Yahel works with diverse communities all over Israel. Every Friday, we will be posting recipes to celebrate some of the different cultures throughout the country. This week, we are featuring two Yemenite recipes. There are about 350,000 Yemenite Jews living in Israel today, most of them coming to the country in 1949-1950 during Operation Magic Carpet. For this week’s post, we have recipes for chouia (lamb stew) and hawaish (spice blend) from Chef Dennis Wasko in The Jerusalem Post. You can view the original article here to see these recipes and read more about the history of the Jewish community of Yemen.
Chouia (Yemenite Lamb Stew)
(Serves 4 to 6)
-2 pounds boneless lamb chuck, cut into 3 inch cubes
-2 whole tomatoes (in season) chopped, or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
-1 medium onion, chopped
-6 large garlic cloves, sliced
-3 baby eggplants, quartered lengthwise or 1 large eggplant
-2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
-½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
-½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
-1 ½ tablespoons Hawaish* spice blend, recipe follows
-Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add lamb in a single layer and brown well on all sides, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove browned lamb and set aside.
2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until the onion begins to brown. Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, just until it turns translucent.
3. Return the lamb to the pot and add all of the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.
4. Bring the pot to a strong simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer gently for 3 hours.
5. After 3 hours, season to taste and serve.
*Hawaish (Yemenite Spice Blend)
-2 tablespoons ground cumin
-1 tablespoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon ground coriander
-1 teaspoon ground turmeric
-¼ teaspoon ground cloves
-½ teaspoon ground cardamom
-¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Blend together and store in a tightly sealed jar. Store away from light and heat for up to three months.