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Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq

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Abū Muḥammad al-Muẓaffar ibn Naṣr ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq (Arabic: أبو محمد المظفر بن نصر ابن سيار الوراق) was an Arab author from Baghdad. He was the compiler of a tenth-century cookbook, the Kitāb al-Ṭabīkh (Arabic: كتاب الطبيخ, The Book of Dishes). This is the earliest known Arabic cookbook. It contains over 600 recipes,[1] divided into 132 chapters.[2]

Kitāb al-Ṭabīkh[edit]

The Kitāb al-Ṭabīkh is the oldest surviving Arabic cookbook, written by al-Warraq in the 10th century. It is compiled from the recipes of the 8th and 9th century courts of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad. Some scholars speculate that al-Warraq may have prepared the manuscript on behalf of a patron, the Hamdanid prince Sayf al-Dawla, who sought to improve the cultural prestige of his own court in Aleppo as the court in Baghdad had started to decline.[3]

Some recipes in the book, like ʿaṣīda (date-sweetened porridge), come from the relatively simple cuisine of the Arabian peninsula, but the book also contains recipes for fancy stews with Persian names. There is also an entire chapter about nabaṭiyyāt, hearty stews of 'Nabataean' (Iraqi) origin.[3]

Several partial or full translations in European languages are available:

  • Nawal Nasrallah, annotated translation[4]
  • Lilia Zaouali, selection of two dozen recipes[3]
  • Sabrina Favaro's Italian translation[5]
  • David Waines, selection of recipes[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Urtatim. "Kitab al-Tabih". Good Reads. Goodreads Inc. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. ^ "كنز من كنوز الحضارة الاسلامية يعود للحياة من جديد". Al Basrah Network. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Zaouali, Lilia (2007). Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World. University of California Press.
  4. ^ Nawal Nasrallah, translator, Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook, Brill, Leiden 2007. ISBN 90-04-15867-7
  5. ^ Sabrina Favaro, Il simposio dei sultani: Dal più antico Trattato di cucina arabo-musulmano, 2015 ISBN 8878015016
  6. ^ David Waines, In a Caliph's Kitchen, 1995 ISBN 1869844602

Further reading[edit]

  • Kaj Öhrnberg and Sahban Mroueh, eds., Kitab al-tabikh Studia orientalia 60, Finnish Oriental Society, 1987. ISBN 951-9380-04-3
  • Charles Perry, "Cooking with the Caliphs", Saudi Aramco World 57:4 (July/August 2006) full text