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Yeminite Fenugreek Dip (Hilbey)

What you need: 

1 heaping Tablespoon dry ground fenugreek seeds
3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup water (about)
4 cloves garlic
handful coriander
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

What you do: 

I got this recipe from an old Yemenite woman. There are many ways to make it...this is her way.
Put well ground fenugreek seeds into bowl with 3 cups water stir well and let sit for at least 8 hours (can be less but the taste will change) The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and become a jelloy mass. Pour off any water that remains on the top and spoon the seed mass into a blender. Add all the additional ingredients and blend well. The water can be adjusted to make this thicker or thinner. I prefer to keep it sort of thick in order to scoop it up with fresh pita. Hilbey is also spooned into soup to add flavor or can be eaten with salad or as a dip for fresh cut veggies.
Fenugreek is an amazing food and actually belongs to the legume family so it is about 30% protein. It has a lot of medicinal properties, and it also tastes great. I do find, however, that either people love it, or they hate it, but it's worth a try.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


Ok, I've made this with both fresh and ground coriander (cilantro and coriander seed), and strangely enough, they tasted pretty much the same.  So I'll just use whatever I have on hand from now on.  I love this stuff.


This stuff rocks!
I have to admit, when I made the first batch I wasn't too thrilled with it.  It's such an unusual flavor.  I would try it, go "whoa, that was weird" and put it away, then take it out the next day and do the exact same thing.
But for some reason I decided to make it again and I loved it this time!  Must be an acquired taste.
One large clove of garlic was enough for me though...4 would be really strong.

Oh, quick question, do you mean coriander leaves (aka cilantro) or coriander seeds?  I've been using leaves and I like it that way but I just wanted to clear that up.  I might try it with coriander seeds sometime.


I also enjoyed this recipe. I added about 3/4 cup of water and found it way too watery to dip anything into it. Disappointed, I left it sitting in the fridge for 3 days and was pleasantly suprised by its texture when I opened it up again---almost creamy and pretty thick.  It stayed that way for several hours at room temperature too.  I'm a garlic fan, but I found 4 cloves to be rather strong. Maybe my cloves were on the big side, but I'd start with two cloves, taste, and add more if need be.


Wow this stuff really packs a punch--very flavorful. Thanks for introducing us to this stuff.  I Googled it and there are many recipes that use it! So I'm going to try some of those tonight.  A word of caution though, I only added 1/2 cup of water and it was pretty runny.  But then again I'm not sure really what the consistency should be.

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