Libyan Aseeda (عصيدة) Recipe – How To Make ASEEDA – An Asida pastry or Aseeda is one of the typical Arabic/Middle Eastern cake recipes.
This Asidah cake is widely eaten by Arabs and North Africans as breakfast. This Asidah cake is made from a mixture of brown sugar and wheat flour/wheat that has a sweet taste legit with a little aroma of spices and in the meal with melted butter. Usually an Asida cake is enjoyed with sweet tea or coffee.
Aseeda is also known as aseed, a dish from Yemen is a dessert jelly that resembles caramel pudding. Aseeda made from wheat and honey, usually used as a food for Idul Fitri at home or shared with neighbors. Aseeda is usually served hot-hot and should be immediately eaten quickly!
- 3 1/3 cup water
- ¼ cup butter
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 cups white flour (sift the flour before to prevent lumps)
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute other types of flour or even white, I like whole wheat because it gives it some substance and fiber)
- Additional 1 ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp. oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1-2 green chili, more or less to taste
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 lb. meat (you can substitute, lamb or chicken)
- 1 tbsp. canned tomato sauce
- 5 cups water
How to make:
How to make the Asida Dough:
- Bring to boil 3 1/3 cups water, salt and butter in a large saucepan.
- When the water is boiling and bubbling, add the flours while stirring.
- Turn off the heat and keep stirring the flours until they are all combined.
- Remove from stove and knead the dough until smooth. This can be done by hand using a large wooden spoon and holding the pot steady on the ground, anchored by a wall or with your knees or feet. Pull the dough toward you with the stick in a strong quick motion pushing it against the side of the pot so it becomes smooth. Alternatively, and much less work, you can use a dough hook and a mixer to knead the dough smooth. This takes about 10-15 minutes of kneading. There should be no lumps.
- Bring to boil 1 ½ cups flour in the same large pot and break the dough into small-ish pieces. Boil on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. Water should be evaporated and the dough still thick.
- Return to kneading the dough as in step four, either by hand or with the mixer for about 10-15 minutes. It should become smooth again, more so than the first time and it will be very sticky and hot.
- When the dough is smooth, oil a plate and your hands (or wear gloves as the dough is hot and hard to handle) and form a ball with the dough. Place it on the plate. Begin to fold over the dough with your hands from the outside to the inside, thus smoothing the dough. Turn and fold around all sides. Then flip the dough over and it should be smooth on top with no lumps. Make an indent in the center by using a large ladle or by pressing your thumb in the center of the dough and your other fingers holding steady on the side of the dough, turn the plate. This will make an even circle in the middle.
- The aseeda can be eaten sweet with ¼ cup melted butter or ghee and ½ cup honey. Also the aseeda can be eaten savory with meat, chicken, or lamb broth. See broth recipe below.
How to make the broth:
To make the meat broth, cook in oil the onion, garlic, and chili until slightly browned.
Add the spices, salt, and tomato sauce and meat. Brown the meat on both sides for about 5-10 minutes.
Add the water and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender and soft. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker for 20-40 minutes. The meat is done when it is almost breaking apart. There should be about 8 – 10 ounces of liquid broth remaining. If there is less than this, add some water. If there is more, continue boiling until the broth reduces.
Separate the broth from the meat and onions, and whole spices by running through a strainer. Set the meat aside with a little broth for use in fahsa or to be eaten by itself.
You can leave the broth thin as it is, or you can thicken it up by adding 1 tbsp. or more of white flour. In order to thicken the broth with flour, first add the broth to the flour, a spoonful at a time until you have a paste first, continue adding the broth slowly until it becomes a thin liquid. Then cook on medium low heat until it slightly thickens. If you do the opposite and add the flour directly to the whole broth, you will end up with lumps. If this happens, don’t worry, just strain out the lumps with a colander/sieve/strainer.
Add the broth to the center well of the aseed and maybe on the outside at the edge of the plate as well. Add a couple of tablespoons of melted butter around the edge if you like.
This is a communal type dish where the dough is eaten with the hands and dipped in the center sauce. This recipe gives 3-4 servings, depending on how much you like to eat aseeda and if you are eating other dishes with it as well.
Serving ideas: Serve with quartered limes for each person, zahawig, hulba, or yogurt on the side as additional ‘dips.’