Aseeda (North Yemeni style)
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 a pair of muscles to help. Make use of your husband or brother if you are not married.
For the Aseed (the dough) will need:
1) 3 tblsp of yoghurt [optional]
2) 3 cups of white flour (i used all purpose)
3) 2 cups of wheat flour
4) salt to taste
5) 3 tblp of olive 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 indian 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 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 MU3SOD), 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 (it might be easier for you if you bring the pot down to the floor and lean it against a corner and steady it by pushing your knees against the pot, holding 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 do you don’t burn whatever material your floor is made of.
Keep on adding water the boiling water, in the other pot to it, as you mix. You want it to be a thick dough, but manageable in the sense that you can mix it with the wooden spoon. MANAGEABLE BUT WITH DIFFICULTY.
Add more water to it, mix it in and then place it back on the stove on medium heat and let it cook. Keep on mixing and mixing and mixing for about half an hour. Add little water as you go by, and mix again. Then stop adding any water, and let it cook for another 15 minutes unitl it bubbles, although with difficulty until it thicken and starts pulling off from the sides of the pot.
Grease a big serving plate and arrange in in the same shape as the picture. 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 that it is eaten with. 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 veggies 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 aseeda.
Note: we also serve fenugreek (Hulba) traditionally with this dish. We spoon it in the middle. For the recipe please refer to recipe 26 in this album.
Enjoy making it and eating it.