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
Growing up in the South black tea was part of my daily routine. We all make sweet tea with Lipton black tea bags. When I got a bit older I always would buy Celestial Seasonings tea bags and have a cup before I went to bed. When I met my husband, he told me that he wanted to make me some tea the way they drink it in Saudi and later on he came out with a cup of mint tea that I fell in love with. Seriously still to this day I make me a cup at the end of the day.
Before moving to Saudi I had never used loose tea before, since it is not that popular in the states not a lot of places sell it that way. We Americans like to do things the easy way so tea bags just worked. My mother in law and every other Saudi uses loose tea to make the daily tea and she taught me how to do it the same way. At first I was reluctant since I had never used it and was afraid I would use too much or too less, but now after using loose tea for years I could never go back to the bags.
After researching a bit about tea, I learned that they put all the leftover junk into the tea bags so you’re not getting good quality like you would with loose tea. The two most popular teas here in Saudi are Lipton and Rabea tea. For the longest time I used Lipton since it was what I was used to, but from what I see most Saudis prefer Rabea even my mother in law. I bought a few boxes of loose tea and the difference was quite noticeable as you see. Rabea is high quality for sure and my favorite. I will be using it from now on.
About a year ago I bought an electric kettle and it’s the best thing ever. I suggest if you do not have one to run out an get one soon. They make things so much simpler in the kitchen, and they also make great tea. You will need 1 teaspoon of loose black tea per every 8 ounces of water. I use an iron teapot that my mammaw bought me years ago and it has a tea sieve that fits into it. So all I have to do is add tea and mint if I’m using it and then pour hot water on the top and allow to steep. Some people say to steep black tea for only a few minutes, but I always go with 5 since I like mine stronger.
If you’re curious about steeping other teas here is a chart and a few golden tea rules.
Jareesh soup is made all throughout the Gulf countries during Ramadan. There are tons of various soup recipes, but this one is my favorite. I have another one that I love as well that I plan to share with you later. Jareesh is crushed wheat that is used in all types of dishes. If you live outside of the Middle East you should be able to find it in a Middle Eastern grocery. Some of you asked what types of foods we have for sahoor during Ramadan and usually it’s leftovers from iftar the previous night. Things like samboosas, soup and dates. This is the soup I prepared for us to have.
1 cup jareesh (soaked in water for an hour)
2 chicken bullion cubes (I use maggi)
1 small white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 liter water
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat, add butter, onions and garlic. Allow to cook until soft, then add the chicken cubes, cumin, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and jareesh, then water. Bring to full boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Yields: 4 servings