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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category


Fish Curry

I got this recipe from my Bangladeshi neighbor Fatma–Jazaha Allah Khayr. I wanted a fish dish that I could serve with rice, that only had spices. No tomatoes or tomato paste. I had had this a number of times in her home, and I loved it. So, I decided to make it myself. It turned out great. It has all the spices that we are used to in the southern part of Yemen–Aden. Plus of course we love our fish at least 6 times a week. So this appeals to the south Yemeni palette very well. You will need:

1) 2 Tilapia fillets halved

2) 1 big or 2 medium sized potatoes, quartered.

3)  2 medium onions, finely diced

4) 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil –more if you like.

5) salt to taste

6) 1 teaspoon of chilly powder-less if you don’t like it spicy

7) 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

8) 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

9) 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

10) 3 tablespoons of finely cut cilantro

11) green chilly pepper halved, lengthwise

12) 3 minced garlic

13) tsp of minced fresh ginger

To start take ingredients 6-13 [the spices and the garlic and ginger], place in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water. Leave aside.

In a pan, under medium high heat, add the oil and the onions and brown. Then add the potatoes and sautee for a few minutes. Then add the spices in the bowl and turn the heat down a little and let boil for a few minutes, until the gravy/yellow sauce thickens. Then add the fish and fry in the spices. Turn once. Do not turn too much or else the fish will break. In my culture, it is a sign of a bad cook ha ha ha !

Once the fish starts turning white, add enough water to cover the fish. Add salt to taste and let boil until the sauce thickens to desired consistency. When it starts to thicken add the chilly pepper. When it is ready garnish with the cilantro and serve on a bed of which rice, or rice cooked with lentils.

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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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Since Aden is a coastal region, we eat fish pretty much on a daily basis. We also have many rice and fish dishes. This one is called “Sayadiyyah Hindiyyah” which literally means “Indian Fish and Rice” maybe because the locals picked it up from the Indian communities in Aden . It’s one of those dishes , that you have to make a lot of the components separately and then assemble and cook together for the grand finale.

Here are the instructions with pictures to help in the process: 

1) Fry a medium onion,  by first cutting into slices, mixing in one tblsp of flour, and then frying in oil until browned. Take out and let drain of oil on a paper towel.

Check if oil is hot!

2) Quarter a big potato and brown in oil [you do not want it to cook through, you just want it browned on the outside, so make sure the oil is hot enough. Take out and keep aside.

3) 3 pieces of salmon. Each piece was the size of my palm and about 3 fingers thick. If it’s very thin it can break easily. You want fish that will withstand the cooking. We also use King Fish for this dish, but I couldn’t find it fresh.  Marinate the fish in some red chilly pepper sauce [Bisbas Adani], 1/2 tsp of ground coriander, 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, salt to taste, 2 cloves of garlic finely minced. Fry the fish in 3 4 -5 tbslp of oil until browned on the outside. Take out and keep aside.

4) In the meantime,  half boil a cup and a half of rice in salted water. Keep your eye on it, lest the rice cook through. Drain the water from the rice, and leave aside.

half-boiled rice

5) In a pot add 3 tbslp of olive oil and fry a medium thinly sliced onion until golden brown.

Onions browned

6) Add 1 tbslp of red chilly sauce

7) Add 2 cloves of finely minced garlic to the onion.

8 ) Add the spices:

a) 1/4 tsp of tumeric

b) 1 tsp of ground cumin

c) 1 tsp of ground coriander

d) 1/8 tsp of ground cardamon [or a 4 crushed pods]

e) 1/2 ground cinnamon

Add salt to taste and let all of these come together–or as my mother says “enjoy the aroma of the spices coming together’

9) Add one small diced tomato

10) 1 tsp of tomato paste and let the sauce thicken.

11) Now it is time to assemble. In an oven safe dish, first layer is the sauce. Arrange the fish on top of the sauce, then the potatoes and half of the browned onions. Then all of the rice comes on top. To finish it off, sprinkle some orange or yellow food coloring, a quarter of a cup of water, and 2 tbslp of olive oil on top. Cover with foil and place in 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!

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You will need:

1) 1 cup of rice (just washed and not soaked) )

2) 2 cups of shrimp

3) 1 onion thinly sliced, covered in flour and deep fried until well browned (be careful that you do not burn it)–once the onion slices are browned let them cool and then grind them (you can use a mortar and pestle) and add one cup of warm water to the mix, a pinch of ground cloves ,and a pinch of ground coriander.

