We are on the last lap of our 30 day Culinary journey across the globe. Just a day to go to complete this series!And today we are travelling to Yemen to savor their cuisine.

I made this Yemeni lentil soup and paired it with Yemeni Khobz Al Tawa, a king of flat bread cooked over a hot griddle.

But first, some interesting facts about this country….

  •  It is one of the poorest Arab country because of the the decreasing oil resources.
  • Yemen is the only republic country on the Arab peninsula. The rest are kingdoms and emirates.
  • Yemen exports
    crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish, liquefied natural gas etc.
  • It imports food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals etc.
  • Most of the  Yemenis are craftsmen, herders or farmers.
  • It is a custom for the Yemeni men to bring a short curved knife called Jambiya, in public. The handle of the dagger shoes the social status and also keeps fights at bay/.
  • Noah called this the land of milk and honey and it is a part of Biblical tales and legends.
  • An average wedding feast can last for 21 days.So we can see how much pride they take in their wedding traditions.
  • It is a very conservative Muslim country and taking pictures of women is forbidden.

The cuisine of Yemen

  •  It is influenced by Turkish, Indian and Arabic cuisine.
  • It can be best described as easy to prepare , delicious and filling.
  • The dishes are quite spicy
  • Bread is made by each family and it is expected that this art / tradition be carried over to the next generation.
  • The Yemeni coffee is considered to be the oldest and they are very proud of it.

 Let us take a look at  the soup of the day…

As the title suggests, it is a lentil based soup. Capsicum is used here and it is optional. This soup is usually served with fresh bread and this combo makes the meal a very filling one..

I used:

Moong dal-1/2 cup
Capsicum -1. chopped
Tomato -1, chopped
Onion-1 chopped
Garlic-2 cloves finely chopped
Green chili-1
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a large pinch
Salt to taste
Oil-1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves to garnish

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin.When it splutters, add the onion and garlic.Saute till the onion is soft and add the tomato.Cook for a minute. Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt.Put in the capsicum and green chili.

Mix well and add the lentil.Combine and add 2 or more cups of water depending on how thin / thick you want the soup to be.Pressure cook for 10 minutes / till the lentil is soft and mushy.

Once the pressure releases, gently mash the contents and serve garnished with coriander leaves as a side for bread.


  • As mentioned earlier, capsicum is optional. But it adds a nice taste to the soup.
  • The soup thickens on standing.Add more hot water to it to get the desired consistency.

Bon Appetit…

13 thoughts on “Yemeni Lentil Soup”

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