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I’ve never been a fan of beetroot despite knowing its many benefits. But lately I’ve been trying to  incorporate it into my diet by juicing it. I’ve  also realized in the process that I like beetroot raw, not cooked. So I decide on this salad because it has raw beetroot and speaks to my Adeni love for all that is spicy, tangy, and sweet. This is a very refreshing salad for this Ramadan, so try it. You will need:

  1. 1 medium sized beetroot, peeled and grated

  2.  a bunch of green onions, finely chopped

  3. half a bunch of cilantro, also finely chopped

  4. 1 big tomato diced

  5. 1 green chilly pepper, finely diced

  6. juice of 1 lemon

  7. 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

  8. salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients today and toss and serve chilled.

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Shafoot 8

I was looking forward to making this Shafoot for my Dad in Yemen early December, but he passed away Nov. 1st 2014. May Allah have mercy on him. We plan and Allah plans, and Allah is the best of planners. To Allah we belong and to Him we return. Please keep my Dad in your Duas. Jazakum Allah Khayr.

My Yemeni-American friend here in Montgomery / Al , Abeer, suggested this recipe for a quick shafoot. Shafoot in Yemen is served as an appetizer especially in Ramadan. For 4 servings you will need :

1) 2 cups of yogurt ( I used greek) or sour cream
2) 1/2 cup of milk
3) 1/4 tsp of cumin
4) 1/4 tsp of dry thyme
5) salt to taste
6) 2 pita bread cut into cubes

Place the pita bread that you have cut into cubes in a dish.

Shafoot 1

 

 

Shafoot 2

Shafoot 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then whip the yogurt , milk, cumin, thyme, and salt until it’s nice a smooth. Add the mixture to the pita break pieces and gently incorporate using a spatula. Leave aside or refrigerate while you make the following two additions:

Shafoot 5 Shafoot 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahaweq(g):

1) 1 green chilly ( jalapeno pepper) — remove seeds if it’s too spice for you
2) 1 tomato
3) 1/4 bunch of cilantro
4) 1 clove of garlic
5) optional: splash of lime juice
6) salt to taste

Place all in liquidizer and process . It’s like a green chutney. I am sure mint would also go great with this, but that’s up to you.

Shafoot 6

 

 

 

 

 

Salad :
1) cubed cucumber
2) cubed tomatoes
3) finely chopped salad
4) cilantro or parsley coarsely chopped
5) red or yellow onion finely sliced
6) optional : cubed avocado
7) spash of lime juice
8) salt to taste
9) 1/2 tap of olive oil

Mix them all together .

Shafoot 7

 

 

 

 

 

Now it is time to assemble a plate of the shafoot. In a plate scoop some of the yogurt and pita shafoot. Top with some of the sahawaq ( green chutney) and the salad. See picture at the beginning of this post. It’s ready to serve and it’s delicious !

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Cooked Apple Achar Done

When I was growing up, apples were rare in Yemen. I read about them in books; they were always red, sweet and juicy. They were never crispy, green or tangy. Then when I was five, my father was posted in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen’s Embassy in England, and that was when I was introduced to the green apple. It was love at first sight. It was my favorite fruit to take to school, and I still clearly remember biting into them. Their tanginess sting my eyes momentarily as tears gush out . I always chose the hard and deep green ones because they were extra tangy. When I came to the states, I fell head over heels in love with caramel green apples. There was a chocolate store at the Mall of America in Minneapolis that used to sell amazing caramel green apples and I would make the 45 minute bus ride just for their sake. Well, the green apple has done it again with this beautiful spicy achar (spicy condiment). I was introduced to it when I visited my friend Lucky. She served it as a condiment during lunch and since then I’ve been wanting to get the recipe. So, Monday July 21st 2014, she opened her kitchen to me and showed me how to make it. I walked home hugging a big jar of it. So, here’s the recipe with pics. We made two batches. But for a single batch you will need:

 

1) 5 green apples –peeled, cored, and roughly chopped.

Apples peeled and coredApple cut up

2) 1 whole garlic finely minced

 Garlic

3) 1/2 handful of dried red chillies (more or less according to personal taste)

Bisbas

4) 1 and 1/2 tsp of Shan Achar/Pickle Seasoning (this seasoning has black cumin, fenugreek, aniseed, mustard seed, cumin, turmeric, chilly powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, salt and cloves)

Achar Seasoning

5) Salt to taste

6) 1 tsp and a half sugar

7) 1/4 cup of white vinegar

8) 1/4 cup of Mustard Oil

In a frying pan, under medium heat, add the mustard oil and let warm.

Mustard Oil

Then add the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Do not burn.

Add Garlic to Oil

Then add the dried chillies and let sautee for another 2 minutes.

Then add bisbas to oil and garlic

Then add the chopped green apple and mix well.

Chopped Apple

 

After 2 minutes of cooking add the Achar/Pickle seasoning, and the white vinegar.

Chopped Apple Seasoning

Cover and leave on low heat and let soften. About 6-8 minutes. Then uncover and add sugar and salt and taste. Then leave on stove under low heat until all the water has evaporated and only the oil oozes out of the mixture when you make a hold in the middle with a spatula. The consistency should be smooth, a little mushy with small chunks.

