Historic recipe videos

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Zukanda – A Babylonian yoghurt soup with barley flatbread

This recipe is part of a collection of Ancient Mesopotamian recipes from the Babylonian Culinary Tablets at Yale. These cuneiform tablets list, very shortly, a number of dishes with their ingredients – without quantities, that is – and with hardly any instructions, so there is plenty of room for interpretation. I have chosen a dish from one of the Old Babylonian tablets described as “Elamite broth”, so strictly speaking it is not Babylonian but claims to be from what is now South-Western Iran. The name of the dish is given as “Zukanda”. I serve this soup with barley flatbread.

The original text reads: “Elamite broth. Meat is used. You prepare water. You add fat. Dill, wild leeks, leek and garlic bound with blood, a corresponding amount of sour milk, and more garlic. The original name is Zukanda.”


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