Archive for the ‘Yemeni Dishes’ Category


This is one of my favorites. It’s pretty easy to make, although might be time consuming for some. For the dough you will need:

1) 2 cups of flour

2) 1/4 tsp of salt

3) 1 tablespoon of oil [I used sunflower oil]

4) water as kneaded to make a soft and smooth dough

Add the salt to the dough and mix well. Then add the oil and mix in as well. Then gradually add water and knead and unit it is transformed into a smooth and soft dough. Soft means that when you poke it it does not bounce back. Cover the dough and let rest for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested for 30 minutes, divide it into small balls. This amount should be enough for 12 small balls.

Using a rolling pin, open up the balls into small circles. Try to roll them out into approximately the same size. Place them on a well floured surface. Plan on stacking four on top of each other. Now before you stack them on top of each other, take one of circles and add one tsp of oil onto it. Smear it with a spoon. Then sprinkle a little dough. Then place another circle of dough on top of it. Continue until you have four. DO NOT OIL AND SPRINKLE FLOUR ON THE LAST ONE.  Continue with the rest. MAKE SURE YOU COVER THOSE YOU HAVE COMPLETED SO THEY DON’T DRY OUT.Place a flat pan on high heat. The pan has to be very hot.


Now it is time to roll them out. Before you do so press with your fingers around the edges so that they all line up evenly or else you will end up have ones that are shorter than the others. Like this:

Then roll it out pretty thin:


Once you have it all rolled out beautifully, place it carefully on the hot pan. It will start puffing up in a few seconds. Flip on the other side and watch it puff up some more.


The layers will start coming apart. That’s when it is ready. Pull the layers apart with your hands. BE CAREFUL IT IS HOT. Continue until you are done with  all the dough you have prepared.


The layers will be nice and thin like this:


Now for the egg mixture to put in between the thin layers that you just made with the dough.  You will need:

1) 2-3 eggs

2) 4 green onions, finely chopped

3) a handful of cilantro finely chopped

4) green chilly pepper finely chopped –to taste. This will make it a little spicy.

5) salt to taste


Mix all these ingredients well together:


Now oil the pan with about a tsp of oil, then take one of the layers of the prepared dough and place it on top. Then oil the layer  and spread some of the egg mixture on top:


Place a second layer on top:


Cook on both sides until well browned. [If you would like to use more eggs in between you may, but just make sure it is cooked well. Leave it a little longer that is. If you would like to make sure the egg is cooked, you can pierce the dough with a fork and if egg does not ooze out then it is cooked]. Serve hot with Yemeni tea. Enjoy!


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I really wanted to learn  how to make real frothy Yemeni Hulbah [fenugreek]. You will need powdered Fenugreek for this. Yallah Bismillah:

1) 2 tblsp of powdered fenugreek

2)  salt to taste

3) juice of one lemon or lime

4) 1/2 tomato [not over-riped]

5) green chilly pepper [amount will depend on how hot/spicy you like it]

6) 1 clove garlic

 7) 2 tbslp of cilantro

Alright first soak the ground fenugreek in water–about 1 cup. Mix, cover and leave aside for 2 hours. The water will float to the surface and the fenugreek will form a paste at the bottom. Pour out the water–away goes the bitterness of the fenugreek with it. Now take it and freeze it for about 5 minutes– we do not want it to freeze but rather get cold. Take it out and using a whisk briskly [or you can use an electric whisk] and it will become nice and frothy. Add the lemon juice and the salt and whisk some more and it will become even more frothier. Leave aside.

Now  in a blender place the tomato, cilantro, green chilly pepper, and garlic and blend. You can add a little lemon if it is proving hard to blend. Now take this mixture and add gradually to the whisked fenugreek and keep on whisking until it is all incorporated. And there is your frothy fenugreek ready to serve as a condiment or as a dip with bread.


