Fahsa Salta


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 recipe of hulba
1 recipe of Green Sahawek

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

Serbian Potato Musaka


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
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg
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

Lamb Sliders with Bacon and Special Sauce


Hands down burgers are my absolute favorite food but, it always much harder to make the burgers taste fabulous at home. It also seems to be that way with pizza (another favorite). Back home in Tennessee I would use ground turkey a lot in place of beef and then when we moved to Saudi I had to learn to use lamb. You cannot even tell the difference and not only does it taste better, but it’s also a lot healthier for you. After many burgers and tries I finally made a recipe that my entire family loved and now this is the only one that I use.

I make sliders which are just a mini burger and before you write it off thinking it will not fill your hungry family trust me it will. I have a husband that can eat so I always have to make sure my meals are filling. These little burgers are the perfect size and always a hit with the kids which is another goal I always have. Another thing I had to get used to was not having the bacon that I enjoy. Back home I would also always get turkey bacon and when we first moved here we could find it, but for the past few years all you can get is this really low grade beef bacon that does not taste very good. The other day my husband found and bought some amazing black Angus beef bacon. It is made by James Creek from Australia. I use this little oval bread called milk bread and to fit the shape perfect I cut the burgers and cheese with an Easter egg cookie cutter that I have on hand.

One more thing I want to share with you before I give my recipe away is that chilling the burgers before cooking is a must. I used to always struggle with my burger falling apart in the pan and then I used a technique that I was taught about making kabobs here and it worked. So after I shape the patties I just lay them all on a cutting board and pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes. I like to cook my bacon before the burgers so that when I do cook the burgers they have this really great taste.

1 pound ground lamb
2 garlic cloves
1/2 white onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke sauce
Salt and pepper

Special Sauce:
1/2 Cups lemon/mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 drops Tabasco Sauce

Others items:
Halal Bacon (cooked)
toasted milk buns
sliced pickles
sliced tomatoes

1. Add onions and garlic into food processor. Pulse until well combined and no chunks are left. In a large bowl add lamb, onion and garlic mixture, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and salt and pepper. Combine mixture with hands.

2. On a cutting board lay meat out and shape into patties (I use a cookie cutter to fit my bread). Continue doing so until all meat has finished. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add lemon/mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and smoke sauce and mix well. Place in refrigerator.

3. In a hot skillet or saute pan carefully place burgers into pan. Cook on each side until finished, about 5 minutes per side. At this time place cheese on top of patties, turn the eye off and allow cheese to slightly melt.

Yield: 8-10 sliders