For many years, this recipe was on my to do list and a few years I made it, but it was the first time and I made several mistakes. I really wanted to try it again during Ramadan and finally it turned out just the way I wanted it to. Yemenis use a special iron pot called a madra. I do not have a madra so I just used a regular soup pan, but I really want to try to find one. We have a large Yemeni population here so hopefully I can.
This is most popular dish from Yemen and because of that their is not really one way to make it. You can use chicken, lamb, beef or go vegeterian style. Some add potatoes, okra, eggs or tomatoes. It’s really up to you and your taste. I prefer lamb to beef when it comes to meat, but I use beef bullion cubes over the lamb because they do taste a lot better. So when I need a meat broth I always go for the beef even when using lamb meat.
1 pound small cubed lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 large potato, peeled
1 tomatoe, diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups beef broth
1 green chili’s, tops removed and slit lengthwise
1 tablespoon hawaij
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste
3 tablespoons cooked rice
1. In a food processor add onions and garlic, pulse. In an 8-quart pan on medium heat add onion, garlic, chili’s and hawaij. Cook until onions are tender.
2. Add lamb, mix and allow meat to lightly brown. Then add potatoes, tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 1-1/2 hours.
3. When the stew has finished cooked carefully use a fork to mash the potatoes and shred the meat, this process will thicken the stew. In a small cup add the egg and a few tablespoons of the stews broth, mix then add to the stew. Add rice. Raise heat back up and allow mixture to thicken about 5 minutes.
4. Add hulba on top and allow to come to a full boil.
Yields: 3 servings
I have never met a musaka that I have not absolutely loved, but my favorite is with the Serbian yogurt topping. This is actually one my husbands favorite meals and he gets excited every single time I make it. I do not really use a set recipe, but I kind of combine them all from Arabic, Greek to Turkish and it has been a keeper. I always tend to make this dish the day after I make lasagna. When I make my meat mixture for the lasagna I always make a bit more then I need so I can use the next day for this recipe. It ends up being super simple and a great side, but I will provide you with the recipe as if you made it all from scratch. Many countries eat this dish as the main course, but in Saudi homes it’s always a side dish.
1/2 pound ground lamb (or beef)
1/2 small white onion
1 garlic clove
1 small tomato, diced
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds russet potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1. In an 8×8 baking pan (I just used a round cake pan). Add olive oil, brush all over the bottom and sides, sit aside.
2. In a food processor add onions, garlic and cilantro, pulse. In a saute pan on medium heat add lamb, cook until no longer pink and drain any excess fat. Return to pan and add onion mixture, tomato paste, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well and allow to cook for a few minutes.
3. Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Cover the bottom pan with potato slices, then meat and repeat once more. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. In a bowl add egg, yogurt and milk, mix well. Carefully pour over the potatoes until it’s right below the top potatoes.
3. Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool then serve.
Yields: 1 (8×8) pan
After 7 years I cannot believe I have not shared my lasagna recipe here. This dish is pretty common throughout American homes and is rotated on dinner menus at least monthly. My momma always made the best lasagna and that is still the one I use today. Why change a good thing right? I also buy the noodles that you do not have to boil and I use a jar of already made pasta sauce which saves a lot of time. Lasagna is also my favorite meal to freeze. You can bake them in throw away pans, wrap them tightly and bake when needed and they always come out tasting fresh. This is perfect for new moms or even Ramadan when you want to save time.
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 box of lasagna noodles (no boil)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
1 (24 ounce) jar of pasta sauce (I use Prego chunky)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon of white sugar
1/4 chopped cilantro
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 bag (24 ounces) mix mozzarella and cheddar shredded cheese
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1. In a saute pan on medium heat, add beef and cook until no longer pink. Meanwhile, in a food processor, add onion, garlic and cilantro, chop. Drain any excess fat from the beef, then return into pan and add onion mixture and reduce heat to low.
2. In a 13x9x2-inch casserole dish, add a large spoon of pasta sauce and cover bottom. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
3. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, pasta sauce, oregano, Italian seasoning, sugar and cilantro, mix well. Cook for 1o minutes on low.
4. In the pan, add a layer of noodles over the sauce. Add some meat sauce on top, then add a layer of mozzarella/cheddar, smooth half of ricotta cheese on top, sprinkle Parmesan cheese then repeat. You will want to end with a layer of noodles and add remaining sauce then sprinkle cheese.
5. Carefully cover top of pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then serve.
Yields: 8 servings