July 25, 2010 by Dr. Lamya Almas
This is a dish that requires lots of muscle. If you make it for two or three people you might be able to manage on your own–if it is your first time–but for more than that you will need some extra muscles to help you make it. Make use of your husband or brother, or idle male in your household.
For the Aseed (the dough) will need:
1) 3 tblsp of yoghurt [optional]
2) 3 cups of white flour (I used Organic all purpose)
3) 2 cups of wheat flour (I also used Organic)
4) salt to taste
5) 3 tablespoons of olive oil (traditionally we use vegetable oil)
6) boiling water. Amount is as needed.
For the soup in the middle:
1) a whole chicken quartered (more chicken if you like–i usually roast the rest of the chicken, depending on t number of guesys I have)
2) 2 medium onions
3) a green jalapeno (or less if you do not like spicy food)
4) 2 cloves of garlic
5) half a bunch of cilantro
6) 1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
7) a tsp of ground coriander
8) 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
9) salt to taste
10) 1 tsp of concentrated tamarind ( you can get this from any East Asian or Middle Eastern store)
11) 1 tsp of tomato paste
For the Aseed:
Place a big pot on high heat and fill it with 5 cups of water. Let boil.SALT WELL, this is the only chance for you to add salt to the mixture. So, salt it well so that the dough has enough salt in it, or else it will taste very bland.
At the same time fill another medium sized pot with 1 cup of water, JUST WATER, and let it boil as well. Add the yoghurt and put in ALL the flour while mixing at the same time with a wooden rod (you can get this from Yemen for the purpose, they call it Mu’sod), if you do not have one you can use a STURDY wide but thick wooden spoon. It has to be sturdy so it does not break. Keep on mixing in a circular motion, and vertical motion. It will be easier for you if you bring the pot down to the floor, get on your knees, and lean it against a corner of your kitchen and steady it by pushing your knees against the pot. Hold it firmly in place. But make sure to place a pot holder between your knees and the pot and make sure you put a pot holder underneath so you don’t burn your kitchen floor. Mix for a good 5 minutes. Keep on adding a little water from the salty boiling water (1/4 cup at a time) from the other pot and continue to mix. You want it to be a thick dough, but manageable in the sense that you can mix it with the wooden spoon. It should not be soupy, or too soft.
After five minutes of mixing add a little more water to it (1/4 cup at a time), mix it in and then place it back on the stove on medium heat and let it cook.It will start to bubble. Keep on mixing and mixing and mixing for about half an hour–either on the stove or take it down to the floor. In Yemen we take down to the floor. Add a little water as you go by, and mix again. Then stop adding any water, and let it cook for another 15 minutes until it bubbles with difficulty, because it remember it is nice and thick but silky smooth. When it is done it will start to pull from the side of the pot, that means it is ready.
Grease a big serving plate and arrange in in the same shape as the picture above. Make sure to grease your hands with the olive oil as you arrange it on the plate, otherwise it will stick to your fingers. Make a hole in the middle for the special sauce .
This is how you make the sauce:
In a medium sized pot add 2 tblsp of oilive oil. Add the chicken and fry briefly. While the chicken is frying, in a blender place the vegetable with half a cup of water and blend well. Basically liquidize. Pour into pot onto the chicken and let boil for about 5 minutes. Add the tamarind and spices and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of water, cover and let boil for about 10 minutes on simmer. Then add the tomato paste and cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve immediately with hot Aseed.
Note: we also serve fenugreek (Hulba) traditionally with this dish. We spoon it in the middle. For the recipe please go to the following link: Hulbah
Enjoy making it and eating it. It’s a winner in