I made yogurt the other day, which gave me 5 largish jars.  That’s a LOT of yogurt…so like anything else you have extra of on hand, you find recipes to use the extra in.  This is no different.  Other than I also get to use mastic.  Mastic is one of those rare(ish) type of ingredients that just smells divine!

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Crammed Meat

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Translation:

Cut up fat meat medium and put it in the pot.  When it boils, you remove its scum and throw in as many chickpeas as needed, and Chinese cinnamon sticks, mastic and bunches of dill.  Season with salt and add water, and leave it in the tannur, and seal its top for a night until the next day.  Then you put a little dry coriander, cumin and finely milled caraway on it, and you put a thurda (crumbled bread) under it.  If you want to make it sour, sprinkle finely pounded sumac on it.  If you want, put a little yoghurt and garlic (on it) before ladling it out.  Chinese cinnamon and cumin are sprinkled on its surface and us it. (Rodinson, pp. 368)

Ingredients:

Fat meat – Beef, Lamb, Camel, Chicken etc

1 C Garbanzo beans

1 cinnamon stick

.5 tsp ground Mastic

1 tsp dill

Salt to taste

1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and caraway

2 C yoghurt (Plain thick i.e. Greek yogurt or homemade)

2-5 cloves ground garlic

1 C dough (water flour salt…this will be used.  Make it tasty!)

Redaction:

All the spices and extras, looking good!

Kabis 004So for the fat meat, I decided to go with chicken thighs.  It’s fast easy and readily available.  You can use beef, mutton or all of a chicken not just the thighs.

Kabis 001Cover your Dutch oven with water, letting this boil till scum floats to the surface.

Kabis 003Why a Dutch oven?  Because I have several with matching lids for sealing.  When we seal the lid to the pot, we are creating a double boiler low tech style.  So you have to have a pot/dish with a lid.  If you have something other than a Dutch oven with a matching lid, use that.  The pot just needs a lid that can be sealed.

Personally, I never worried about the scum however we’re following this recipe and it takes 5 seconds to scrap it off into the trash.

Add your garbanzo beans (dried or canned).  Here I used dried.

Kabis 005What I had on hand.  Add your cinnamon stick, ground mastic and dill. You can use scraped/ground cinnamon if you don’t have a stick on hand.  Once the stick is used, it’s done for.

Kabis 006Seal with the dough around the edge of the Dutch oven. (remember low tech double boiler)

Kabis 009The dough does double duty.  It seals up the dutch oven and it becomes the thurda.  The dough sealing the dutch oven, tastes pretty damn good dipped into just the juice before the rest of the spices are added.  That’s why you want to make it tasty.  This dough, is about to become your dumpling.  Trust me, this step is well worth the effort!

Place in the oven on low for 5 hours at 150 -200.  You want low slow and steady.  Yes, the recipe says overnight but that’s assuming your leaving your dish over coals.  We’re not, and most people don’t have a fire place or pit that can support this low tech level.  Just keep this in mind on why the recipe says overnight not just what you don’t have and adjust as you can.

After a few hours, pull the Dutch oven out.

Pull off the cooked dough, which will be both hard (on the outside) and slightly springy (on the inner portion that held the seal together).  Break this into bite sized pieces and add to your shredded chicken.

Kabis 015After taking off the lid, just push a wooden spoon through the chicken.  If you used whole thighs with skin and bone (highly recommended for better flavor) the meat will separate off the bone.  The meat is so tender, it will start shredding into bits and pieces as you stir.

Kabis 014At this point you want to sprinkle with the last of the spices.

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Yogurt and garlic next.  I added 2 cups of yogurt and 3 large cloves of garlic.  Salt to taste.

Kabis 016Now just sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon.

Kabis 019And serve!  This is excellent by itself, over rice or steamed veggies.  Oh my tasty!

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