“Al-Saltah” the Yemeni National Dish [Archives:2004/727/Last Page]

April 8 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The history of “Al-Saltah” in Yemen dates back one hundred years. The Turkish-origin hot meal was introduced to Yemen one hundred years ago. Yemenis were acquainted with its ingredients by the Turks occupying Yemen at that time.
However, the Yemenis have added some flavor and spices that have made “Al-Saltah” or “Al-Hulbah” (Fenugreek), a popular and distinguished meal all over Yemen.

Ingredients and preparation:
Due to the connection of this meal with the lunch of mass majority of Yemenis, many specialized restaurants have been established scattered throughout the country. The meal is prepared or cooked inside a stone bowl, called “Al-Mader” or “Al-Magla”. These special locally made bowls can tolerate and sustain high temperatures for a relatively long period of time.
Al-Hulbah consists of but not limited to cooked vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, beans) stirred together with a stew. the stew is added to the mix of vegetables for about five minutes and finally Al-Hulbah (fenugreek) is added with a spoon of blended vetch with hot jalapeno and black pepper and salt (according to taste) and ready to serve.
The average price for a bowl for one person ranges from 200-300 Rials.

Al-Hulbah abroad:
Many Yemeni investors abroad in the field of restaurants include this popular meal of Turkish origin for Yemenis living abroad, and sometimes some foreigners who acquire its taste.