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Archive for the ‘Yemeni Dishes’ Category


Chicken and Rice Biryani

This is a quick rice and chicken recipe. It’s like a biryani that I like to make on days when I am lazy and need to make something for lunch or dinner that won’t take much effort. It’s also one of those dishes that taste even better  the following days. So, be prepared for tasty leftovers. This is what you’ll need:

1) one small chicken cut into pieces –i.e cut into 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 4 breasts 2 wings etc. All with bone in. If you opt to use boneless chicken  you’ll be missing out on some flavor. I’ve made it both ways, and prefer this with bone in.

2) a cup of yogurt

3) two small grains mastic

4) 4 whole cardamon pods

5) a cinnamon bark

6) 4 whole peppercorns

7) 1/2 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

9) 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

10) 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper

11) 1/8 tsp of turmeric

12) 1/8 tsp of curry powder

13) salt to taste

14 ) 2 pinches of saffron threads –once pinch soak in about 1/4 of a cup of water

15) 2 tablespoons of ghee

16) 2 tablespoons of olive oil

17) 2 cups of basmati rice –washed

18 ) 2 medium sized onions thinly sliced

19) 4 cloves of garlic finely minced

20) a green chilly pepper cut vertically –optional.

Alright let’s start. in a frying pan under medium heat add the ghee and oil and saute the onions until they are golden brown.  Then add the chicken and let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and let cook for another couple of minutes. In the meantime add cumin, coriander, turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, turmeric, curry powder to the yogurt and mix well. Then add the mixture to the chicken. Add a pinch of the saffron as well. Let cook for 3 minutes and then add 3/4 cup of water and cover and let cook under medium heat for another 10 minutes. In the meantime pre heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and start to prepare the rice.

For the rice place a pot of hot water to boil. Salt the water and add the cinnamon bark, cardamon pods, peppercorns, and mastic and when it starts boiling add the rice. Let the rice cook under medium heat until it is almost cooked. So, it has a slight bite to it. Turn off the heat and run the rice through a sieve.

Now take an oven dish, or if your frying pan is deep enough and is oven safe take the cover off of the chicken mixture and later the rice on top of it. Then take the rice and form  a layer on top and drizzle the saffron soaks in water on top. Cover with foil and place in oven for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite salad and pickled lemons.  Bon Appetit !

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Lamb Chop in Red Sauce

Delicious lamb chops in a savory , tangy and spicy red sauce served with some toasted french bread make for a great dinner. For these lamb chops you will need the following :

1) 3 lamb chops

2) 3 tomatoes placed in hot water and then peeled , seeded and chopped

3) 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or any red hot chilly powder that you like

4) 1/4 tsp of cumin

5) 1/4 tsp of coriander

6) 1/8 of a tsp of turmeric

7) salt to taste

8 ) 1/8 tsp of black pepper

9) 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

10) 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil

11) one onion diced

12) Cilantro for garnish

13) lemon slices for garnish

Alright, let’s start! Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. I first took a frying pan and added the olive oil and under medium high heat i took the lamb chops and browned them on each side. I took them out and placed the onions and sautéed them. Then I added the tomatoes and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Then all the spices –cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste and add a cup of water. I prefer to add boiling hot water that I keep in a kettle on the side while I am cooking. After about 3 minutes add the lamb chops , add more water to cover them completely (if your frying pan is not deep enough then transfer to an oven dish), cover with foil and place in the oven. Once you hear it bubbling lower the temperature to 350 and let bake for an hour to an hour and a half. Run a knife through the chops to make sure that they are tender. If tender then they are done. The sauce should be nice and thick, but not dry. Place on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and lemon slices and serve with toasted french bread. Enjoy!

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Goat's Head

I love love love goat or lamb heads. It’s my favorite part of the animal. I know, I’m weird! My Mom told me that when she was pregnant with me that was all she craved. Yeah! That was me in there tee hee hee ! Well, this is how I like to make it. You will need:

1) a clean goat’s head meaning it’s been skinned, eyes removed, brain has been taken out (I like to make another dish with the brain and here is the recipe http://yemeniyah.com/2012/01/14/mokh-sheepgoat-s-brain/ ) . I like to cut the head in two equal halves, horizontally.

