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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category


I waited long to meet my college mate from Yemen, who is currently married and  living in Buffalo/New York to show me how to make this Aseeda. With Aseeda, it is best to see it made in front of you–but I to be able to help you make it with this entry. This is a very rich Aseeda, and can be eaten with honey or the soup [maraq] that it usually comes with. So, choose either or. Plus there is an ingredient that you have to get from Yemen–but you can choose to leave it out if it’s not available on hand. The concentrated tamarind–that by the way is optional but an absolute necessity for us from the southern part of Yemen–will give the soup [maraq] the dark color.

You will need:

1) 2 tblsp of burned onion–this is the ingredient that we usually get in Yemen. But I think if you absolutely want it, then you can fry some onions, until they are dark, and then wait for them to cool and then grind them.

2) 1 whole chicken–cut into four parts.

3) 4 cloves–whole

4) 2 tblsp of oil–I use Olive Oil.

Place all of these in a pot and let cook under medium heat, for about 5-6 minutes. Then add:

5) 2 whole cardimon

6) 1 onion –finely chopped.

7) 1 small tomato–finely chopped.

8 ) 2 cups of water

9) 1/2 tsp of black pepper

10) 1/8 of tsp of cream of tartar

11) 1 tsp of concentrated tamarind–this is optional

12) salt to taste

Let boil until it all comes together, and the oil moves up to the surface. Turn off and leave aside. Now it is time to make the Aseeda. First combine equal parts of three flours–if you have any left you can place in a container and store for future use:

1) 2 cups white flour

2) 2 cups finely ground corn flour

3) 2 cups of Juwar flour

Combine all three–the amount really depends on how much aseeda you are making. It it very filling, so don’t be fooled by how little it is, because usually a little goes a long way. In a pot–medium sized pot add:

1) 2 cups of butter milk

2)1 cup of milk

3) salt to taste–make sure the salt is enough because it is what will salt the flour that you will be adding to this as we go along.

Let boil. Once it starts bubbling–using a whisk first, and later on as it gets thicker either an aseeda paddle [you can buy this from Yemen] or a strong wooden paddle [by strong I mean it won’t break easily as you work the dough]–add fistfuls of the flour. Add one fistful at a time–waiting a couple of minutes as you add the next. Once it starts to thicken–like a very thick custard stop adding anymore. Let cook under medium heat, and keep on mixing with the paddle. It takes a long time, at least 1 hour and a half for it to cook, even more. So, keep on mixing–not continuously, but like every 10 minutes–and you will see the mixture pull away from the pot and thicken. When it is finally  a soft and silky dough that pops out of the pot onto a plate, then it is ready to go.

To serve, place on a plate and make a hole in the middle and fill with the maraq [soup] we made earlier. Serve hot. Enjoy.

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Rice and Chicken


You will need:

1) One whole chicken–cut into two equal parts (leave skin on)

2) 1 cup of rice (washed–do not soak)

3) 1 medium onion, finely chopped

4) 1 green chillie pepper–cut lengthwise (optional)

5) 5 tblsp of Olive oil

6) 2 tsp of ground cumin

7) 2 tsp of ground coriander

8) 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

9) sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)–for a non spicy version substitute with 1/3 tsp of paprika

10) 1/4 tsp turmeric

11) Salt to taste

12) a dried lemon pierced with a knife (whole)–substitute with half a lemon cut into thick slices.

13)  1 tblsp of lemon juice

14) 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)

15) fresh ground pepper

Marinate the chicken with 1 tsp of cumin, coriander, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, cayenne (or paprika), lemon juice, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbslp of olive oil,  salt, pepper, and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and leave in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

To make the rice:

In a pot under medium heat add the rest of the olive oil, onions, salt and cumin. Sautee until browned. Add the rice, and fry a little–about 1 minute. Add the dried lemon, green chilly pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper, and add 1 cup of water. Cover and let cook under low heat. Once the water has dried (the rice will not be cooked through yet), turn off the heat.

Now take a piece of non-stick foil big enough to accommodate both the rice and chicken. Spoon all of the half-cooked rice and place the two pieces of chicken on top. Wrap the foil around the chicken very well, leaving no opening whatsoever.

Place as is, under a broiler (at medium) for an hour and a half. After that time, take out of the oven, and make sure the rice is cooked through. If so, then spoon the rice onto the serving platter.Place the two pieces of chicken under the broiler to brown on top. Serve immediately with a green salad and yoghurt.

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Stuffed Cornish Hen


Be generous with the spices for this dish, and it will soon become your family’s favorite. Serves  easily 2-4.

You will need:

1) one small Cornish hen–the smallest you can find.

2) 1 cup of rice (washed–do not soak)

3) 1 medium onion, finely chopped

4) 1 green chillie pepper–cut lengthwise (optional)

5) 5 tblsp of Olive oil

6) 2 tsp of ground cumin

7) 2 tsp of ground coriander

8) 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

9) sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)–for a non spicy version substitute with 1/3 tsp of paprika

10) 1/4 tsp turmeric

11) Salt to taste

12) a dried lemon pierced with a knife (whole)–substitute with half a lemon cut into thick slices.

13)  1 tblsp of lemon juice

14) 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)

15) fresh ground pepper

Marinate the Cornish hen with 1 tsp of cumin, coriander, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, cayenne (or paprika), lemon juice, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbslp of olive oil,  salt, pepper, and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and leave overnight.

