Archive for the ‘Ramadan’ Category

Sister Fatema, my neighbor from Bangladesh, taught me this recipe. Absolutely delicious and especially light for Ramadan with a salad and puffed rice you can make quite a satisfying and healthy meal with it. You will need:

1) 1 can of chick peas

2) 1 medium onion finely chopped

3) 5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

4) a tsp of ginger

5) 1/2 tsp of ground chilly powder [more depending on taste]

6) 1/2 tsp of turmeric

7) 1 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1 tsp of ground coriander

9) 1 medium or big potato diced

10) Salt to taste

11) 3 tbslp of oil [I used olive oil]

12) Optional: 1 /4 tsp of concentrated tamarind

13) cilantro for garnish

At medium heat and using a frying pan [with a lid] add the onions and garlic and sautee until the onion is browned. Add the ginger and tamarind [again optional] and all of the spices [you can add about a quarter cup of water to the spices before you put them in]. Or you can add the spices to the mixture and then add water. This is so it does not burn. Now when the water has evaporated and only the oil and spices are left, add the potatoes and salt and add a little more water [1/4 cup] and cover and let cook under low heat. Once the potatoes are almost cooked through, add the chick peas and cover and cook until they brown. Turn off heat, garnish with the cilantro and enjoy.

I recommend that you make a salad on the side [like avocado salad] and serve the chick peas in bowls with puffed  rice sprinkled on top and lemon wedges for extra sourness.

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This is my aunt Ashwaq’s recipe. Love it! Note that this is not what is called “Zalabiyyah” which has eggs in the mix. These are traditional Khameers made in Aden particularly. In Sana’a  “Zalabiyyah” is often called “Khameer” and vice versa, but those of us who grew up on these and have stuck to tradition in our cooking know the difference. So, don’t argue with me over this. Some have tried and even tried to tell me that Khameer and Zalabiyyah taste the same–they don’t! Try it for yourselves and let me know if they do. Once I have a good recipe for Zalabiyyah will post insha Allah.

These are typically eaten for breakfast with Adeni red/black tea also made with cardamon and cloves. The combination is delightful. You can also have these for Iftar in Ramadan, or during tea time late afternoon. They freeze well, so you can make double the amount, divide into plastic bags and freeze.

You will need:

1) 2 and 1/2 cups of white flour

2) 3/4 of sugar

3) 1 tbslp of yeast

4) 1/8 of a tsp [or 3 pinches] of baking powder [do not use too much or else the Khameer’s will come out cake-y rather than hollow on the inside]

5) 6 cardamon and 6 cloves freshly ground

6) 1 tblsp of black seed

7) 1/8 of a cup of vegetable/corn/or canola oil

8) 1/4 cup of warm water more of less. Add water gradually to make dough. It should just be enough for the dough to come together –and should neither be sticky or soft.

9) Oil for deep frying [I used Canola]

Mix all the dry ingredients–flour, sugar, ground cardamon and cloves, yeast , baking powder and black seed. Then add the oil and rub it in well. Then the warm water [tap water works to make the dough. Remember to pour the water gradually, than pour it all at once. Pour and knead, until the dough comes together. You won’t be needing much water. Then place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise. Place in a warm spot–I put mine mine out on my balcony since it’s Summer here. You can also place overnight in your kitchen. The dough will double in size. If you want to go ahead and make them, make into small balls [the size that of when you bring forefinger and thumb together] or you can divide into larger balls and then cut them out with a pizza cutter/knife/or cookie cutter.

These are deep fried. So, in a deep frying pan, heat the oil. It should be hot enough that when you place these in they should immediately come to the surface, rise, and brown. If they do that but burn [darken in color] then the oil’s too hot so lower the temperature. Insha Allah I will be getting a thermometer so I can measure the temps for you.

When the oil is ready , roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It should neither be too thin or too thick. Here’s  a pic of  the dough rolled out and cut with a pizza cutter:

You can fry them as is, or I like to either halve or quarter them and then fry them. Once you put them in the oil, they should immediately rise to the surface and start puffing up. Turn it , and let the other side brown. Take out, and let oil drain and then serve hot or warm.

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[Picture will be available soon Insha Allah]

This is my friend Amal Katabay’s recipe. Very quick and delish. It’s made with Ethiopian bread, called ‘Injera’. You can either find it at Ethiopian stores or Middle Eastern stores.

You will need [for 2 people]: 

1) Buttermilk [I would say two cups–and some extra. Enough to soak the injera in]

2) 2 stalks of green onions finely chopped

3) 2 tblsp of cilantro finely chopped

4) hot green pepper–optional and

For Sahaweg [homemade hot sauce that can be used as a dip as well for samboosa , bagya but add lemon juice to it etc.]:

1) one tomato [not mushy, and preferably yet a little green]

2) clove of garlic

3) 1 hot green pepper [less if you don’t like it spicy]

5) salt to taste

6) 2 tblsp of cilantro

Place in blender and blend well. Keep aside.

So, let’s start assembling: 

It’s best if you heat the Injera–you can zap it a few seconds in the microwave. Be careful not a lot because it will harden. You want it nice, hot and soft. Take a serving dish, preferably flat, and layer with a single Injera .

Then in another bowl add the buttermilk, vegetables, and as much of the homemade hot sauce [Sahaweg]. Mix well and pour on the Injera. Refrigerate to let it it soak well. You can add more butter milk and adjust the salt if it the Injera has soaked all the mixture up. It’s nice when it’s not too soggy or too thick. It’s such a cool dish for Ramadan. Try it.

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Shafuut [شفوت]

This is one of my favorite recipes for Ramadan. I actually got it from a Yemeni acquaintance. She made the best Shafoot ever, and I followed her instructions to a T and it turned out great. She gave me the two thumbs up, and that was an honor.