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This is another Adeni dish that is very popular. We usually make Khobz and frothy hulbah with this or eat with white rice. You will need:

1) 2 Salmon fillets

2) 1/4 tsp of fenugreek [whole]

3) 2 tbslp of oil

 4) 2 tomatoes peeled and diced

5) 3 cloves of garlic crushed

6) green chilly pepper [Sarano pepper] slit lengthwise and halved

7) 1/2 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

9) salt to taste

10) 1 and 1/2 tbslp of tomato paste

11) cilantro for garnish

12) Bisbas Ahmar [red chilly pepper sauce]

Alright let’s start, “Bismillah.”  Place a frying pan under medium high heat and add the oil. Then when it is hot add the fish and the fenugreek seeds. Let cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic, green chilly pepper, red chilly sauce, cumin coriander, salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1/4 cup water and shake the frying pan so everything is evenly spread out, or gently with a spoon mix [but be careful don’t break the fish]. Leave on medium low heat until the sauce thickens–I sometimes stick it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the sauce has thickened. Serve with Khobz [South Yemeni bread] and Hulbah or on a bed of rice.

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Alright this is the modern version I learnt from a Yemeni sister from Michigan. Apparently they use  Jiffy All Purpose Baking mix with white flour . It’s easier. BUT MAKE SURE THE MIX DOES NOT HAVE LARD IN IT. So here goes, Bismillah.

1) two 40 0z boxes of Jiffy All Purpose Baking mix

2) 2 egg whites and 2 whole eggs [keep the two egg yolks to brush the cookies before you put them in the oven]

3) 2 cups of white flour

4) 2 cups of milk

5) warm water [enough to make the dough, so amount will vary]

6) 2 cups of Olive Oil

7) 1 tsp of salt

8) 1 and 1/2 tblsp of Yeast

9) 3 tbslp of black seed

Add the white flour  and salt to the Jiffy mix. In a bowl combine the yeast, milk, eggs, oil, and black seed. Combine the dry ingredients with the liquid and work into a dough, add water until a firm dough forms. Let the dough rise for an hour and a half. Then start making them into the desired shapes [click here for suggestions] and arrange them apart on a greased cooking sheet. Brush well with mixture of egg yolks and milk. Bake immediately in a 400 Fahrenheit preheated oven until golden brown and firm. Let cool and store in an air tight container.

Here is what the dough looks like [*when you press it against your palm it should leave a trace of the oil]:

Firm dough forms

pat down dough & cover and let rise

Risen Dough

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These are regular Yemeni cookies, and they are sweet and savory. Makes a great mid afternoon snack with a cup of Yemeni tea. They store well. I am going to include two methods of making this cookies–a traditional one and a modern version that a Yemeni sister from Michigan showed me using “Jiffy All Purpose Baking Mix” So say the magic word “Bismillah” and let’s begin.

You will need:

1) 2 and a 1/2 kilos of white flour [have yet to measure in cups to make it easier for everyone Insha Allah] You can also use wheat flour if you like.

2) 1 1/2 tsp of salt [or more, taste until you feel it is as desired]

3) 2 tbslp of black seed

4) 1/4 cup sugar [granulated or powdered whatever you have on hand]

5) 1 tblsp of yeast

6) 1/2 kilo of ghee [or butter melted] –you can substitute with Canola oil.

7) 7 eggs

8) warm water [enough to make a dough]

I use a mixer, but traditionally this is all done by hand. Mix the dry ingredient together–flour, salt, sugar and yeast–and then place in the bowel of the mixer. Add the warm ghee/butter/or oil and mix well. Crack the eggs,  and mix in one cup of water with the eggs. With the mixer on add the water and egg mixture until a firm dough forms–it should be firm in that you can shape it as you wish. Also, the dough should leave a trace of oil when you press it against your palm.

Now you can make the dough into the shapes you want. Some use cookie molds, but for the most part shape by hand. Will include the shapes at the very end of this post Insh’a Allah. After you have shaped them and arranged them on a well greased cookie sheet, cover and let them rise for an hour . Then brush with a mixture of egg yolk and milk and bake in preheated 400 Fahrenheit degree oven until golden brown and firm to the touch–about 40 minutes. Let them cool and then store in an airtight container. For the modern version recipe please click here.

