Temani Recipes
Use fresh herbs when possible. Israel has the best.
But you can usually find fresh in most places.

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Ful Moodamas (Temani Chili)


  • 500 grams of ful (beans or peas)
  • 6 eggs
  • water

For Spices (flavor):

  • Olive Oil
  • Tehina (optional)
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Pulped Garlic
  • Lemon Juice
  • Brown Eggs


Soak the ful in water for duration of the whole night. Later—put the soaked ful in the pot, and cover the ful with a good amount of water and eggs. Cook over a small flame until there is a softening of the ful and lower the highness of flame. Crush a little of the ful with a little of the fire’s liquid. Take out the eggs and peel them, serve them in bowls with puree of ful, pour the olive oil over the ful, tehina, sprinkle cumin and salt, sprinkle (spread) the parsley, crushed garlic, add a small drop of lemon juice and one complete brown egg in center small dish (bowl). Serve hot…

This ful was traditionally eaten by the people of Egypt (perhaps the Jews of Egypt).

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Cooked Fish

Ingredients & Spices (flavor):

  • 1 kilogram of fish -- Carp or salt water fish
  • 2 green onions -- chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mint-fresh
  • 1 teaspoon of hawage (see below for ingredients)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 3 teaspoons of oil
  • salt
  • water -- enough to cover the fish
  • Ingredients in Hawage: 3 teaspoons of  ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, 3 teaspoons of ground black pepper, & 1 teaspoon of ground coriander.


Thoroughly clean fish. Put the fish in a clean pot. Mix onions, mint, haweeg, black pepper, oil, salt, and water together and pour on the fish (in the pot). 

Cook on a low flame and when the fish will soften, lower the flame.  Cool and refrigerate when finished.  Serve cold. This recipe serves four to six people. This is a true Yeminite dish.

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Samak Yemeni (Yemenite Poached Fish)

1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups water
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp. fish spice, or to taste (see below)
1 tbsp. hawaij (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 scallion, with stalk, chopped

3 lbs. firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as whiting, flounder or cod, cut into 3-inch pieces

1. Mix oil, water, tomato sauce, fish spice and hawaij in a large skillet and simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes.

2. Add scallion to pan. Slide fish pieces carefully into pan, making sure not to break them up. Simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes. Remove from flame and let cool. Remove fish pieces to a serving dish and pour sauce on top. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer.

Fish Spice Mixture:

3 tbsp. black peppercorns
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. cumin
8 cloves
8 cardamom pods

In a spice or coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, grind spices together finely and store in a tightly closed container.

Hawaij Spice Mixture

3 tbsp. cumin
4 tsp. black peppercorns
4 tbsp. turmeric
6 cloves
7 cardamom pods

Follow the same procedure as in the fish-spice mixture.


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Alyssa's Temani Pitot:

The recipe, which I am making with success:

3 cups flour
1 packet yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm (not hot, lukewarm) water.

Also: keep a bowl or cup of warm water to keep your hands from getting too sticky.

Combine yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the water. Then add flour and start to knead with hands. Begin to add second cup of water a bit at a time. Knead until lumps are removed, adding additional water if necessary. At this point you should have a wet, sticky melon-sized ball of dough.

Let rise one hour, knead again, let rise again. Separate into 5 small balls (about the size of tennis balls). You may employ some flour to separate and powder the separated dough.

If you've ever watched someone making pizza, the action of getting the balls of dough into pita-shaped dough is the same. Either hold the dough in one hand and let it start to stretch away as you work around the "edge" of the dough- or more advanced people may know how to use their fists to toss the dough into a flat circle.

A pita oven (was sent as a gift from Israel) is wiped with a small amount of oil. The pita oven is shaped like two frying pans- one has no heating element but is placed on a stove burner on a low (2,3, or 4) temperature. The top "frying pan" is turned on/plugged in. It resembles a broiler oven. Cover and heat for several seconds until the top starts to brown. Option: add olive oil and za'atar to the top of the pitot.  Pitot are cooked one by one in this manner.

If you don't have a pita oven, It seems to me that a broiler set on high could be used with perhaps a metal broiler pan- and perhaps you have to flip the pita since the heating only comes from the top. (Or a hot oven with a pizza stone?)

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2 chatzilim
1 green pepper (also known as "bell peppers")
1 red pepper
0.5 Cup chopped parsley
as many garlic cloves you like (at least 5)
2 green onions
Juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper.

Pierce the chatzilim and peppers, slice in half and grill in oven,
preferably until the skin is blackish. Take them out, let cool. Peel off
most of the skin of the chatzilim (leave a little to taste). Mash peppers
and chatzilim with fork. Mix in the rest. Add salt and pepper to taste.


This is very easy and very delicious. It's perfect for making on erev
Shabbat for eating on Shabbat afternoon.

Take as many chatzilim as you need.
Vegetable oil for frying (using olive oil will only make them taste bad)
Lemon juice

Make a marinade out of the lemon and garlic. Peel and slice the chatzilim,
and let them sit for half an hour so the brown juices come out (looses its
bitterness then).

