Saturday, January 22, 2011

Samaritan Hebrew Language

I use to scribble the Samaritan alphabets quiet often but not tried to write it as a calligraphic piece. After having an acquaintance with the language recently by seeing an article in the net about the language I thought of putting it up in paper using my pen.


It is written “Bereshit”( which means “In the beginning”) in Samaritan Hebrew language, as it is a beginning of  Samaritan Calligraphy, Bereshit is the most apt word. The Samaritan alphabet is the dialect of Old Hebrew or so called Paleo Hebrew, the alphabet was derived by the Samaritans. The characters or the alphabet, according to scholars is similar to the alphabet used for Torah before square Hebrew or Assyrian characters were introduced. The Samaritans themselves claim descent from the northern tribes of Israel. 
The Samaritan alphabet is still used by a few Samaritans in the city of Nablus and in the Samaritan quarter of Holon. This is a consonant alphabet, and vowels indicated with diacritics. And it is written from right to left in horizontal lines like Arabic and Hebrew.  Samaritan, an extinct Semitic language which is no longer a mother tongue, But it is still used to a limited extent as a liturgical language.The language is similar to Hebrew, but the pronunciation of Samaritans doesn’t give stress to the letters א, ע,ח , ה they uses only the letter ש as “sheen” and not “seen”. And some more difference like this do exists.
Hope i can go with more of Samaritan Calligraphy.and i will be coming up with more different calligraphies.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cochin Jewish Cuisine - I tried out some

It was my academic research which put me in touch with the Cochin Jewish Cuisine, unto me its a cuisinette rather than a cuisine and I had a chance to prepare some of the Cochin Jewish dishes, last week.The menu which i chose was :

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Mutta Salade

In picture a unleavened bread is given as a cracker 

  • Plav ( Yellow rice )

It is a Yellow rice, made with Basmati rice ( Indian long grain rice ). Rice is cooked in chicken stock with spices and then shredded chicken pieces is added. Turmeric is used for colouring agent. Its garnished with fried cashew nuts and raisins.

  • Mulagirachi ( Capsicum Chicken ) 

Its a hot and spicy chicken dish with lots of capsicum, green chillies, chilli powder and mint/coriander leaf . Its a bit tangy because tomatoes and tamarind pulp is even used in it. 
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In picture the egg salade is used as a topping for rice pudding with lots of  dry fruits and nuts.

  • Mutta salade ( Sweetened noodle made of egg yolk )

Its actually a noodle shaped sweet dish made of simply egg yolk. its made to flow in a sting to simmering sugar syrup flavored with Cardamom powder. There is a same or exact similar dish for Malabari Muslims but named Mutta Maala ( Literally means " Egg necklace " )

These authentic recipes were presented in my own way to make it more acceptable for westerners. I hope it will work. There are more recipes with me which will be put up I need some rest after a heavy dinner.

Courtesy to : Mrs Queenie Hallegua, wife of Late warden of Cochin Pardesi synagogue Mr Samuel Hallegua. for providing the above mentioned recipes.