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