ARAB influence in Andalusia left a distinct mark on the region’s food choices and habits, as seen in the exotic spices and ingredients like saffron, almonds, zucchini, dates, lemons, oranges, rice, cinnamon and sweet peppers.
The tradition of multiple-course meals featuring a series of dishes complementing each other rather than one main dish started in Andalusia and continues until today. Baramakiyyah is one such dish from 13th century Andalusia.
For the bread:
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup for yeast
1 cup flour
1 cup semolina
1 & 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium finely cut capsicum (optional, not in original recipe)
some mozzarella cheese (optional, not in original recipe)
For the filling:
300 gm of chicken (or any kind of meat you want to use, even fish can be used)
2 medium chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 & 1/2 tablespoon more olive oil for frying
Note: the original recipe doesn’t mention whether the spices are ground or whole, but I have used ground spices.
Making the bread:
For making the dough, first mix yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water, and let it rest for a minute.
Stir together flour, semolina and salt.
When the yeast starts foaming up, add it to the flour mixture. Then add 1/2 cup water and olive oil and stir it. Knead it until smooth. If necessary add extra flour to get the desired texture.
Cover the dough with damp towel, and leave in a warm place for one and a half hours to let it rise.
Making the filling:
Cut the chicken very finely into 1/4 inch slices.
Take a pot and heat oil in it. Then add the onions, chicken, salt and the spices.
Cook over low heat, and cover it, till the juice is released of the chicken and onion. Then uncover, and let it cook over medium heat till the liquid is gone.
Take a frying pan, add oil in. Add the cooked chicken and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. until it is light brown in color.
Putting it together:
Take the risen dough on a floured surface, and cut into four equal parts.
Take two equal parts and roll each until it is about 12×5 inches.
Put the chicken filling on the rolled out dough. Add the finely cut capsicum and mozzarella cheese.
Put the other rolled out dough on top of the first one, and press its edges to seal it. Repeat the same with the remaining dough.
Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake it on 170 degree Celcius, until it is golden brown. (You can brush with an egg wash to get the desired golden color of the bread.)
Cut it into thick slices and serve warm.
Enjoy a bite-sized taste of the past!