“Briwat” or “Sanbousek” … the food that united the Islamic world, east and west.

“Sanbousek” or “briouat” as Moroccans call it, is one of the dishes that are not without occasions, but today it has become part of the khwan or menu that Moroccan restaurants offer to their customers as a kind of appetizer.

This dish, which is not out of place in the Islamic world, east and west, is one of the few expressive dishes in terms of its name, description and content, mentioned by writers, lawyers, travelers and cookbook authors, where we find celebrities. The Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta refers to this in his book “The Masterpiece of the Princes and Aa`jab Al-Amsar.” When he spoke of the eating habits of the people of India, it is no wonder that the country of India is close to its origins in Persia.

The origin of its meaning in Persian is triangular in shape, and its names have been numerous in the East among al-sanbusuk, al-sanbuj, al-sanboosa or al-sanbousaq, and they are all their names in the east, and say what you want and there is nothing wrong with it because it is not Arabic.

As for the common name in Morocco, it is “Al-Briwat”, in the Arabic language it has carved the lute or the arrow and so on. From this meaning we claim that the sharp-headed brivati ​​resembles the top. of the pen or arrow after sharpening it.

Benu al-Abas desk

When the Arabs took control of the Levant and Mesopotamia, the civilization of those countries, the civilization of the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires, with its splendor, was passing into the phase of sunset and fading of splendor.

When the Arabs transferred them to the capital of the caliphate in the Levant and Baghdad after that, the Arabs received a large part of what they inherited from these two civilizations. They preferred to follow Persian and Byzantine traditions in the treatment of meat, and they were also influenced by Persian cuisine, so they got the cold and sweets from it, and the proof of this is Asma’i’s saying: Roma and Persians share in food , so they judged among themselves on a sheikh who ate the food. of the caliphs and said: As for Rumi, he went with stuffing and gut, and as for the Persian, he went with cold and sweet (Ibn Qutaybah Oyun Al-Akhbar p. 204).

Writer Habib Zajat mentioned in his review of the book “The Cook” by the jurist bin Al-Mubarrad, when he spoke about the art of cooking and reforming food in Islam, the introduction of a variety of foods by the Persians and Romans. on the Muslims after the Islamic conquests and the transfer of the center of the Abbasid Caliphate to Mesopotamia, in the realm of Persian civilization, where he mentioned the predominance of the art of Persian cooking on the Abbasid tables, including “Al-Sanbousaj”.

Among the first references to this dish is what Al-Masoudi mentioned in the fourth part of his book Muruj Al-Zahab, what was said in the hands of the observer, the Abbasid caliph, who died in 337 H / 949 AD. , describing “Sanbosaj”, a poem by Ishaq bin Ibrahim Al-Mewsili in his description of “Sinbosaj”:

Oh my questioner about the best food .. I asked about it, the most conspicuous people

Baptize soft red meat

And put a round onion..and a fresh green cabbage

And throw the liar behind him in savings .. and a Chinese house and stop the coriander

And then some cloves, good ginger and pepper

A palm cumin and a little myrrh … and two palms filled with Palmyra salt

So, sir, beat hard .. then light the fire for it as fuel

Muhammad al-Baghdadi, the writer who chronicled cooking in the time of the Abbasids during the 6th and 7th centuries AH / 12th and 13th centuries CE, mentioned the same method that al-Mawsili mentioned in his earlier verses, except that he showed in exchange that sugar-filled and finely crushed almonds are mixed with rose water, which is placed in jalab (honey) mixed with rose water and after it is fried is called al-Makal or al-Marshouka, as it is. is called today by the Rabatites, and not “Sanbousek”, which is the method mentioned by Ibn al-Adimi, who chronicles the cooking of the East in that period (i.e. in the late 12th century and in the early 12th century). 13th) in his book “Relationship with boyfriend is in the description of good things”, as he mentioned that “sanbousek” tortillas are filled with granulated sugar and rose water, fried and dipped in honey, after they are baked and then become puree. with roasted pistachios.extends in the way of wrapping.

“Sanbousek” or “briouat” in Morocco

Filled with meat is the dish of the people and stuffed with almonds is the dish of kings ..

