06 December 2012

Sukhailah's Yummy Yemeni Dinner

Earlier this week, I received a care package in the mail from my long-time Story Circle Network pal who is also a cow-orker at Little Pickle Press. I'll tell more about all the treats later, but first I want to share the best part of the surprise - all the sweet handwritten letters... long letters... from the children. Sukhailah, the eldest daughter, sent me two of her chicken recipes, and I couldn't wait to try one out. So I started with Curried Yogurt Chicken. My comments in parentheses below.

Here's what the recipe says to do:

Take one chicken cut into pieces and set it in a very large bowl! Crush 3 cloves of garlic or put them through the garlic press. Rub them all over the chicken pieces. (This helps tenderize the chicken.) Sprinkle with:

3 Tbsp. curry powder (we blend our own)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Lots of salt and pepper
If you like spicy foods, add some cayenne to spice it up a bit.

Add two cups of plain yogurt and mix it up. Leave this mixture to marinate for at least a few hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, chop two onions (I used shallots from my garden), and heat up a little oil in a large pot with a cover.

Saute the onions, then carefully add the marinated chicken, add chicken or vegetable stock (or water) to cover, and place the lid on the pot. Simmer until the chicken is tender, checking often and adding more liquid if necessary. (It took about 1 1/2 hours for the chicken to be perfectly tender, and I did not need to add more broth.)

Serve with rice and/or flat bread, along with fried onions and salad. This is what we made with the chicken this week. We had it with a Yemeni condiment rather like salsa that we all love.

The luscious smelling spices as the chicken cooked, inspired the making of chapatis, an Indian flat bread that's super-easy to make. It's basically just 2 cups of flour, some salt, and 3/4 cup of water kneaded to a smooth dough. Then we smash the dough in a tortilla press using a bit more dough than a tortilla needs so the breads are fatter.

Then just fry on a cast iron skillet.

Here it is served over rice. We just had it with chai to drink, a spiced tea with milk. Next time, I'll probably add a salad with a simple lemon dressing. No room for dessert, but we did talk about poached pears with some almond-flavored cream. Definitely a meal fit for the holidays!

Thank you, Sukhailah! We absolutely loved this dish! A definite 5-!!!!! favorite! :)


Umm Mujaahid said...

This is one of our favorites! Sukhailah modified the recipe to fit our taste. As you can see, it is made for tailoring to what you like. I can't imagine what my mom would have thought of eating yogurt with chicken, she was very traditionally midwestern in her cooking. Thank you for sharing this, Dani. I'm going to show the children first thing in the morning. They'll love it.

Dani said...

I want to know what the "Yemeni condiment rather like salsa that we all love" is about!

Susan J Tweit said...

Oh, Yum! This could inspire me to buy some local free-range chicken at my neighborhood market and cook a chicken for the first time in months.... Thanks, Dani and Sukhailah! (BTW, Dani, you've got my old blog on your sidebar. The new one is just me at http://susanjtweit.com)

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