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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category


This recipes brings back fond memories of the season of ” Bagha” in Aden. Bagha (will have to look up its equivalent in English) is a fish about the same size as the small rainbow trout found in the US.

In the summer, they are abundant in Aden. I remember while we drove home from school or wor, the fishermen selling them on the side of the roads. They are usually sold in bundles of ten, fresh out of the Red sea , with their silver skins glistening in the sun. The last time i visited Aden in 1999–in July and August–I requested them but they were no where to be found. They are a seasonal treat.I personally can sit and eat the bundle of ten on my own.

If you don’t like whole fish, then you can use the same recipe for fish fillets. I enjoy it whole.

For this recipe you will need:

1) 3 tblsp of red chilly paste (I make my own. You can too, by soaking some red dried while Mexican chillies in water overnight–I get the mild ones–and then liquidize them in a food processor. Make sure the mixture is smooth, and does not have any small bits that might get stuck in your throat. They are very unconfortable)

2) 1 tsp of ground cumin

3) 1 tsp of ground coriander

4) salt to taste

5) 3 cloves of garlic finely minced

6) small to medium size rainbow trout

7) 3 tblsp of Olive Oil

Wash the rainbow trout well with cold water–inside and out. Cut it open from the middle–from its spine so it opens up like a book. You just want to cut it far enough so it opens up (see pic)–you don’t want to separate the fish into two pieces.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together well and cover the whole fish–YES EVER NOOK AND CRANNY. I like to coverand leave it in the refrigerator for an hour or two for it to suck up the flavors.

This is not a deep fried fish–Adenis NEVER deep fry fish. For fying you will need a frying pan big enough for the fish to fit comfortably (GOTTA MAKE THE FISH HAPPY HA HA HA).

Heat the oil in the frying pan, and then gently place the fish TUMMY down. Let it cook for about 6 minutes , or when it loosens from the frying pan. DO NOT FLIP IT WHEN IT IS STILL STICKING TO THE PAN–it will come apart and won’t come out picture perfect like mine :) .

Gently flip to the other side and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until cooked through, and is nice and crispy on the outside.

Serve with wedges of lemon.

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This is an Adeni classic. Since Aden is a coastal region people eat fish more often than lamb, beef or chicken. And this is a 2-3 time a week meal for many families who, most often, can only afford fish. Although nowadays, even fish is becoming very expensive.

I love this dish, it is one of my favorites. It brings back warm memories of my dear mother who taught me how to make it, and me working hard to make it taste EXACTLY like hers. This was the very first dish I learned from my mother, and was the only one I could cook for a long time until she taught me some other dishes.

Well, here is the recipe:

1) 1 7oz salmon fillet cut into 2 bite cubes (of course you can use any fish that holds well in a sauce and does not break easily. You can use a whole rainbow trout, fresh tuna steaks, and salmon)

2) 1 small onion finely chopped

3) 2 medium sized patatoes quartered

4) 2 tbslp olive oil

5) 2 cloves garlic minced

6)1 medium tomato diced

7) 1 1/2 tbslp tomato paste

8 ) 1 tblsp of red chilly sauce or more if you so desire (usually adenis have this on hand–they soak red chillies overnight and then liquidize them in a liquidizer and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator)

9) quarter of a medium sized eggplant cubed [and/or a fistful of okra]

10) 2 tblsps of finely chopped cilantro

11) Salt to taste

12) 1/2 tsp of concentrated tamarind paste

13) 1/4 tsp of ground cumin

14) 1/4 tsp of ground coriander

Alright, here goes. On medium heat sautee the onions in the oil with the garlic and patatoes unitl the onions is golden brown. Add, the fish and sautee for about 3 minutes, until the fish changes color but is not entirely cooked through.

Add the chillie paste/sauce, cumin and coriander and let cook for another 2-3 min. DO NOT ADD WATER. You want the flavors to marry without being diluted with water. Then add the eggplant and/or okra, tamarind paste, and diced tomatoes and let cook again for about 2 minutes.

