New Book!

Today is the official release of The Sultan’s Feast, a study, edition and annotated English translation of a fifteenth-century Egyptian cookbook (London: Saqi Books). Based on the sole surviving manuscript, it contains 332 recipes, ranging from bread-making and savoury stews, to roasts, sweets, pickles and condiments, as well as perfumes.

Breath sweeteners

This is a 13th-century Syrian recipe for fragrant chickpea-sized pills made with rosewater, ambergris, sugar, musk, cloves and agarwood. Though primarily intended to sweeten the breath, the lozenges were also used as a digestive, or even to perfume dishes. They should be taken twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Mediaeval Arab banquet at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (Qatar)

Last Saturday, I joined the team at the Alain Ducasse restaurant Idam led by Executive Chef Damien Leroux for a culinary feast. The menu included mediaeval Arab dishes culled from cookery books from the tenth to fifteenth centuries, from both the Middle East and Muslim Spain (al-Andalus). The meal was preceded by a talk on the museum’s extraordinary collection of mediaeval Arab kitchenware and tableware.

Welcome / مرحبًا بكم

If you are interested in finding out more about the fascinating history of the Arab culinary tradition in the Middle Ages, then this is the site for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out ( for more information about recipes, ingredients and any other aspect of this subject.

Check out the background stories about the types of dishes that were cooked, the link between food and medicine,  the batterie de cuisine, as well as the dining experience at the time.

The recipe section includes detailed instructions to reproduce some of the ancient culinary delights.