Yemen food, represented by the Saltah, is food belonging to the Yemeni cuisine, one of the important Middle Eastern cuisines, though considered to be different from all other cuisines of the region. A number of breads, meat and fish dishes dominate the cuisine of this region, where Saltah, a meat stew, is revered as the national dish. Apart from breads and beverages like tea and coffee of different varieties are also Yemini favorites. Yemeni food is considered to be mostly inspired by the Ottoman Turkish cuisine due to the strong influence of the ethnic class on the region.
Commonly Used Ingredients
Yemini food is seen to be less luxuriant than many other Middle Eastern cuisines. Dairy products like cheese, butter and others are not seen to be commonly used, though the buttermilk is consumed in some regions depending upon its availability. Meat dishes commonly include lamb and chicken, but not beef. Fishes are included in the diet by inhabitants of coastal regions. The cooking medium suggested is seldom butter, but cooking oil( for non-sweet dishes) and clarified butter ( also known as semn in Yemeni) for sweet dishes.
- Saltah- the dish which is respected as the national dish and liked for its spicy flavor is an accompaniment dish for the flatbread. Basically a meat stew of Turkish inheritance, it is prepared by cooking with sahawiq ( also called sahowqa which is a kind of a salsa of chillies, garlic , tomato and herb). The dish is enriched with scrambled egg, rice, potato and vegetable.
- Bread Recipes- the Yeminis enjoy a wide variety of breads some of which are prepared at home and some bought from shops. Breads like Malooga ( this is a kind of a flatbread which is cooked on a taboon.. It is consumed with scrambled eggs or spiced buttermilk or other accompaniment dishes. The khubz is another flatbread which is baked at home on a “tannur” a traditional oven made for the purpose. Modern styles of cooking have eased the process of preparation of this bread by the usage of modern techniques like placing the flattened disc of bread dough on a conveyer belt and passing it through this oven.
- Yemeni beverages- Apart from Yemeni food, the Yemeni drinks like different kinds of coffee and tea are also popular in the cuisine. Qawah( a kind of coffee), black tea flavored with spices like cardamom, cloves and mint are some of the favorite drinks of the region.