4) one potato cut into the same size as the shrimp

5) few pods of cardamon (2-3 just cracked open)

6) 2 tsp of ground cumin

7) 1/2 tsp of black pepper

8) 2 tsp of ground coriander

9) 3 cloves of garlic finely minced

10) 3 tblsp of Olive Oil

11) salt to taste

12) one medium onion diced

13) 1 small tomato finely chopped

14) 1/2 tsp of tomato paste

15) salt to taste

 Place a pot on medium heat, add Olive Oil and fry onions with  just until it is golden brown. Add potatoes and  cook for 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, pepper and salt to the shrimp and mix well and add to the pot and cook until shrimp turns pink. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook until the tomatoes have softened. Now, add the rice and pour the deep fried onion mix and add about 1/2 cup of water for the rice to cook. Taste the water, if it is not salty enough add more salt. Leave under low heat until the rice is cooked through.

Serve on a platter with this sauce:

Dice up a small tomato and put in a bowl, add 2 tblsp of tahini paste, with 2 tblsp of yoghurt, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, salt to taste. Mix well and enjoy with this dish.

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Tuna and Yoghurt Salad


I got this recipe from my sister, Arwa Almas. I just adapted it to my taste. You will need:

1) two small cans of gourmet solid tuna in either extra virgin olive oil [ or water]

2) half an onion [red or yellow] coarsely chopped

3) 3 tblp of finely chopped cilantro

4) 1 cup plain Greek yogurt. I whisk it so it’s nice and smooth

5) Salt to taste

6) Fresh ground pepper

7) 1 small FIRM Roma tomato

8) 1 green chilly pepper [less if you don’t like it spicy]

9) clove of garlic [optional]

10) Juice of half a lemon

In a blender, place ingredients 7 through 10 with 1 tblsp of cilantro. Blend well, will look like green chutney [condiment]. Place aside. Strain the oil or water from the cans of tuna. Arrange the tuna–in chunks– on a serving platter. Whisk the yogurt with a dash of salt, until it is nice and smooth. Layer on top of the tuna. Spoon the green chutney [condiment] on top evenly. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro. Serve with warm pita bread.

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Fried Tilapia


You will need:

1) 5 Tilapia fillets–skin on is best as it holds it together, since Tilapia is such a delicate fish

2) 5 tblsp of red chilly paste–make your own by soaking some red dried Mexican chillies overnight and then process them in the food processor with a little water. Make sure its smooth.

3) 1 tsp of ground cumin

4) 1 tsp of ground coriander

5) salt to taste

6) 3 gloves of garlic finely minced

7) 1 medium tomato diced

8) tblsp of finely chopped cilantro

9) 1/4 cup of oil for frying (either Canola or Olive Oil)

Mix ingredients 2-6 and keep aside. Wash the fish well with cold water and place in the red chillies, garlic and spice mixture. cover the fish well, and fry them. About 2 min for each Tilapia. In the remainder of the mixture,  add the tomatoes and cilantro and place in the oil and fry until it thickens and then pour on the fish. Serve with bread.

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Tuna Patties


This was the best picture I could take before they were devoured. So, it’ll have to do until I make them again.You can stuff them into pita bread pockets with iceberg lettuce and the avocado salad, for a quick and delicious sandwich.

For the tuna patties:

1) 1 big potato–peeled, quartered and boiled in salt water. After it’s cooked through, mash it either with a fork or potato masher

2) 2 4 oz.cans of gourmet solid white tuna, drained.

3) 1/2 medium onion finely chopped

4) 1 tblsp of finely chopped dill

5) 2 tblsp of finely chopped cilantro

6) 1 jalapeno–finely chopped. Less if you do not want it to be spicy.

7) 1 clove of garlic, minced

8) 1/4 tsp of paprika

9) 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

10) 1/4 tsp of Salmon Steak Seasoning

11) 1/4 tsp of ground cumin

12) Salt and pepper

13) 1 tblp of unseasoned bread crumbs to mix in withe tuna patties. More for breading.

14)  1 egg

15) 1/2 cup of Canola oil

Mix ingredients 1-13 well, and make 13 small patties. Dip each in the egg and then the bread crumbs and fry in the oil at medium heat. Brown on each side, place on a paper towel for excess oil to drain and serve with your favorite dip.  I made the following avocado salad by mixing the following ingredients:

1)diced up  ripe avocado

2)finely chopped 1/2 of a yellow onion

3) finely chopped jalapeno (as desired)

4) 1 small tomato, 1 tbslp of cilantro

5) 1 minced clove of garlic

6)  2 tblsps of yoghurt

7) salt to taste

Mix well and serve chilled.

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