This dip is pretty unique to Yemeni cuisine. It still fascinates me how you will likely find so many variations amongst Yemeni households.
I learned this recipe from my dear aunt who took the time to show me how to make it. It's super simple, but it did take time to perfect the measurements. You may like a little bit more sweetness, saltiness or sourness, so don't hesitate to adjust the flavoring as you see fit.
We serve this dip alongside some zahawig (Yemeni tomato salsa) and fresh vegetables like cucumber, lettuce, and radishes. We also love enjoying it on Ramadan nights with freshly made Yemeni luhooh bread. If we have some marag (chicken or lamb broth) on hand, we will add a ladle to our bowl and mix all the condiments together - so delicious!
1 tbsp ground fenugreek ملعقة ك حلبة مطحونة
1 cup of water for soaking (100-110F) كباية ماء دافئة
1/4 cup water to dissolve sugar ربع كباية ماء لتذويب السكر
1 tbsp white sugar ملعقة ك سكر أبيض
1/2 tsp cumin نص ملعقة ص كمون
1/2 tsp coriander نص ملعقة ص كزبرة
1 tbsp red vinegar ملعقة ك خل أحمر
1/2 tsp salt نص ملعقة ص ملح
In a bowl, add 1 cup of warm water. Use a thermometer to ensure it is between 100 and 110 F.
Sprinkle your one tablespoon of ground fenugreek over the surface of the warm water. Do not mix. Set aside and leave at room temperature for one hour. The fenugreek will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
After one hour, drain the water from the soaked fenugreek by just carefully tipping over the bowl.
In a separate deep bowl, mix 1/4 cup of water with one tablespoon of sugar until the sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the cumin, coriander, red wine vinegar, and salt. Mix to combine.
Add the strained fenugreek to the water and spice mixture then begin to beat with an electric mixture until it is fluffy and creamy.
Although I highly recommend using red wine vinegar only, apple cider vinegar will also work fine.
Not all fenugreek(s) are created equal. If you have a high quality fenugreek that fluffs up quickly, then 45 minutes to an hour will be enough soaking time. If it isn't so great, then you may want to let it soak for 2-3 hours.
Keep your ground fenugreek in the freezer to prolong its freshness.
After whipping the dip, keep it in the fridge. You will need to re-whip it by hand before serving if too much time has passed. It may look deflated, but don't worry. It was last in the fridge up until the next day.