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Saltah Yemeni vegan vegetable stew hulbah zhug-meat

Saltah: Vegan Yemeni Stew with Hulbah and Zhug Chutneys

  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hulbah
  • 2 tablespoons zhug


  • 2 tablespoons ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons zhug (optional – see below)


  • 3 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green chili peppers (feel free to scale down for less heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Salt


Stage 1 – Start Preparing Your Zhug or Hulbah

  1. Place your ground fenugreek into a bowl and submerge in water. Make sure all the fenugreek is covered in water, then let it sit for at least an hour
  2. In the meantime, take all your ingredients for zhug and place it into a food processor (on Amazon) or blender
  3. Blend until you have a semi-chunky consistency to your zhug, then place into a container and refrigerate it until later
  4. Now, it’s time to make your saltah

Stage 2 – Prepare Saltah

  1. Start with a Dutch oven (on Amazon) or thick-bottomed stockpot with your olive oil over medium-high heat
  2. When the oil’s nice and hot, start by adding your onions and cooking for 1-2 minutes on their own as they start to sweat
  3. Next, add in your garlic and minced green chilis, then cook everything together for another 3-4 minutes before your tomatoes
  4. Add in your diced tomatoes and potatoes, and mix everything around together well
  5. When your pot is well mixed, submerge all your ingredients in vegetable broth. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce your heat to a simmer and let everything stew together for at least 25 minutes

Stage 3 – Finish Hulbah

  1. While your saltah is stewing and cooking together, take your soaking fenugreek and drain it of almost all its excess water. You’ll want to leave a little water in though!
  2. Whisk your fenugreek seeds together with an electric mixer to thicken the fenugreek until you have a slightly thicker paste
  3. Either in a blender or a food processor (on Amazon), combine your tomato, garlic, chili pepper and lemon juice (and zhug if using it) with your fenugreek paste. Blend your hulbah until the condiment has a thick, frothy yet smooth consistency
  4. When done, take your hulbah and zhug and set it next to your cooking saltah

Stage 4 – Finish Saltah

  1. With your potatoes fully cooked through and softened, take a masher or the backside of a fork and carefully mash all ingredients of your saltah together. Especially as the potatoes mash, the overall stew should become thick very quickly
  2. Optional: To prepare saltah in its tastiest way, take a heaping spoonful of your hulbah in the center of your stew. As it heats and loosens up, use the back of your spoon to cover the top layer of your saltah with the condiment
  3. Take your saltah off the stovetop heat, and serve with your zhug, yogurt and your extra hulbah. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 60 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min

Keywords: Vegan stew, potato stew, tomato stew