Sunshine Potatoes (Batatas Ash-Shams)
Ok, not a real Yemeni dish, just a recipe I made up while here. I still have not learned how to cook Yemeni dishes and thus resort to a lot of American type meals (spaghetti, hotdogs, etc).
This is a winner at our house. Every single kid seems to like it. I don’t know if the average American kid would like it, but mine do.
Keep in mind the measurements are not exact. Over the years, I have come to just throw in this and that amount. I’ve come a long way since my beginning college days when I only knew how to make hot dogs.
Amma Ba’d (to proceed)
This dish gets its name from the yellow color from the Turmeric. Turmeric is used to give yellow mustard its bright color.
Potatoes (batatas), I use 6-7, you might use less if you have a smaller family
1 Onion (basal), medium
Garlic (thum) (cloves or powder)
Salt (mil), pepper (fil fil), to taste
Haqeen, 1 container (about 500 gm) (see # 5 below if you don’t know what haqeen is)
1. Boil the potatoes. I am lazy and peel them after they boil because the skins slip off easier.
2. In a skillet, sautee diced onion in butter/margarine
3. Add garlic (maybe 1-2 cloves, or ½ teaspoon powder, again not exact)
4. Add salt and pepper and turmeric (I just throw some dashes of turmeric in)
5. After the onions are a golden color, add a container or so of Haqeen, about 500 gm and mix thoroughly, let the haqeen kind of cook in/simmer for a few minutes. The haqeen I use is a dairy product, which to me, resembles sour cream in taste, and yogurt in consistency. You could probably substitute the haqeen with plain yogurt or sour cream….
6. When potatoes are finished, peel them and cut them up into “chunks.” Put the chunks into an oven dish.
7. Pour the haqeen/onion mixture over the potatoes and mix. I used to just put it in a saucepan on the stove and heat, but lately I have been letting it cook in the oven for a few minutes.
How we eat it: Well, actually the kids. There is a bread here that is like french bread called Roti. There is also another Roti that is smaller and has a somewhat different consistency (we call this roti bi’asharah —it costs 10 riyals a piece, hence asharah.) Anyway, the kids eat Yemeni style by pulling off pieces of the bread and picking up the potatoes with the bread.
Side Notes: I have a list of Arabic Kitchen commands (cook, stir, add, etc) that might be handy.
Way Side Note: When you want to request something that costs say 100 riyals, you might say give me so and so, Abu Mia (mia is hundred) or abu khamseen (50 riyals); its like saying the one that costs 100 riyals, 50 etc. Lollipops are sometimes referred to as abu ‘oodi (‘oodi –stick).