Add a cup of water and let simmer under medium to low heat unitl the patatoes are cooked through. Add salt to taste and add the tomato paste and let the sauce thicken, and cook until the oil rises to the surface. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice.

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You will love the taste of the deep fried onions that is the secret in this recipe. My husband loves this fish and rice dish with the tahini and yoghurt sauce.

You will need:

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

2) 2 7 oz. salmon steaks (you can really use any kind of fish that will hold up and not crumble or break)

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) few cloves (2-3)

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

Cut the salmon steaks–each steak into three pieces. Mix inhalf of the cumin, coriander, black pepper, garlic and add salt to taste. Cover the steaks well. Place a pot on medium heat and add the Oilive Oil,and fry the fish just until it is well browned on each side (it does not need to be thorougly cooked through, it will cook with the rice as well). Take it out and put on a plate.

In the same oil (if you do not have any left after frying the fish add about 3 tblsp more). Fry the onions until golden brown with the garlic. Then add the rest of the spices, tomato, and the tomato paste. Let cook until the tomatoes have melted into the sauce.

Return the fish and layer onto the sauce in the pot. Add the rice and pourthe deep fried onion mix and add about 1/2 cup of water for the rice to cook. Gently mix with a spoon (GENTLY or else you will break the fish and your dish won’t look nice during presentation).

Cover and cook under low heat until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Serve on a platter with this sauce:

Mix 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 fish dish.

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Fish Kebab Sauce



You will use the same Salmon Kebabs in the appetizer section. I usually add 7 kebabs to the amount of sauce the ingredients render.

For the sauce you will need:

  1. a diced onion

  2. 2-3 tblsp of olive oil

  3. 3 cloves of minced garlic

  4. 2 small red patatoes peeled and quartered

  5. 2 tblsp of red hot pepper sauce

  6. 2 diced tomatoes

  7. salt to taste

  8. 2 tblsp tomato paste

  9. finely chopped cilantro

  10. finely chopped dill

    11. 1tsp of ground cumin

    12. 1tsp of ground coriander

In a pan sautee a diced onion in 2-3 tblsp of olive oil. Once the onions have browned add 3 cloves of minced garlic and sautee those briefly. Add 2 small red patatoes peeled and quartered and let them brown a little. Add 2 tblsp of red hot pepper sauce–less if you do not like spicy food (I usually buy the dried Mexican red hot peppers, soak them overnight in water and liquidize them and store them in a bottle in the refrigerator–it lasts quite a while and is milder than the Asian red hot pepper sauce you can buy at the grocery store). Add the cumin and coriander. Let the mixture simmer stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add 2 diced tomatoes and salt to taste and cook for another 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened.

Add 2 cups of water and let boil unilt the patatoes are almost cooked through. Then add 2 tblsp tomato paste which will help thicken the sauce and add some more flavor. Let simmer under low heat for about 4 mintues.

Drop the Salmon Kebabs into the sauce and let simmer for another 4 minutes or as my mother would say, “Until the oil rises to the surface.” To finish sprinkle with a little finely chopped cilantro and dill.

Serve with white rice or bread. Delicious!

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(The amount makes about 14 kebabs)

My mother usually uses Cod fish for this recipe, but I used Atlantic Salmon. In a food processor place the following and mince or pulse depending on the texture you prefer( I usually mince):

  1. 2 7oz. steaks of Atlantic salmon cut into big chunks
  2. 1 medium white onion
  3. 4 green onion stalks
  4. 2 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 green hot pepper
  6. 2 tblsp of roughly chopped cilantro
  7. 2 tblsp of roughly chopped dill

After you have minced the above add salt to taste+1/2 tsp tumeric powder+1/2 tsp chilli powder+1 tsp cumin+1tsp coriander. Mix well with your hand.

Make into patties or any preferred kebab shape and fry in 3 tblsp of Olive Oil. Serve hot with lemon pieces.

Note: you can also use the Kebabs to make a sauce that you can serve with white rice. See the next recipe.

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