Mamluk salsa

A recreation of a 14th-century Egyptian dipping sauce, known as sals (صَلْص, pl. صُلُوص, sulus), which were very popular at the time. This one was called kāmilī (كاملي) and is made with citron leaves, parsley, lemon balm, salt and lime juice. Before serving, it should get a sprinkling of galangal, ginger, cloves and pepper. The recipe does not specify what is should be served with, but I think fish is the way to go.

The word clearly reflects a European origin, mediated by the Crusades — ultimately deriving from the Latin salsus, ‘salty’ — while the earliest recipes are found in a Syrian collection. However, the ingredients of the Arab sauce gainsay a Europea component in the composition. In Andalusi Arabic, the word salas (صَلَص) refers to watercress (usually known as حرف, hurf), with the Romance jalja (جلجة) or shalsha (شلشة) denoting the sauce.

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