Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Baaridah Byzantine recipe

Serves two.

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
  • salt
  • 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.

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