Here are some shapes:

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I learnt this recipe when I was 12 yrs old from my Aunt Amal, may Allah bless her always, while visiting them in Little Aden. I followed like a shadow in her in kitchen, and picked up a few recipes . It seemed strange to me that carrots could be turned into a dessert, and voiced that. She told me to wait and see. Indeed it was delicious.

When I went home I told my mother, may Allah bless her always, about it and she said, “There are a whole lot of carrots in the fridge. Go and try it out.” So I did. It was a success. My dad and brother loved it, so much so that every time my dad would come home from work he would bring me a big bag of carrots and call from work and ask me to make it for dessert every day. We didn’t have a food processor that grated  at that time, so I used to do it manually with a grating board.

It’s also sold in “Halawa Stores” [Sweet Stores] in Aden, and it’s rather expensive. I always felt fortunate that I could make it on my own, given that carrots were pretty cheap and in abundance in Yemen, as were the rest of the ingredients Alhamdullilah. It tastes great warm as it does cold.

For about 7 small bars you will need: 

1) 3 bunches of carrots [each bunch had about 10] –so about 30 medium carrots, peeled, and washed. If you are using the big carrots then 20 should do.

2) 1/3 of cup of sugar [more of less depending on the sweetness of the carrots. If they are sweet then less is needed, if not so sweet then more is needed. Taste to make sure it is as sweet as you want it to be]

3) 1 6 oz. can of Quishta [table cream] . You can substitute with whipping cream, or whole milk. Remember to take out 2-3 tbslp and keep aside.

4) 1/2 tsp of fresh ground cardamon

5) 4 pinches of ground nutmeg [more or less depending on your taste]

6) 1/2 stick of butter.

Under medium-high heat melt the butter in a skillets. Add all the grated carrot and brown. Make sure you  stir often so that it does not burn. Then add the sugar, and cook until all is well incorporated. Add the cardamon and nutmeg and cook for a minute or so, and then add the cream [Quishta] and cook until mixture becomes a thick paste. Take a loaf pan and place the mixture and level it well. Then add the 2 tbsl of cream on top [see pic] and then place in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until well browned on top. Let cool. Refrigerate. Cut and serve. Enjoy !


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I know it sounds gross to many westerners, but in the Middle East it’s a delicacy, at least in the southern part of Yemen in the City of Aden. I love it, and it’s my favorite Ramadan Sahoor with Khobz Mulawah . My mother always calls me up when she makes it and says she is thinking of me , May Allah bless her and preserve her for me always Ameen.

Alright you will need:

1) 1 sheep/goat brain [I like the fresh ones of sheep/goat just slaughtered. I like to break open head open –gently –and pull it out]

2) 1 medium onion finely chopped

3) green chilly pepper finely chopped [optional and as much as you want–I used about half of one. Will make a little spicy]

4) 2 tblsp of fresh minced cilantro

5) 2 cloves of garlic minced

6) 1/2 tsp ground cumin

7) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

8 ) 1/8 tsp or a little less of ground cinnamon

9) salt to taste

10) 1 tblsp of olive oil  [vegetable, corn, or canola work as well]

11) small tomato finely chopped

12) 1 tbltp of tomato paste

In a frying pan under medium heat add the oil and the onions and let it saute until translucent. Add garlic, green chilly pepper and let cook for a minute, be careful the garlic does not burn as it’ll taste bitter. Add the tomatoes , spices and salt and let cook until the tomatoes soften. Add the tomato paste and 1/4 cup water and let simmer to a thick sauce. Then add the sheep’s brain, and break with a spoon and mix well. Add another 1/4 cup of water and let cook until well cooked, it turns into dark white. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot break, goes well with french bread or Khobz Mulawah.

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