Guest Post By Hannah Picture submitted by www.aicp.org
This is a recipe for a soup that is supposed to have been a favorite of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him). There is apparently a hadith in which he says that Aisha held the same place among his wives that tharid held among food—anyway, it sounds tasty and we’re having it for iftaar tonight, and I share it in case it sounds good and in the spirit of Ramadan to anyone else.
In a large pot, put ¼ c. cooked chickpeas, 5 stalks parsley and 1 stalk celery, a 3 ½ lb. chicken, salt and pepper, 2 Tbsp. ghee or clarified butter, and 2 ½ quarts water. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for an hour or until the chicken is no longer pink.
Discard the herb and celery. Remove the chicken, and take the meat off the bones when it’s cool. Sprinkle the chicken with 2 ½ tsp. baharat (a spice mixture, recipe below) and salt to taste.
Beat 2 eggs in a bowl with ½ Tbsp lemon juice. Whisk a few spoonfuls of the hot soup stock into the eggs, then transfer the mixture back into the soup, whisking rapidly so the eggs don’t curdle from the heat. Keep the soup over very very low heat.
In a large skillet, heat ¼ c. olive oil and brown the chicken meat with 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice (the total lemon juice in the recipe should equal that of one lemon) over medium-high heat. Remove the browned meat to a platter, add ¼ c more olive oil to the pan, and cook slices of dry/day-old bread (about ½ baguette) until lightly golden.
To serve, place bread in the bottom of each bowl, ladle the soup on top, and serve the chicken on the side or in the soup.
To make baharat, mix together 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp dried rose petals, and 1 tsp finely ground black pepper. I substituted ground allspice and a little freshly ground nutmeg for the rose petals. This recipe comes from Clifford Wright’s wonderful book, “A Mediterranean Feast”.
I’d like to add as a question—What are people reading during Ramadan, apart from the Qu’ran?