Pomegranate sibagh (صباغ)

The word sibāgh is derived from a verb (صبغ, sabagha) meaning ‘to colour, dye’ as well as ‘to dip’ and the noun refers to a dipping sauce for bread, fish, meat, etc., and could be made with a variety of ingredients, such as mustard, vinegar, raisins, nuts, and a range of aromatics. The recipe today is one from 10th-century Baghdad and is somewhat of an oddity in that it is a ‘travellers’ dip’ — though there’s no reason one should deprive oneself of the pleasures of this delicacy whilst at home! It’s very simply to make as it merely requires pomegranate seeds and raisins, alongside pepper and cumin, which are all mashed together and then shaped into discs and dried. They can be stored for a long time and are ‘revived’ through dissolution in vinegar. You’re supposed to have it with fish, and this is what it looks like (the vinegar is a recreation of a 13th-century Andalusian recipe)….

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