The Shake Shake Sheikh of Araby.


The bright melange of spices in a good Hawaj blend is reminiscant of busy fishing ports up and down the Red Sea. This is a different Cooking of the Sun.


There are probably a million and one ways to cook this dish.
I diced onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, parsnip and celery as a vegetable base and sweated them all together in grape seed oil with sea salt until they began to loose their moisture content and concentrate their flavors. I added my “I Kill You” blend of Hawaj spices and deglazed with lemon juice and honey. My Hawaj was tomato based and I am fortunate to still have a few jars of last summer’s preserved tomatoes remaining in the pantry. Basically, the pristine fresh fish was steamed over the spices in the stew. Notice that my stew is not awash. The flavors are very concentrated. The mussels can be interpreted as “sea dates” and lent their flavor.


Yes, mon or yeah man but it’s all about the craft of coffee roasting which has a long tradition in this part of the planet. These beans or seeds are from Yemen.


All Coffee from Yemen may be regarded as heirloom with hundreds of years of tradition behind it. Yemeni coffee is commonly grown at over 5,000 ft. and agricultural practices may be regarded as organic. Yemeni coffee is a small bean and is dry processed. All of its production is done by hand.


I roasted my Yemeni coffee beans on top of the stove in a heavy skillet without bells or whistles. These beans are a hard bean so can be exposed to a longer duration of heat. These beans are just freshly roasted. Over the course of the next day or so they will settle themselves after having being roasted. Each day, the attentive cook will notice changes to the roast. The roasted beans need to de-gas and the aroma will change. Some oils may emerge, suggesting the degree of roasting. I like it rich and chocolatey.


Though I am not a believer in flavored coffees, there are always an exception or two. One is the addition of cardamom. Coffee and cardamom pair very nicely with each other. Eat like a peasant.