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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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IMG_4951

This is my favorite fava bean recipe because it’s simple yet incredibly delicious,  and also because it reminds me of  my favorite moments with my Dad, Allah Yirhamoh. Late at night, Dad and I would  eat this with fried eggs. It’s perfect for breakfast, supper or Sahoor. The ingredients are :

  1. A can of fava beans (these are the ones I recommend:  or 2)

  2. 3 clove of garlic finely minced

  3. 2 tablespoons of ghee

  4. 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

  5. salt to taste

Empty the can of fava beans into a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Then Place a deep frying pan, under medium heat, and add the fava beans. Then add the minced garlic, black pepper, salt and 1 tbs of ghee. Let boil for 10 minutes under low heat. Do not let it dry–if it does then add some water. After 1o minutes, pour onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the remainder of the ghee. Serve hot with Yemeni bread, or Naan. For added flavor, toast the Yemeni or Naan bread–see picture above.

CHECK OUT DAY 3 RAMADAN REFLECTION

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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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Jabeez 7

My dad is waiting for me to visit Yemen again so I can make these for him. When I was a kid we would enjoy them together. I seem to share my dad’s taste in food. Now that I am married and have my own home, all those dishes we used to have together bring back memories and Jabeez is one of those dishes. I’ve only seen this eaten in Aden, and no where else in Yemen. So I am going to call this Adeni Jabeez. I was reminded of it by some Adeni friends on Facebook . I looked up the recipe and tried it a couple of times. Turned out great. These ingredients are for  4 thick Jabeez or 6 thin ones-I prefer them thick.  you will need:

1) Soak 1 cup of washed  black eyed peas for an hour. Then  place peas in a blender and just add enough water to help the blender along. Then place in a sieve and let the water drain. You don’t want it too dry, but not soupy either. So like a wet paste. Here is what it looks like:

Jabeez 1

2) 1/2cup of white flour

3) 1/2 cup of chopped green onions

4) 1 egg

5) 1 medium onion finely chopped

6) 1 tablespoon yeast

7) 1/2  tsp of salt or to taste

8) 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

9) 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

10) 1 teaspoon ground cumin

11) 1/4 cup of finely minced cilantro

12) 2 cups of water

13) Olive oil for frying or vegetable oil works just as well. You won’t need a lot, about a tablespoon or two for each so that it doesn’t stick to the skillet.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl:

Jabeez 2

Add the water and then  mix all the ingredients together. I use my hands. It’ll look like this:

Jabeez 3

Cover and let sit for an hour before you start frying it. Once an hour passes, heat a skillet and add a tablespoon or two of oil to it and then take a cup full of the mixture and form a circle. Usually in Aden they scoop up the mixture in a small metal bowl and then pour it onto the skillet and then use the bottom part of the bowl to spread it out on the skillet to form a patty.

Jabeez 5

Let it brown on one side and then carefully flip for the other side to brown using a flat utensil. Be careful while flipping it as it can break easily. Here is a pic of one side browned :

Jabeez 6

Plate and enjoy with your favorite dip. I made two dips. One was of tamarind with red chilly pepper, lemon and salt to taste. The other was yogurt, lemon, dried mint and salt.

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Eggplant Dip


Eggplant

I also got this recipe from Gada Salamah in Montgomery/AL. I had some beautiful eggplants that I had bought from the local farmer’s market and wanted to make a dip. So, here is a beautiful dip.

You will need:

1)  2 small to medium eggplants. Take a small knife and peel the skin lengthwise in such a way that it looks like you have a striped eggplant. Then cut into thick rounds.

2) Oil for frying. I would say about 3/4 to 1  cup. I used Olive Oil.

3) 6 tablespoons of plain yogurt

4) 1 tsp of pomegranate molasses

5) juice of one small lemon

6) 2 tsp of tahini

7) 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

8) Salt to taste

For garnish:

9) 1 – 2 medium tomatoes cubed

10) 1 hot green chilly minced

11) 2 tblsp of finely chopped parsley

12) 1/4 of  cup of walnuts roughly chopped

13) Olive Oil

Let’s start.  First fry the eggplant rounds in the oil until golden brown. Place on paper towel side by side for the oil to be drained from them. Then in a blender place the eggplant and ingredients two eight. Blend and empty onto a nice serving plate. Mix ingredients 9-12 and mix in half with the blended eggplant and use the rest for garnish. Drizzle some olive oil on top and enjoy as an appetizer with pita bread. The pomegranate molasses make a huge difference in taste, so make the effort of getting some. If it’s absolutely impossible then you can do without them, but there will definitely be a difference in taste. Enjoy.

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