The first mentions of “sanbosak” stuffed with meat in the Maghreb are references that appeared in the translation of Abi Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abi Hamid, who died in 338 AH 950 AD, in the context of hospitality in Tripoli. Sanbusaqah, the man said: When he finished speaking until we heard a knock on the door .. So it was a maid .. She said: Sir, my lord reads greetings to you and says: We did this for you, but it was not. done so far, so accept. The man said: “So, by God, it is cooked meat and we will sell it.”

Contrary to what is common among many scholars, the traveler Ibn Battuta Al-Tanji was the reason for this eater to enter Morocco, as Ibn Battuta lived during the 8th century AH 14 AD.

Historians of cooking in Morocco and Andalusia classified this type of “sanbusek” or “briouat” stuffed with meat from the diet of ordinary people, as mentioned by the author of the book “Pharmacy Types in Food Colors”, who described cooking in the time of almohads 6 and 7 AH / 12 and 13 AD, this food was described in his book “The Virtue of Al-Khawan and the goodness of food” as an undesirable and undesirable food, and was used only by the people of Ifriqiya ( Today’s Tunisia). “Sanbousek” or “briouat” stuffed with meat is the food of the people of Africa (Tunisia), to the exclusion of other Maghreb countries.

Did he mean that it was common among the people in Africa (Tunisia) before it was common among the people in Morocco, especially after the author of the book “Types of Pharmacy”, an unknown writer from the Almohad era, called it as food for the public as mentioned above.

On the other hand, the same writer considered that “Sanbousek” or “briwat” stuffed with almonds is a special food, as he indicated that it was made in Marrakesh, in the house of the Commander of the Believers, Abu Yusuf Al-Mensour. , by which he means Jakub El-Mensour Almohad.

Therefore, he is a special food par excellence and at the head of these people is a caliph like Jakub Al-Mensour Al-Muvahhid. On the contrary, tibib goes even further than that, when you consider that “sanbousek” made with sugar. , almonds, rose water and spices added to it is a real “sanbousek” and not the one stuffed with meat.

The reader may wonder what makes the special food “sanbusek” or “almond brivat” and the spicy sugar fried in honey, while “briwat” or “meat briwat” is a public food ??

The answer is that “brivati” made with sugar and spices is more expensive, not by the standards of the time when sugar was considered medicine and medicine, but rather by the standards of this era, except for many spices added to the mixture, which was counted. by the author of the book “Types of Pharmacy” in mastic (Al-Maska Al Hurra) and cloves and ginger, which are spices imported from the Far East, not to mention almonds, rose water and others, although spices are also included in the filling of the “sanbousek” or briuas stuffed with meat, but the author of the book referred to them without counting them at all.

Preparation of “sanbosak” or “briwat” as mentioned by historians

A- Libri i Fadala Al-Khawan

Take a sufficient amount of sugar and dissolve it in rose water, then add the studied almonds as dough and rub lightly on a gentle fire until it turns and becomes like the Cairo filling, then left. to the fire and add crushed almonds, rivets, cloves, mastic and ginger.

After that, these drugs are dissolved granulated in rose water, in which camphor and moss are dissolved, and all are mixed until they are mixed and joined and made of palm-shaped spherical plates.

B – Book of pharmacology types in food colors

General Sanbosk:

It works in three types: the first is that the chips are stuffed with garlic and spices, wrapped in a triangle shape and fried in oil and some of them are made with dough mixed with crushed meat, spices and eggs and shape. with clothes it is made, fried and served, some are made with dough with ghe, or melted fat and made from it, it is not fried but left raw and is suitable for frying in squid and stuffing.


1- Imam Abi Al-Hassan bin Ali Al-Masudi: Promoters of gold and essential minerals
2- Sambousa in heritage books
3- An unknown writer: Types of pharmacies in food colors..cooking in Morocco and Andalusia in the Almohad era
4- Bin Razeen Al-Tijbi: Al-Khawan’s virtue in the goodness of food and colors .. Photos from the art of cooking in Andalusia and Morocco at the beginning of the Bani Marin era
5- Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, writer al-Baghdadi: The cookbook and dictionary of Damascus food.
6- Siham Al-Dababi Al-Misawi: An African table .. a study on food colors
7- Ibn Battuta: A masterpiece of spectators in the strangeness of places and the wonders of travel

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