2) 3 tomatoes placed in hot water and then peeled , seeded and chopped

3) 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or any red hot chilly powder that you like

4) 1/4 tsp of cumin

5) 1/4 tsp of coriander

6) 1/8 of a tsp of turmeric

7) salt to taste

8 ) 1/8 tsp of black pepper

9) 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

10) 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil

11) one onion diced

12) Cilantro for garnish

Alright, let’s start! Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. I first took a frying pan and added the olive oil and under medium high heat i took the two goat head halves and browned them on each side. I took them out and placed the onions and sautéed them. Then I added the tomatoes and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Then all the spices –cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste and add a cup of water. I prefer to add boiling hot water that I keep in a kettle on the side while I am cooking. After about 3 minutes add the goat head halves , add more water to cover them completely (if your frying pan is not deep enough then transfer to an oven dish), cover with foil and place in the oven. Once you hear it bubbling lower the temperature to 350 and let bake for an hour to an hour and a half. The only meat that needs to be tender is on the jawline of the goat’s head. Once that is tender then it is done. The sauce should be nice and thick, but not dry. Place on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and serve with toasted french bread. Enjoy!

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Jabeez 7

My dad is waiting for me to visit Yemen again so I can make these for him. When I was a kid we would enjoy them together. I seem to share my dad’s taste in food. Now that I am married and have my own home, all those dishes we used to have together bring back memories and Jabeez is one of those dishes. I’ve only seen this eaten in Aden, and no where else in Yemen. So I am going to call this Adeni Jabeez. I was reminded of it by some Adeni friends on Facebook . I looked up the recipe and tried it a couple of times. Turned out great. These ingredients are for  4 thick Jabeez or 6 thin ones-I prefer them thick.  you will need:

1) Soak 1 cup of washed  black eyed peas for an hour. Then  place peas in a blender and just add enough water to help the blender along. Then place in a sieve and let the water drain. You don’t want it too dry, but not soupy either. So like a wet paste. Here is what it looks like:

Jabeez 1

2) 1/2cup of white flour

3) 1/2 cup of chopped green onions

4) 1 egg

5) 1 medium onion finely chopped

6) 1 tablespoon yeast

7) 1/2  tsp of salt or to taste

8) 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

9) 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

10) 1 teaspoon ground cumin

11) 1/4 cup of finely minced cilantro

12) 2 cups of water

13) Olive oil for frying or vegetable oil works just as well. You won’t need a lot, about a tablespoon or two for each so that it doesn’t stick to the skillet.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl:

Jabeez 2

Add the water and then  mix all the ingredients together. I use my hands. It’ll look like this:

Jabeez 3

Cover and let sit for an hour before you start frying it. Once an hour passes, heat a skillet and add a tablespoon or two of oil to it and then take a cup full of the mixture and form a circle. Usually in Aden they scoop up the mixture in a small metal bowl and then pour it onto the skillet and then use the bottom part of the bowl to spread it out on the skillet to form a patty.

Jabeez 5

Let it brown on one side and then carefully flip for the other side to brown using a flat utensil. Be careful while flipping it as it can break easily. Here is a pic of one side browned :

Jabeez 6

Plate and enjoy with your favorite dip. I made two dips. One was of tamarind with red chilly pepper, lemon and salt to taste. The other was yogurt, lemon, dried mint and salt.

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Mutabaq

This is one of my favorites. It’s pretty easy to make, although might be time consuming for some. For the dough you will need:

1) 2 cups of flour

2) 1/4 tsp of salt

3) 1 tablespoon of oil [I used sunflower oil]

4) water as kneaded to make a soft and smooth dough

Add the salt to the dough and mix well. Then add the oil and mix in as well. Then gradually add water and knead and unit it is transformed into a smooth and soft dough. Soft means that when you poke it it does not bounce back. Cover the dough and let rest for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested for 30 minutes, divide it into small balls. This amount should be enough for 12 small balls.

