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A tribute to my days in Arab st.

A good 20 years where my creative career started, my studio in Arab street were filled with memories; introduction to Arabic cuisine, culture and the place where I met a life partner. Not sure if many people remember Cafe le caire, the first of many shisha place on Arab st. It was my living room and go-to-kitchen. Endless late night till morning chats and card games with the Talibs. It was the place that introduced me to traditional hadhramaut style food and culture. Of the many great dishes served up by the cafe, one dish stood out, satisfying the lamb-loving me. The very hearty hadhramaut style Harissa. Not to be confused with the chilli spice. When I decided to replicate this dish, there was no good recipe online, hence I had to rely on my memories of the flavor and texture of this dish and elevate it almost clueless.

lamb pattie/porridge
hadhramaut harissa

I have introduced this to my diners only to realize that it can get a little too rich and filling. Boiled lamb shoulder or leg over six hours till the meat breaks away from the bones. Instead of water, I made a lamb broth to enhanced the flavor. If the 6hrs doesn't break it, try a number or couple more. Then add soaked barley or bulgur into the loose meat and boil down another 6 hours combined, adding cinnamon & nutmeg for taste, finish off with a good honey. The result will be somewhat of a very soft & dense, sweet & savory 'meat porridge'. First attempt was a success, followed by many with elevated versions.

This hearty dish does remind me of the chinese pork patty (肉饼) that we are familiar with.

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