Cook Green Apple Achar

This is how it looks when it is done:

Cooked Green Apple 2

Let cool completely before emptying into jars and store in the refrigerator. Serve with rice dishes, as a dip. I also make chicken sandwiches and use this instead of ketchup and mustard. Enjoy !

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Samboosa 8

In Aden Samboosas (aka samosas) are a must in most households during the month of Ramadan. The first two weeks before Ramadan every household in Aden is making hundreds of these and freezing them. I make them occasionally as my husband and I are not big fans of friend food. You can also bake these, by spraying them with oil and then placing on a baking sheet and baking at 350 degree oven for 10 minutes on each side or until golden brown. But  for the most part they are friend. I used Spring Roll Wrappers that you can really find in any grocery store. If not then make a visit to the Asian grocery stores, and you’ll find them in the freezer section. This is they look like:

Sprint Roll Wrappers

I use two layers of these, as they’re pretty thin.  I cut each into three long rectangular strips like this:

Samboosa 1

I stuffed these with a potato stuffing. Traditionally it is made with ground beef and God Willing I’ll post the recipe for that once I make it. But here’s the recipe for the potato stuffing:  https://yemeniyah.com/2010/08/15/potato-stuffing-for-sambosa/ . You will also need some samboosa glue made from a little flour and water. They’ll help you glue the ends and give them neat ends. Now, once you have all the parts you can start assembling. So, take one of these strips and fold once to form a triangle at the bottom, and then fold again to make a triangular pocket. Then start stuffing:

Samboosa 4

Then continue to fold and glue the end.

Samboosa 6

It’ll turn out to be a perfect triangle.

Samboosa 7

I usually lay these on a tray and then freeze while still on the tray and then when frozen transfer them to ziplock bags. You can deep fry these in vegetable or corn oil until they are golden brown. I like to serve them with slices of lemon.

If you want to make your own wrappers here is the recipe: https://yemeniyah.com/2013/03/11/mutabaq-yemeni/ You will do the same as above, i.e. cut each later into long wide strips. But make sure you just use one layer, not two as with the spring roll wrappers.

Happy Cooking !

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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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Eggplant and Yogurt

 

Eggplant and yogurt are two of my favorite foods, and when they are paired up in a dish then that makes three of my favorite foods. This is a pretty easy salad to make, and very delicious. It’s also a very pretty dish. You will need:

1) An egg plant, peeled and cut into

2) Olive Oil for frying

3) Salt to taste

4)  1/4 tsp ground cumin

5) 2 finely minced garlic cloves

6) 1 cup of Greek yogurt of any plain yogurt of your choice

7)  chopped cilantro for garnish

8) ground paprika or red chilly powder

9) 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice

Place eggplant fries in a colander and sprinkle a little salt on them and leave aside for 15 min. This helps pull the moisture from the eggplant  so there’s no oil spatter while frying. This also prevents the eggplant from absorbing a lot of the oil. But if you’d rather skip  this step, it’s perfectly okay.

Now place a frying pan under medium/high heat and add some olive oil. I don’t like immersing the eggplant fries in oil because they become rather fragile as they cook and hence too soft to handle-especially since the skin has been peeled and there’s nothing to hold the eggplant meat together as it cooks. So, just add enough oil to brown one side and then flip on the other side and brown. Then place them carefully on a paper towel to drain some of the oil.  Once you are done it is time to mix the yogurt.

Place the yogurt in a bowl and dilute with 1/4 of a cup or so of water–you do not want it to thick or too thin. I like it in between. I use a whisk to get a nice smooth texture. I then whisk in the cumin, garlic, and fresh lemon juice with the yogurt.  Add the salt to your taste . Then add the eggplant fries and gently fold with a spoon, then sprinkle the paprika or red chilly paper on the “face” of the salad,  as we say in Yemen,  and garnish with the cilantro. Serve chilled.

 

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Ingredients:

  1. 20 oz. can of Fava Beans –Palestinian blend [it has chickpeas, tahini, and lemon in addition to the fava beans]

  2. 2 tomatoes diced

  3. 1 jalapeno finely chopped

  4. 2 tblsp of cilantro finely chopped

  5. 1 medium onion finely chopped

  6. 2 cloves garlic minced

  7. 3 tbsl of olive oil

  8. 1 tsp of ghee (I used Yemeni homemade Yaf3ee Ghee. The Middle Eastern stores sell ghee as well, and are just as good)

  9. 2 tblsp of tomato paste

  10. salt to taste

For the base:  sautee the onions in the oil and add the garlic and jalapenos. When the onions are golden brown add the tomatoes and some salt and wait for them to soften. Once they soften add the tomato paste and half a cup of water. Let the sauce thicken. Crush the contents of the can   [Coarsely] with a fork–or use a clean set of  hands–and add to the pan.

Let it simmer for about 4 minutes. Pour the olive oil on top and sprinkle the cilantro for garnish and serve with bread. It makes for a great dip.

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