You will need: 

1) 3 cloves garlic

2) 1 green chilly pepper

3) 1 whole bunch of cilantro

4) 1 whole bunch of green onions [cut of the while onion part, we just need the green part]

5) 1 whole bunch of mint [just the leaves]

6) 4 red radishes

7) 1 roma tomato

8) juice of one lemon

9) salt to taste

10) 1 tblsp of ground cumin

11) 1 tub of whole yogurt

12) whole milk for thinning

In bender place all of the vegetable with the cumin. Blend well and keep aside. Then using a hand cake mixer, mix the yogurt until smooth. It will be thick, so you need to thin it with the milk. So gradually add a quarter of a cup of milk at a time and keep on mixing until it buttermilk thick and nice and frothy. Add the blended vegetables and keep on mixing with the cake mix. Add the lemon and keep on mixing for a minute or two, while adding salt to taste. Keep on tasting until the salt is to your taste.

Now it is time to make the Lahoh [bread that you will be soaking with the above yogurt mixture]. Use 1 cup of Aunt Jemima pancake mix, and 1/2 cup of white flour, 1tsp of baking powder and water in a blender. Consistency should be like pancake batter. Heat a skillet and make 2-3 thick pancake looking lahoh.

In a serving dish–usually big and flat–spoon some of the yogurt mixture and arrange the pancakes around it [it’s okay to cut the pancakes up to make them fit and cover the whole dish]. Spoon most if not all of the mixture slowly as the pancake soaks it up. You can use it all or most of it [depending on how runny you like it], and store the rest for future use. It stores well for up to one week.

Decorate with pomegranate seeds or green grapes. Enjoy!

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This is related to the well known Falafel or Ta’miyyah, yet different and unique in its own way . We usually have these as appetizers during Ramadan Iftar [meal at the break of ones fast at sunset]. It’s usually served with a favorite spicy dip made with red chilly pepper sauce, tamarind concentrate [paste], lemon, and salt. It’s very easy to make, and freezes well so you can make a large amount and freeze it for later use.

You will need:

1)  2 cups of black eyed peas. Washed and soaked in water overnight.

2) 2 onions quartered

3) 1 green chilly pepper halved

4) half a bunch of cilantro, washed, and roughly chopped

5) 2 cloves of garlic

6) 4 stalks of green onions, roughly chopped

7) salt to taste

8 ) 1 tbslp of ground cumin

9) 1 tblsp of ground coriander

10) 1/2 tsp of tumeric

11) ground red chilly pepper

12) oil for frying–you will be deep frying.

Drain the black eyes peas and place in food processor. Grind in processor, but be careful not into a paste. Refer to picture below, so you just want to coarsely grind the peas. Add all the vegetables to the processor as well and grind well. Empty into a bowl, and add all the spices and mix well. Be generous with the spices, the less you put the less aromatic and tasty the little bagya’s turn out.

Place oil under medium heat. You know it is at the right temperature when bubbles form when you insert a wooden spoon. You can shape the mixture into small patties, or use the mold for Falafel sold in Middle Eastern stores. Fry until golden brown. Enjoy with your favorite dip.



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Very popularly made during Ramadan especially.

You will need:

1) 3 cups milk
2) 1/4 cup sugar
3) 2 1/2  tblsp custard powder
4) 1/2 of tsp banana flavoring essence (liquid)
5) I 20 oz. can of crushed or diced pineapple in syrup (peach works beautifully as well).
6) Unsweetened coconut for decoration

Let’s start:

Pour the 2 cups with sugar into a saucepan and place on low heat . Mix one cup of milk with the custard powder using whisk. Mix well until well incorporated ( no lumps allowed) . Add to the milk and sugar while still luke warm and bring to boil, while continuously whisking. If you don’t,  it will burn at the bottom and will affect the taste.

As it starts to boil it will thicken. Continue until desired thickness. I don’t like it very thick– I prefer gravy thickness. Turn the heat off , and add the banana flavoring essence and pineapple syrup.

 Divide and arrange the pineapple pieces in individual bowls and pour the custard on top. Sprinkle  coconut for decoration. Refrigerate DO NOT FREEZE. Serve cold.

Enjoy !

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This is a delicious stuffing for your Samboosa this Ramadhan. It is very easy to make. I made enough to stuff 60 sambosa (depending on the size of course, I usually make mine small) :

1) 4 big potatoes, boiled with skin on and peeled (make sure you don’t boil them to such a degree that they fall apart–you want to be able to cut them into cubes)

2) 1 -2 cups of frozen peas–thawed

3) 1 big onion finely chopped

4) 2 tblsp of Olive or Canola oil

5) 1 tsp of fresh ginger, grated

6) 1 finely chopped green chilly pepper (optional)

7) 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds (optional)

8) 1/2 bunch of Cilantro finely chopped

9) 2 tsp of ground cumin (more of you like)

10) 2 tsp of ground coriander

11) 1/4 tsp of tumeric

12) salt to taste

13) juice of half a lemon

14)  garlic is optional (if you will be going to the Masjed for Taraweeh I would recommend that you don’t add it)

In a big frying pan, under medium heat, add the oil and onions. Sautee the onions until golden brown–then add the ginger, mustard seeds and saute’ for a couple of minutes. Then add the peas, and the cilantro and let cook for another minute or two. Then add the spices–cumin, coriander and tumeric and cook for another minute. Add  the potatoes and mix well. Finally add the lemon juice, salt to taste and leave on for another 2 minutes–make sure it does not burn, gently toss with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat. Let cool before you stuff your sambosa.

Optional: sprinkle some finely chopped cilantro before stuffing. Adds color, freshness, and flavor.

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