Yemeni Proverb: من يأكل بشكل جيد قادر على مواجهة الجيش – He who eats well is able to face an army

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, and has been going through violent political instability continuously since the 1970s. Today 90% of people suffer from acute malnutrian and water scarcity is such that it has been reported that the country may be the first to nation to run out of water.

From March 2015 to June 2015, Yemen experienced 100 days of civil war with little to no support from the international community. Action Against Hunger campaigned heavily against this silence, read their article here: After More Than 100 Days We Need To Break The Silence

In 2014 Action Against Hunger 287,113 people gain better access to water and sanitation, as well as treating people with severe malnutrition.

Donate here to support their work:

Yemenite Chicken Soup


I know it’s not at all original but when you feel sick and you crave chicken soup right? Recently I had a poorly wisdom tooth and been feeling under the weather, alongside the colder weather this seemed like the perfect recipe to taken on.  I also had fresh turmeric left over from my Mohinga so that was two pretty good excuses to make this dish.

Yesterday marked the start of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Instead of Latkes which are a tradition for Ashkenazi Jews, I am making this Marak Temani which Yemenite Jews make during special and festive occasions. Although there are few Yemenite Jews left in Yemen their history, culture and traditions are very much evident in the global diaspora where they have brought with them the food of Yemen.

This very traditional Yemeni soup, known in Hebrew as Marak Temani, is the Sabbath staple of the Yemenite Jewish people, who prepare the soup on Friday evening and allow it to slowly cook and infuse with it’s delicious Middle Eastern spices ready to eat on Saturday. Some people believe that this soup is in fact the original ‘Jewish Chicken Soup’, with the European version having developed in to the easily recognisable chicken and dumplings through the absence of the pungent Middle Eastern spices. The addition of spoonful or two of compulsory hot Yemeni chilli relish sahawiq (Arabic) or skhug (Hebrew), this soup will get you right on the way to feeling cosy and better!



  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh chillis
  • Cumin
  • Cardamom
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil

Hawaij Spice Mix

  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Cloves
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Salt & Pepper

Chicken Soup

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 7 small potatoes
  • 10 carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh coriander
  • Salt & Pepper


First of all start by making your hawaij by mixing together all the ingredients in their powdered form. If you have whole spices toast them in a hot dry pan until fragrant then tip into a pestle and mortar and pound into a powder. This mix can be used to season meat, add flavour to soups and stews and pretty much season most Yemeni dishes!

In a large pan place a whole chicken, a whole onion, garlic cloves and 5 of the carrots then top with water so that the chicken is fully covered. Add pepper corns and coriander stalks to the broth then leave to simmer for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile make skhug by combining all the ingredients in a mini chopper.

When the chicken is cooked remove from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth into a bowl to seperate the stock vegetables.

Once the chicken has cooled, strip the meat from the bones and return the stock with a little more water to a low heat and add hawaij to flavour the  broth. Peel the potatoes and the rest of the carrots then add to the broth, once cooked add the shredded chicken and a generous portion of coriander.

Serve with a spoonful or two of skhug and extra fresh coriander.



Remember to donate to Action Against Hunger by following this link:





One thought on “YEMEN

  1. Pingback: The Countries | Sophia's Global Food Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s