Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Carrot Paste Byzantine Recipe

(An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century)
Take a ratl of carrots, of which you have cleaned the interior. Cook it in a ratl of water, some two boilings, then take it off the fire and let it dry a little, over a sieve. Add it to three ratls of honey, cleaned of its foam, and cook all this until it takes the form of a paste. Then season it with ginger, galingale, cubeb and flowers [of clove?] , half an û qiya in all for each ratl. Eat it like a nut at meals. Its benefits: it fortifies coitus and increases desire beautifully; it is admirable.


  • 1 lb. Carrots
  • ½ lb. (about 3/4 c.) honey
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cubebs

Olives (center front)
Cheese (center back)
Yogurt Dip? (center)
White Sals (right)
Carrot Paste (left)
Pita bread (not shown)


  • Boil the carrots until done.
  • Drain and cool them, and then puree them with the honey in a food processor.
  • Transfer the puree to a non-stick skillet and cook again to remove some of the
  • moisture and thicken the honey.
  • Add the spices.
  • Serve with pita bread.
  • I did not use galingale, because it was not available.


  • The original calls for three parts honey to one part carrots, but these proportions seemed to be too much honey.
  • You lose the character of the carrots, so I changed the proportions to two parts carrots to one of honey.
  • It is likely that modern carrots are sweeter than period ones; perhaps this accounts for the large amount of honey in the original.
  • I believe that “flowers” refers to flowers of cinnamon, not clove as is indicated in the translation.
  • Flowers of cinnamon were not available, so I went ahead and used ground cloves.
  • The flavor is similar to pumpkin pie.

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