Using a rolling pin, open up the balls into small circles. Try to roll them out into approximately the same size. Place them on a well floured surface. Plan on stacking four on top of each other. Now before you stack them on top of each other, take one of circles and add one tsp of oil onto it. Smear it with a spoon. Then sprinkle a little dough. Then place another circle of dough on top of it. Continue until you have four. DO NOT OIL AND SPRINKLE FLOUR ON THE LAST ONE.  Continue with the rest. MAKE SURE YOU COVER THOSE YOU HAVE COMPLETED SO THEY DON’T DRY OUT.Place a flat pan on high heat. The pan has to be very hot.

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Now it is time to roll them out. Before you do so press with your fingers around the edges so that they all line up evenly or else you will end up have ones that are shorter than the others. Like this:

Then roll it out pretty thin:

IMG_3167[1]

Once you have it all rolled out beautifully, place it carefully on the hot pan. It will start puffing up in a few seconds. Flip on the other side and watch it puff up some more.

IMG_3168[1]

The layers will start coming apart. That’s when it is ready. Pull the layers apart with your hands. BE CAREFUL IT IS HOT. Continue until you are done with  all the dough you have prepared.

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The layers will be nice and thin like this:

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Now for the egg mixture to put in between the thin layers that you just made with the dough.  You will need:

1) 2-3 eggs

2) 4 green onions, finely chopped

3) a handful of cilantro finely chopped

4) green chilly pepper finely chopped –to taste. This will make it a little spicy.

5) salt to taste

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Mix all these ingredients well together:

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Now oil the pan with about a tsp of oil, then take one of the layers of the prepared dough and place it on top. Then oil the layer  and spread some of the egg mixture on top:

IMG_3177[1]

Place a second layer on top:

IMG_3178[1]

Cook on both sides until well browned. [If you would like to use more eggs in between you may, but just make sure it is cooked well. Leave it a little longer that is. If you would like to make sure the egg is cooked, you can pierce the dough with a fork and if egg does not ooze out then it is cooked]. Serve hot with Yemeni tea. Enjoy!

IMG_3181[1]

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I really wanted to learn  how to make real frothy Yemeni Hulbah [fenugreek]. You will need powdered Fenugreek for this. Yallah Bismillah:

1) 2 tblsp of powdered fenugreek

2)  salt to taste

3) juice of one lemon or lime

4) 1/2 tomato [not over-riped]

5) green chilly pepper [amount will depend on how hot/spicy you like it]

6) 1 clove garlic

 7) 2 tbslp of cilantro

Alright first soak the ground fenugreek in water–about 1 cup. Mix, cover and leave aside for 2 hours. The water will float to the surface and the fenugreek will form a paste at the bottom. Pour out the water–away goes the bitterness of the fenugreek with it. Now take it and freeze it for about 5 minutes– we do not want it to freeze but rather get cold. Take it out and using a whisk briskly [or you can use an electric whisk] and it will become nice and frothy. Add the lemon juice and the salt and whisk some more and it will become even more frothier. Leave aside.

Now  in a blender place the tomato, cilantro, green chilly pepper, and garlic and blend. You can add a little lemon if it is proving hard to blend. Now take this mixture and add gradually to the whisked fenugreek and keep on whisking until it is all incorporated. And there is your frothy fenugreek ready to serve as a condiment or as a dip with bread.

 

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This is another Adeni dish that is very popular. We usually make Khobz and frothy hulbah with this or eat with white rice. You will need:

1) 2 Salmon fillets

2) 1/4 tsp of fenugreek [whole]

3) 2 tbslp of oil

 4) 2 tomatoes peeled and diced

5) 3 cloves of garlic crushed

6) green chilly pepper [Sarano pepper] slit lengthwise and halved

7) 1/2 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

9) salt to taste

10) 1 and 1/2 tbslp of tomato paste

11) cilantro for garnish

12) Bisbas Ahmar [red chilly pepper sauce]

Alright let’s start, “Bismillah.”  Place a frying pan under medium high heat and add the oil. Then when it is hot add the fish and the fenugreek seeds. Let cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic, green chilly pepper, red chilly sauce, cumin coriander, salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1/4 cup water and shake the frying pan so everything is evenly spread out, or gently with a spoon mix [but be careful don't break the fish]. Leave on medium low heat until the sauce thickens–I sometimes stick it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the sauce has thickened. Serve with Khobz [South Yemeni bread] and Hulbah or on a bed of rice.

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