Archive for the ‘Snacks’ 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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I don’t think I have ever met an Adeni  who does not like this dish. It’s from among the street food sold in Aden. Some even sell it from their homes. I remember in our street in Aden, there was a woman–we  used to call her “Gidda Um Al Bataat” [meaning the grandma who sold potatoes], who lived at the end of the row of houses who made and sold them. They were irresistible, just absolutely delcious. Sisters used to meet at her place, for a chat and a spicy bowl of Bataat Abu Humar. Oftentimes the sisters residing in the same building would meet on the terraces and cluster round a big pot of this. Today more and more sisters from the rest of Yemen have been introduced to this dish, and so far none have I met who haven’t told me they don’t like it.  So, let’s start Bismillah. You will need [to serve 4-5 people]:

1) 1-1 1/2  lbs of small potatoes [any kind would work,  but I found some small red potatoes at my local farmers market]

2) Fistful of unsweetened tamarind soaked in 2 cups of water and strained [make sure to let it soak overnight]. You can also use some concentrated Tarmarind from any Middle Eastern or South Asian store. If you use the concentrated kind use 1 tbslp ONLY. 

3) 1/2 cup of red chilly sauce [soak some dry red chillies in water overnight and then place in blender and blend well. Store in an airtight container int he refrigerator]

4) 3 tblsp of  ‘ushar [pickled lemon]–optional

5) salt to taste

6) chopped cilantro for garnish

7) 3 tbslp of Canola oil [vegetable or corn oil would work as well]

In a pot full of water boil the potatoes until soft, but not mushy. Make sure they don’t fall apart. Once done run through a sieve and cool the potatoes with some cold water to stop the cooking process. You can either peel the potatoes or leave the peel one like I did, and halve. Then in a pot under medium high heat add the oil and the red chilly pepper. Let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the pickled lemons, and the tamarind and let simmer for another 3 minutes. Add salt,  potatoes and half a cup of water and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot. If you like it a little spicier you can add some green red chill–pickled or regular. Enjoy.

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Chick Pea Salad

This has been inspired by an Indian/Pakistani street food Channa Chaat –the only difference is that I added pomegranate seeds to the mix, which although it made it more vibrant and colorful also lent it great taste. I usually freeze my pomegranate seeds for times when they are not in season.

You will need:

1) 1 cup of uncooked chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked. Do not overcook them or else you might as well just turn them in Hummus.
2) 2 big boiled potatoes, peeled and chopped. Do not over cook, so that they hold their shape when you cut them.
3) 1 green chilly pepper finely chopped
4) 1 tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
5) 1  medium red onion chopped
6) 2 tblsp lemon or lime juice
7) 1/2 tsp fine sugar  of better “Jaggery” which you can buy from South Asian [Indian] stores .
8 ) 2 tblsp of coriander leaves chopped
9) 1 medium tomato chopped
10 ) sea salt [coarse if available] to taste

11) 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

12) Chaat Masala that you can buy from any Indian [South Asian] store  or you can make your own. If you would like to make your own here are the ingredients: 

Roast each of these separately: 1 tblsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tspn ajwain seeds (optional), 1 whole red dried chilly, 1 tblsp coriander seeds.  Then add  3-4 black peppercorns, 1 tblsp of garam masala, 1 tblsp mango powder (called Amchur and is sold in Indian Stores), 0.5 tblsp black salt (also sold in Indian Stores], 1 tsp  chilli powder, 1/8 tsp of asafoetida powder, 0.5 tblsp of sea salt, 1 tspn cloves, 1 tspn nutmeg, 1 tspn cardamom powder or seeds, 1 tspn cinnamon powder.  Grind them in a spice grinder and store in a jar.  

Mix ingredients 1-11 together and then add 1/2 tsp of the spice mix and keep on tasting until it is to your “heat level’–if you add too much it will be too hot for you to eat.Refrigerate for a couple of hours, and serve cold.

This makes for a wonderful snack.

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Baked Kale

This is a peculiar, yet delicious and healthy snack. It was recommended by a friend on Twitter. It’s so light and crispy, it’s become one of my favorite snacks.

You will need:

1) a bunch of kale, thick stalk removed. Tear leaves into small pieces.

2) 1 tbslp of soya sauce [or less]

3) sprinkle of of garlic powder

4) 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Mix all well. Place on baking pan and bake at 375 degree fahrenheit preheated oven until water evaporates, and they become crispy. You can eat them like chips. Delish !

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Mangoes in Spicy dressing

The Somali Mall in Minnesota/USA sells a version of this. I was introduced to it by my Somali friends, especially those who had lived in Kenya. My highschool friends from Kenya introduced you to a dried version of these that are absolutely delicious. If anyone has the recipe for the dried version send it my way.

For this you will need to peel a large semi ripe mango. Cut it into bite size pieces (your preference),  add  juice of half a lime, sprinkle salt to taste, 1/2 tsp of mild red ground chilly powder, and a sprinkle of hot red ground chilly pepper for a kick. Toss and enjoy!

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Spicy Patatoes

I went to an Afghani restaurant with some friends, and some of them ordered these spicy fries. They were so good. I recognized the spice used, so I decided to make them at home. They turned out great.

For two people, you will need: 

1) 4 medium potatoes, peeled, and cut into thick wedges

2) curry powder [just a sprinkle is enough, but how much exactly is as desired]

3) red chilly powder [just a sprinkle is enough, but how much exactly is as desired]

4) salt to taste

5) Olive oil

In a pot place the potatoes, and cover with water, add salt, a little cumin, and chilly powder and boil under medium heat until cooked through, but they should still maintain their shape. Place on an oven dish [covered with foil] and sprinkle well with olive oil, curry powder, red chilly pepper, and salt, and place under broiler to brown. Turn them, until all of them are well browned and serve.


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