A baaridah was a cold meat or vegetable dish served before the hot dishes. Following pre-Islamic Iranian tradition, when a baaridah was made with fowl, it was usually a sort of chopped cucumber salad garnished with the roast meat. Some recipes call for only the seeds of cucumbers, which makes for a luxurious, slippery texture. This particular recipe is that of Harun’s famous vizier, Yahya ibn Khalid al-Barmaki. Verjuice, the juice of sour grapes, is sold in Middle Eastern markets as abghureh or hisrmi. If you can’t find it, lemon juice will do.
- 1 whole chicken breast, roasted
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup verjuice or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cucumber, peeled and cut in ¼-inch dice
- When chicken is cool, remove skin and bones, and tear meat into small pieces.
- Place in bowl and add coriander, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, verjuice, mint, tarragon, thyme and oil.
- Mix well and season to taste with salt.
- To serve, mound chicken on salad plates and surround with chopped cucumbers.