Hulba [Fenugreek] — حلبة
July 1, 2011 by Dr. Lamya Almas
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once said: “If my peopleknew what there is in fenugreek, they would have bought and paid its weight in gold.”
You can’t ever talk about Yemeni food without mentiong Hulba–or fenugreek. It is eaten ALL over Yemen and it is very very healthy, although makes your sweat stink a bit if you eat too much of it. It is reported the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once said: “If my people knew what there is in fenugreek, they would have bought and paid its weight in gold.”
This is a dip very popular in Yemeni dishes. You will need ground fenugreek for this recipe. Be careful one tblsp of ground fenugreek goes a long way.
Step 1: soak one tblsp of ground fenugreek in water, preferrably over night. Why? It gets rid of the bitterness of the fenugreek and that’s how our mother’s taught us to make it.
Step 2: After you have left it to soak overnight –throw away the water and take the fenugreek paste (yes it has turned into a paste like mixture) and place in a blender.
Step 3: Add one tomato (preferably still a little hard–not ripe and mushy), a clove of garlic, 3 tblsp of cilantro chopped, 1 green chilly (or less if you like), juice of one whole lemon, salt to taste.
Step 4: blend until it is a frothy consistency.
Step 5: Pour into a bowl and serve with bread. If it is too thick, thin with more lemon. Some use vinegar.
Usually in Yemen , women mix this with a special wooden tool for the purpose–but nowadays they use an electic hand mixer so as to retain the frothiness that the wooden tools lends the fenugreek.