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Goat's Head

I love love love goat or lamb heads. It’s my favorite part of the animal. I know, I’m weird! My Mom told me that when she was pregnant with me that was all she craved. Yeah! That was me in there tee hee hee ! Well, this is how I like to make it. You will need:

1) a clean goat’s head meaning it’s been skinned, eyes removed, brain has been taken out (I like to make another dish with the brain and here is the recipe https://yemeniyah.com/2012/01/14/mokh-sheepgoat-s-brain/ ) . I like to cut the head in two equal halves, horizontally.

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

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 two goat head halves 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 goat head halves , 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. The only meat that needs to be tender is on the jawline of the goat’s head. Once that is tender then it is done. The sauce should be nice and thick, but not dry. Place on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro and serve with toasted french bread. Enjoy!

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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


I went to Buffalo/New York and during a Yemeni Sister potluck and forum, I met this amazing bread that a sister by the name of Hannan brought with her. It looked like a “Bint Al Sahn” but it was thicker. There must have been at least 30 layers. And it was crispier. I had my eyes on it the entire afternoon, but sidled up next to it too late. It was wiped clean. Serves me right for talking too much!  Well, on my last day in Buffalo Hannan was nice enough to make me one to take home and enjoy with my husband. I prayed to Allah that I wouldn’t lose my luggage and Alhamdullilah it made it home safe. Khaled and enjoyed it with honey, with lots of Duas for Hannan. Here are the pics of it:

photo 2 photo 1

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Of course, once every crumb was gone Khaled and I yearned for it. So,  asked Hannan for her recipe and I made it today. She doesn’t have exact measurements, so I measured as a went along. Here is what you’ll need:

1) 1 cup of warm milk

2) 1 cup of warm water

3) 1 tsp of salt ( or to taste)

4) 4 cups and a 1/2 of white flour (I used Gold Medal all purpose flour)

I kneaded all the ingredient together and made a soft dough. Add more flour or water if you need to make a soft but un-sticky dough. Here is what the dough looks like:

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Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for half an hour:

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After half an hour turn this dough into small balls –it’ll make 24 balls of dough comfortably.

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Then cover and leave aside for another 30 minutes.

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Then with a rolling pin starting opening each one into thin circles, and leave them aside. Make sure you flour the counter so they don’t stick to it or to each other.

photo 4-1

Preheat the oven at 500 degrees fahrenheit and place a big circular tray in the oven to heat. Then take another metal circular baking tray  and flip it over and oil well. And then start covering the tray with the circles–stretch out the dough so it covers it well. It’ll be a very thin layer.

photo 3-2

Oil this first layer well and then continue with the next one and the next one, remembering to oil in between  in each layer.

photo 2-2

Oil the last one as well. Then take a pair of scissors and cut out the excess dough on the ends like this:

photo 3-1

photo 2-1

Now you are done and ready to place in the oven.  Open up the oven and carefully take the tray that has been heating up inside and carefully flip the layers onto the hot tray. Do this carefully, using your fingers to help the dough along. Close the oven and let it cook. It will puff up beautifully like this:

photo-3

When it has browned well, then take it out. Let it cool and then serve warm with honey.


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.


Luqmat Al Qadhee

This dessert is called Luqmat Al Qadhi or Luqaymaat “The Judge’s Morsel” or “The Judge’s Bites” and they are popular all over the Middle East. I was told it was given this name because these sweet doughy balls are so delicious that they can sway the opinion of a judge. Whether fact or fiction, this dessert is indeed delicious.  I like these to be crispy rather than soft and doughy, and this recipe is just perfect for me. I hope it works out just as well as it does for me.

You will need:

1) 1 cup of white flour

2) 2 tablespoons of corn starch

3) 1 teaspoon of yeast

4) 2 tablespoons of oil (canola, corn, vegetable)

5) 1 teaspoon of sugar

6) 1/8 tsp of salt

7) 1 cup and a 1/2 of warm water or as needed

8) Oil for frying–I used Canola

For the sugar syrup:

1) 1 cup sugar

2) 1 cup water

3) 1/2 tsp of orange blossom water

4) few drops of lemon

5) Thin slice of lemon with peel

Place all of these in a saucepan and boil under medium heat for 15-20 minutes. You want a thick syrup, a watery one will interfere with the crunchy texture of your doughy sweets.

Now to start making the Luqaymaat/bites. Mix the flour, starch and salt together . Mix the yeast and the sugar and add a 1/2 cup of water to them. Then add them to the flour, then add the oil and the rest of the water. Mix the dough well. The consistency should be thicker than a cake batter. You should actually be able to scoop it all up in your hand. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. When it has risen, heat the oil under medium heat. It is hot enough when you add a little batter it starts sizzling right away and rises to the surface.

Now you can spoon the batter into the oil in a number of ways. I just place a bowl of water next to me, dip my fingers and then take some dough with the tips of my fingers and drop it carefully into the oil. Then I continue rolling them in the oil until they are golden brown. Fish then out with a slotted spoon, shake out the oil and drop them into the sugar syrup. Continue the same until all the dough is gone. This recipe makes about 3 generous servings or 4  reasonable servings.

*Other suggestions for uniform sized Luqaymaat is to take a spoon and dip it in oil and then fill it with dough and slowly drop it  into the oil. Continue until the rest of the dough is done.

Enjoy with sugarless tea or coffee.


Kuzbara 2 Kuzbara 1

The Farmer’s Market I frequent sells 3 bunches of Cilantro [Kuzbara] for $1 all year round. I end up using 1 or 2 bunches, and the third goes bad and into the trash. What a waste!

I tried cutting up the Cilantro and freezing it in Ziplock bags. I tried stuffing some in ice cube trays and adding a little water/or olive oil and making Cilantro cubes . All of these methods didn’t preserve the flavor I was looking for , or the the texture for my dishes . I simply do not like frozen Cilantro; I want it fresh for garnish, salads, chutneys … So, I tried this and it really works:

Take a jar, fill it with cold water, and use it as a vase for your cilantro. Cover the top with a plastic bag and refrigerate. Change the water at least twice a week. They stay so fresh and firm for at least 7-10 days. I haven’t tried it beyond 10 days–mine are usually gone by then–but I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a few more days out of them. According to a Facebook response to this post, the Cilantro was still usable at 3 weeks.

And the “Cilantro Chronicles” continue . . .


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.