, Commentary and Chinese Text. pp. 617-638
Kegan Paul International, London and New York: 2000.
ISBN-10: 0-7103-0583-4

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updated 18 Dec 2011