- Lahma mahshoosha is a meat dish prepared for the Eid holiday. It entails slow-cooking a spiced meat stew, and then broiling the pieces of meat so they become browned and roasted. I never would have thought of that method, but they're on to something - the smell of it alone is insane!
- Zurbian is a dish of rice and lamb which is a cousin of the Indian biryani. It is tremendously aromatic from the wide range of spices which converge inside of it: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, saffron, and coriander, to name but a few. I added some fresh mint straight off our balcony, too.
- Bataat abu humar adanee are potatoes in a tart and spicy tamarind and chile sauce. This seems to be a street food sold in the port city of Aden, Yemen.
- To respect Yemen's maritime assets, I grilled salmon, laden with saffron, onions and peppers.
- For dessert, I prepared basbousa, a cake prepared from semolina and then doused with a thick cinnamon syrup, as well as ghurayba, spiced Yemenite cookies.
Into the mix I tossed some traditional Jewish Yemenite recipes that I have developed in my repertoire over time. Kubaneh is a special bread made for Shabbat -- it is a buttery, challah-like dough that is baked overnight along with hardboiled eggs. I also made ful mudammas (though you will have to forgive my creativity, as this bean dish is originally Egyptian), as well as eggplant and hummus dips, of course. And a Yemenite meal would not be complete without schug! This spicy dip is made of ground jalapeño peppers, cilantro and spices.
I love these culinary adventures which make me feel somehow so close to brothers and sisters so far away. In particular, I'd like to give a shoutout to A Yemeniyah, Dr. Lamya Almas, whose recipe blog gave me tremendous inspiration. As I cooked and my house filled with all of these exotic smells, I felt like I was with her in her kitchen, even though it is half a world away. Yihna! (Bon Appetit!)