Looking for something different other than the usual pita & hummus for mezze?Spice things up a bit with hilbeh, a spicy Yemeni relish made with fenugreek and cilantro.Hilbeh is a staple on the Yemeni table much like zhoug.It is used as a dip for Arab bread or added to Yemeni-style stews.Hilbeh is very easy to make but just keep in mind the the fenugreek seeds require about 18 hours soaking time to remove their bitterness.
2 tsp. fenugreek seeds, soaked in water for 18 hours or until they have softened, drained
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh green chili, chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped
2-3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt, to taste
1. In a food processor or blender, grind the fenugreek seeds with the garlic, chili and cilantro to a coarse paste.Place fenugreek paste in a medium bowl.
2. Add the tomatoes and beat in the sugar,lemon juice, and salt to taste.Serve with arab bread or as a flavoring for stews.