To make the rice with which to stuff the Cornish hen:

In a pot under medium heat add the rest of the olive oil, onions, salt and cumin. Sautee until browned. Add the rice, and fry a little–about 1 minute. Add the dried lemon, green chilly pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper, and add 1 cup of water. Cover and let cook under low heat. Once the water has dried (the rice will not be cooked through yet), turn off the heat and carefully spoon the rice into the cavity of the Cornish hen, stuff it as much as you can. Close the opening with some toothpicks–use non-colored toothpicks. As for the remainder of the rice, keep aside for the next step.

Now take a piece of non-stick foil big enough to wrap the chicken. On the foil spoon some of the rice and place the chicken on top, then spoon the rest of the rice on the sides of the chicken. Wrap the foil around the chicken very well, leave no opening whatsoever.

Place as is, under a broiler (at hight) for an hour to an hour and a half. After that time, take out of the oven, open up the top and return to broiler to brown on top. Serve immediately with a green salad and yoghurt.

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This is a dish that my aunt Wafa taught me when I spent a week at her and my Uncle Ashfaq’s–long time ago when I was in Yemen. I loved it so much, and I have been making it every since. I always make them together–although you an make each on its own.

For the rice you will need (for 3 servings):

1) 1 cup rice–washed (do not soak)

2) 1tsp of red chilly paste (I usually soak dry red chillies overnight and then liquidize them to a fine paste–and I then store in the refrigerator in a air tight container)

3) 2 small yellow onions, diced

4) 1 green chilly pepper, finely chopped

5)1 tblsp of tomato paste

6) 1 medium tomato, finely chopped

7) 1 tsp ground cumin

8) 1 tsp ground coriander

9) 2tblsp of Olive Oil

10) Salt to taste

For the Curry Chicken you will need:

1) 4 pieces of chicken (skinless and bone in)–I used 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks

2) 2 medium sized yellow onions, finely chopped

3) 1 big potato quartered (more if you so desire)

4) 1tbsp of curry powder–less if you have the spicy kind

5) 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

6) 2 tblsp of finely chopped cilantro

7) 2 tbslp of Olive Oil

8) Salt to taste

To make the rice–

My aunt made the rice in a pressure cooker, and I have noticed that it is definitely tastier if you do so. But you can make in a regular pot. Place pot under medium heat , add the oil, onions and green chilly pepper and let brown. Then add the red chilly sauce, cumin and coriander and let cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes soften. Then add the tomato paste and let cook for one minute. You will end up with this red paste. Add the rice and mix well, and then cover entirely with hot boiling water, cover and leave on low until rice is cooked. Optional–toss with fresh chopped cilantro.

As for the chicken, very easy. In a covered pot, place all the ingredients for the  curry chicken. Mix well,  cover, and leave on medium heat for an hour or so–until the potatoes are cooked through and the chicken pulls from the bone, and the oil rises to the surface. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro. Serve with the rice above, or with bread.

May Allah (swt) grant my aunt Wafa Jannah for teaching me such a delicious and quick meal.

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Whenever my mother would ask me what I wanted for lunch, it was ALMOST always this sauce with white rice.

1) whole chicken cut in 4 pieces, or 8 if you so desire

2) 2 medium potatoes quartered

3) 1 medium onion finely minced

4) 2 cloves of garlic minced

5) 1 green chillie pepper grated

6) 2 tblsp of finely chopped cilantro

7) 2-3 tblsp of Oilive Oil

8) 1 tsp of ground cumin

9) 3/4 tsp of ground coriander

10) 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

11) 1/4 tsp curry powder

12) a couple of cardamon pods

13) 1 tblsp of tomato paste

14) Salt to taste

Place a  pot under medium heat,  add the olive oil and onions and potatoes and sautee until the onions are golden brown. Add the chicken and garlic and let cook until the water from the chicken dries out. Add the spices–cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, and curry powder–and the the green chillie and let the flavors marry for about 3 minutes.

Add about 2 cups of boiling water to cover the chicken entirely, then cover the pot and let boil until the chicken and potatoes cooked through. Will take about 4-5 minutes. Add the salt and tomato paste and let simmer until the sauce thickens and the oil rises to the surface.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro. Serve hot with white rice.

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You will need:
1) 4 green bell peppers (the smaller the better-but these are usually hard to come by except if you get them at the farmer’s market or an organic food store)
2) 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes [I used bone in for flavor]
3) 1 large onion finely chopped
4) 1 green chillie or jalapeno grated
5) 2 cloves garlic minced
6)2 tblsp of finely choppoed cilantro
7) 1 and 1/4 tsp and a half of cumin
8) 1 and 1/4 tsp and a half of coriander
9) 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
10) 1/2 tsp of curry powder (of less if you do not like it as spicy)
11) sprinkle of black pepper
13) sprinkle of red chillie powder (optional)
13) salt to taste
14) 2 tblsp of tomato paste
15) 1 cup of rice, washed (1/4 of a cup for each bell pepper, if they are smaller then less)
16) 1 tblsp of lemon or lime.
17/ 3 tblsp of olive oil

First, you will stuff the bell pepper with the rice mixture that is made up of the rice, lemon, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp of coriander, 1/4 ts of ground cinnamon and salt mixed well. About 1/4 cup of rice goes into each bell pepper. Arrange them on an oven dish or in a pot that you can place in the oven.

Then to make the chicken sauce, sautee the onins in the olive oil and add the garlic and once it is all browned add the chicken for about 10 minutes. Add the Jalapeno and the rest of cumin, coriander, and ground cinnamon and the curry powder and let cook for 5 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and 2 cups of water. Add salt to taste.

Then pour this mixture onto the dish with the stuffed bell peppers. Sprinkle the black pepper and red chilly powder on top and cover the pot or the oven dish with foil and place in the oven at preheated oven of 350 degrees for an hour or until the rice is cooked through, and the sauce is thickened.

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