Heat up oil in a medium skillet. Pat the chatzilim dry. Fry them until dark
golden. Transfer to a bowl. When you're done, pour the marinade over them
and refrigerate overnight.

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ZHOUG Temani (Modern version):

Warning: Eating too much of this can cause dehydration (over a period of time). Eating the right amount is very good for the body - and destroys many harmful bacteria. RaMb"M spoke of avoiding (hot) spices in the summer.


* 2-3 bunches of cilantro leaves (bugs removed by pre-soaking in salt water). You must break off the stems and only use leaves - or it ruins the taste. Certain batches of cilantra are better than others - (IE: some are harder to blend).
* 3/4 whole fresh garlic (all the cloves). Some use a whole fresh garlic.
* 2-3 green jalapeno peppers and (at least) 3 habanera or bonnet peppers. Be careful not to touch your eyes after handling them.

Variation: Some use dried red or green peppers in combination or instead of the above. In old Yemen, the peppers were better for this purpose. So now, most improvise by experimenting with different pepper types.

* 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin powder - or to taste.
* Pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
* Tiny pinch of freshly ground Cardimon (which includes the ground shell)
* 1/2 tomato (optional)
* Touch of coriander to taste. (Some use the slightest touch of cloves too)
* Salt to taste. Salt is important.

Regarding all of the spices used above -- it is best to pre-grind whole seeds in your own spice or coffee grinder beforehand. Store extra ground spices in the freezer, to maintain freshness for next time.

The best spices are fresh from the middle east.


In a very strong blender, add the pre-soaked cilantro, pealed cloves of garlic and peppers. Then add the cumin, black pepper, cardimon, coriander and clove. DO NOT ADD ANY WATER.

Add tomato (optional).

Puree the ingredients in the blender, carefully pushing (and working) down the ingredients. I use a cucumber to constantly work down the mixture while the blender is on. This works well for me, because if worse come to worse, the cucumber gets chopped, instead of a utensil. But be careful that none of the spices fly into your face: :-)

It could take some time to blend it (with no moisture). Be careful not to burn out your blender or get anything foreign things caught in the blades. Do not add any water. It will eventually puree. I puree for a few minutes at various speeds (working it down), until it does flow through the blender. Sometimes I have to turn off the blender and restart. Perhaps other blenders are stronger or weaker. In the end, I make sure to blend it for a few minutes on the highest it will go (smoothly). That's how I know it is done. Mine comes out smooth and dark green. Depending on the cilantro, it sometimes comes out lighter. The type of cilantro really does effect the taste.

Enjoy and don't eat too much!

It takes a lot of experimentation to get it just right.

Ice cubes help a hot tongue - for the newly initiated.

Zehoug is made to mix with other foods. It's not really meant to be eaten by itself. SO it is meant to burn - a bit.

Studies of cilantro, garlic and spices suggest great health benefits- especially in such a raw, uncooked mix. In my opinion, the health benefits are tripled, when eaten with HILBEH on a regular basis.

But be careful not to burn out your stomach lining.

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*   ~ 2.5 tablespoons of well ground Fenugreek seed (Hilbeh). The best comes from the middle east.
*   salt
*   lemon juice
*   A few cups of cold water
*   Fresh Pre-soaked/cleaned cilantro leaves - 1/2 bunch.
*   Container with a lid


Slowly sprinkle dried (well ground) hilbeh into a container of water, being sure to spread it out over the entire surface. This will allow the hilbeh to disperse, as it slowly settles to the bottom. I recommend using a very deep bowl with cold water, so it cleanses and separates the hilbel as it falls to the bottom. The ground hilbeh is than left in the water over night (and placed in the fridge with still in the water). There should be a good deal of water above the settled water. Some of that will be absorbed into the Hilbeh. Aftering doing this, place the lid on the container, and put into a cold place. Let it sit overnight in the fridge. This soaking serves two purposes. It dispels the initial, bitter taste of the fenugreek, and it also causes it to rise a bit (like dough).

The next day, pour out all of the water - leaving only the mushy hilbeh.

Then take ~ 1 table spoon of the soaked hilbeh (without the water), and place it into a small blender. Then start blending it fast (without adding any water). Some like to start the whipping it by hand (at first) in order to produce foaminess (which is the goal). After blending it, it will START to take on the popular, frothy appearance of hilbeh. Then slowly add a tiny bit of water mixed with crush ice, so that it starts to rise a bit. This is really an art form, and takes practice. Eventually, add more hilbeh, and reblend. Then add some more water. The idea (for most) is to create a puffy, frothy composition. This is a learned skill, that takes trial and error.

Near the end, add in some cilantro leaves (never stems) - for the green color.  The idea is for the cilantro to alter the color of the Hilbeh from yellow to pale green - without losing the Froth. Then add the salt and lemon juice to taste. Some also add tomatoes into the blend, which makes it VERY tasty.


Yemenites use this as an accompanying sauce on almost everything. They even throw it into chicken soup, as their tastes have so developed. They love it in everything. The health benefits are well documented.

When used regularly with Zehoug, this food is extremely healthy.

PS: Don't use too much sodium, which is NOT healthy.

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