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Hilbeh (yemenite hot relish)
Yield: 1 1 1/2 cups

3 tb fenugreek seeds
3 md tomato coarsely chopped
2 tb garlic finely chopped
1/2 ts salt
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 ts caraway seeds
1/2 ts coriander seeds
1/2 ts hot red pepper

With a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon crush the fenugreek
seeds to a fine powder. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and steep
for 2 or 3 hours. Drain the fenugreek in a fine sieve.

Puree the tomatoes through a sieve set over a bowl and stir the
fenugreek into them. With the back of a spoon or with a mortar and
pestle mash the garlic and salt to a paste. Add the cardamom caraway
coriander and red pepper and mash them vigorously until the mixture
is smooth. Stir it into the tomato and fenugreek.

Serve at once or store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Hilbeh
is a traditional fiery accompaniment for felafel or a dip for bread.


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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
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The proper way to make Hilbeh, April 14, 2004 - 11:14 AM
Reviewer: Mike Danhi from Pensacola, Florida (orig. NYC)
Whoever wrote this recipe is obviously not Yemenite. this proper way is to clean the fenugreek seeds by first removing the "stones" and then GRINDING the seeds in a blender until it's ALMOST in powder form. Place in a lg bowl and cover with water 2". Place in the refrig for approx.3/4 hrs. Overnight would be better. Pour out the (bitter) water and sprinkle fresh cold water over the top to remove any further bitter water.Then with cold refrigerated water whip into a creamy consistency by adding some lemon juice and salt addind a little cold water at a's time to add the Z'hug to taste...What a treat!!!!

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