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Received a request for Jelly , Adeni style. I always thought everyone made it the same way, but I guess I was wrong. All things Adeni are special I guess. In any case, here is the recipe for Jelly, Adeni style. You will need:

  1. A packet of jelly (make sure it is Halal/Kosher. It should say on the packet)

  2. A can of fruit cocktail in thick syrup (all natural)

  3. 2 cups of water

  4. table cream (unsweetened)

That’s all you’ll need. In a saucepan, boil one cup of water (or however much water it says in the instructions on the jelly packet). Over the years, I’ve memorized this. It always says, “1 cups of hot water, and 1 cup of cold water.” Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and then empty the jelly powder into the water and stir until dissolved. Then add one cup of cold water to the saucepan.

Open the can of fruit cocktail, and run it through a sieve. Make sure to save the juice that drains from it. Take the that juice/syrup and add it to the  jelly. Then divide the fruit cocktail among four moulds and add the jelly equally on top. Let it cool and then refrigerate until it’s set. Add a tsp of table cream and enjoy.

For as long as I remember, this is the way Adenis always make jelly in Ramadan.

  • CHECK OUT MY RAMADAN REFLECTIONS: DAY 1  Click Here 

Zhoum — زوم


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This is a white sauce made from either yogurt or buttermilk eaten with Aseed. Creamy , tangy and lip-smacking delicious. It’s very easy to make. You will need:

  1. 2 cups of buttermilk (which is my preference), but you can also use a 1 cup of whole milk yogurt and 1 cup of water.

  2. 2 tablespoons of white flour

  3. 1 tsp of cumin

  4. 1/4 tsp of oregano

  5. salt to taste

  6. small saucepan

  7. a whisk

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Then take the small saucepan and place under high heat*, and pour the blended ingredients and start vigorously whisking. Continuously. Don’t stop. If you do, the contents might develop stubborn lumps that will be very hard to get rid of. Once it starts boiling and thickening then turn it off. It should coat a tablespoon. Serve hot over Aseed either alone or with the brown sauce detailed here.

*originally, it is cooked over low heat and whisked continuously until the temperature rises and the mixture thickens but more often than not, if you are not careful it will develop lumps. The way I recommend guarantees zero lumps and takes less time. 


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 !


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 !


Chicken and Rice Biryani

This is a quick rice and chicken recipe. It’s like a biryani that I like to make on days when I am lazy and need to make something for lunch or dinner that won’t take much effort. It’s also one of those dishes that taste even better  the following days. So, be prepared for tasty leftovers. This is what you’ll need:

1) one small chicken cut into pieces –i.e cut into 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 4 breasts 2 wings etc. All with bone in. If you opt to use boneless chicken  you’ll be missing out on some flavor. I’ve made it both ways, and prefer this with bone in.

2) a cup of yogurt

3) two small grains mastic

4) 4 whole cardamon pods

5) a cinnamon bark

6) 4 whole peppercorns

7) 1/2 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

9) 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

10) 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper

11) 1/8 tsp of turmeric

12) 1/8 tsp of curry powder

13) salt to taste

14 ) 2 pinches of saffron threads –once pinch soak in about 1/4 of a cup of water

15) 2 tablespoons of ghee

16) 2 tablespoons of olive oil

17) 2 cups of basmati rice –washed

18 ) 2 medium sized onions thinly sliced

19) 4 cloves of garlic finely minced

20) a green chilly pepper cut vertically –optional.

Alright let’s start. in a frying pan under medium heat add the ghee and oil and saute the onions until they are golden brown.  Then add the chicken and let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and let cook for another couple of minutes. In the meantime add cumin, coriander, turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, turmeric, curry powder to the yogurt and mix well. Then add the mixture to the chicken. Add a pinch of the saffron as well. Let cook for 3 minutes and then add 3/4 cup of water and cover and let cook under medium heat for another 10 minutes. In the meantime pre heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and start to prepare the rice.

For the rice place a pot of hot water to boil. Salt the water and add the cinnamon bark, cardamon pods, peppercorns, and mastic and when it starts boiling add the rice. Let the rice cook under medium heat until it is almost cooked. So, it has a slight bite to it. Turn off the heat and run the rice through a sieve.

Now take an oven dish, or if your frying pan is deep enough and is oven safe take the cover off of the chicken mixture and later the rice on top of it. Then take the rice and form  a layer on top and drizzle the saffron soaks in water on top. Cover with foil and place in oven for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite salad and pickled lemons.  Bon Appetit !


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 !


Lamb Chop in Red Sauce

Delicious lamb chops in a savory , tangy and spicy red sauce served with some toasted french bread make for a great dinner. For these lamb chops you will need the following :

1) 3 lamb chops

2) 3 tomatoes placed in hot water and then peeled , seeded and chopped

3) 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or any red hot chilly powder that you like

4) 1/4 tsp of cumin

5) 1/4 tsp of coriander

6) 1/8 of a tsp of turmeric

7) salt to taste

8 ) 1/8 tsp of black pepper

9) 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

10) 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil

11) one onion diced

12) Cilantro for garnish

13) lemon slices for garnish

Alright, let’s start! Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. I first took a frying pan and added the olive oil and under medium high heat i took the lamb chops and browned them on each side. I took them out and placed the onions and sautéed them. Then I added the tomatoes and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Then all the spices –cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste and add a cup of water. I prefer to add boiling hot water that I keep in a kettle on the side while I am cooking. After about 3 minutes add the lamb chops , add more water to cover them completely (if your frying pan is not deep enough then transfer to an oven dish), cover with foil and place in the oven. Once you hear it bubbling lower the temperature to 350 and let bake for an hour to an hour and a half. Run a knife through the chops to make sure that they are tender. If tender then they are done. The sauce should be nice and thick, but not dry. Place on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and lemon slices and serve with toasted french bread. Enjoy!