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Savory Parfait 1

I really enjoy making savory parfaits, so I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients and made this. I was amazed at how delicious it turned out. I used white quinoa and other favorites like: hot green chilly peppers (serano or Jalapeño work so take your pick), avocado, buttermilk and cilantro. So, here is what you’l need for about 3 parfaits :

1) Cup of cooked Quinoa (to cook place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water, then heat 2 tsp of olive oil and add the quinoa. Stir for about one minute then add 2 cups of boiling water . Once it starts bubbling, cover and look under low heat for about 15 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes then fluff with a fork).

2) An avocado diced

3) spicy green condiment that is made by combining 2 hot chilly peppers (I used Serano), half a bunch of cilantro, 1/4 cup of juice from a lime, and salt to taste. You can adjust this to your taste–if you like it mild then use one pepper and take out the seeds.

4) about 3 cups of buttermilk

5) finely ground cayenne pepper

6) finely chopped cilantro for garnish

Now it is time to assemble. Take your serving glasses and add about 1/4 cup or less of buttermilk. Then add some a layer of quinoa, then a layer of the spicy green condiment. Then add another layer of the quinoa and the spicy green condiment. Then top it off with the buttermilk , and add the diced  avocado and garnish with a few dashes of colorful cayenne pepper and some cilantro. Serve warm or chilled. Absolutely delicious.

 

Savory Parfait 2

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This is a staple during Ramadan. Very hearty soup, that is a meal in and of itself. In Sana’a they make it sweet and they add milk. But in Aden ours is very different and we make it either plain which we call  Shurbah Baydha which literally means “White Soup”  or we add a red sauce to it that we make with onions, tomatoes and spices and hence call it Shurbah Hamra meaning “Red Soup”. So here’s the recipe for the plain one. Insha Allah will post the red one, which is not my favorite. This one, on the other hand is very much my favorite in Ramadan and the rest of the year. Let’s start Bismillah. You will need:

1) 1/2 pound of lamb cut into small pieces with bone in [you can also use chicken which will cut down the cooking time]

2) 2 cups of rolled oats [or you can use Old Fashioned Quaker Oats]

3) 3 sticks of cinnamon

4) 1/2 tblsp of peppercorns

5) 1/2 tsp of curry powder

6) 1/2 of a medium onion finely chopped

7) 1 small tomato finely chopped

8) Salt to taste

For garnish: fry some onions in a little oil until golden brown or darker [according to taste] and traditional Yemeni ghee or  olive oil.

In a pot add water to cover the meat completely and place under medium high heat [about 4 cups]. Remove the froth that collects on the surface as the meat starts to boil. Then add the peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, curry powder, onion, tomatoes and salt and let boil for about 20 minutes. If the water has evaporated some, add 1 cup or so. Then add the oats and mix well and cover and let boil under medium low heat. I also like to transfer it to the oven and let it slow cook in there at 350 degrees fahrenheit until the meat is tender. If you place it in the oven make sure you check on it every 15 minutes and stir. If it is too thick add some more water. I like mine thick so I add less water to maintain the thick consistency. But in Yemen there are many who like theirs thinner, so they add more water. So it depends on your taste. Once the meat is tender, that means the soup is cooked and ready to serve. Serve hot with the fried onions and a little ghee or olive oil. Note: we don’t add garlic to this soup probably because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever eats onions, garlic or leeks should not approach our mosque, because whatever offends the sons of Adam may offend the angels” (Muslim). And since this soup is eaten in Ramadan particularly, just before Maghreb [sunset prayer],  garlic is avoided. The onion on the other hand is totally lost in this soup–you can neither smell it or taste it. You will see for yourselves once you make it insha Allah.

*You can even make this in a pressure cooker as well if you want to cut back on cooking time.

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