Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hreeseh in Kfarroummane

To celebrate the 40th day after the death of the Shi'a imam Al-Hussein (son of Ali) in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD the people of Kfarroummane in Jabal `Amel (South Lebanon) prepare hreeseh, a dish made from wheat, chicken and meat, and distribute it freely to neighbors and passers-by . This year (a couple of days ago), eleven women cooked 600 kg of hreeseh in the center of the village (from Al Safir).

I have received a new book: Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World by Lilia Zaouali. In the foreword, Charles Perry refers to harisa (hreeseh) as a Nabatean dish that is still made today, and describes it as "whole grain stewed with meat until done, and then beaten to a smooth, savory paste". Perry says the Arabs learned this dish from the Nabateans, who he says were the Aramaic-speaking Christians of Syria and Iraq.


Anonymous said...

How are you Rami?

Hmm hreeseh! I miss eating it.
I thought Nabateans were descendants of the the Sadd Ma'rib's refugees in Yemen. I also thought that Arabs are descendants of Nabateans as Arabic is an off-shoot of Aramaic.

I hope all is well with you.

Fouad aka sobhi el jiz as you used to call me(;

Rami Zurayk said...

Habibi Fuad, I was just listening to this song this morning.