Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Nicolai

Yemeni Hanith and Mlawah Bread

Recommended Posts

Some time I wonder why do I bother?

 

Why do I bother pay top money to dine in Michelin Rosetted restaurants to eat assembled and asepticized food.

 

Here is a Yemeni dish called Hanith which is melt in the mouth lamb ribs or shoulder with rice cooked in a hole in the ground.

 

The typical Yemeni bread Mlawah.....puff pastry eat your heart out.

 

This is real food that Michelin followers can only dream about. In other words how would Michelin rate food which you eat seated on the floor barefoot using your fingers tearing away at the lamb with the rice and bread dripping red Sahaweg (Zhoug) liquor sauce on your chin washed with big gulps of Tareeb (yoghurt drink).

 

 

 

 

 

_MG_3455_zps8r9adfot.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

_MG_3463_zpsuzm6iawh.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

_MG_3464_zpshad5a0ok.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh.   Who needs stars? I'll take the lamb and that bread!  Oh boy.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you make those, Nicolai? And, if so, I would love to hear more about the methodology - a general ingredient list anyway if possible, and about how it was cooked in the ground (coals in a pit with the food wrapped in foil? and covered with dirt? for how long?).

 

The food looks absolutely amazing - and has me salivating - but there is no way this woman can or will go to the Middle East to have some - so is it possible in North America to replicate it, do you think? I will start digging a hole in my backyard if it is! And I have NO problem with sitting barefoot on the dirt to eat with my fingers either.

 

I agree with Anna. Michelin can keep their stars. What do they know about 'real food'?

 

edited: forgot a 'no' in front of problem!  oops.


Edited by Deryn (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might eat that lamb with my fingers but the rice?  I don't think so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Deryn said:

Did you make those, Nicolai? And, if so, I would love to hear more about the methodology - a general ingredient list anyway if possible, and about how it was cooked in the ground (coals in a pit with the food wrapped in foil? and covered with dirt? for how long?).

 

The food looks absolutely amazing - and has me salivating - but there is no way this woman can or will go to the Middle East to have some - so is it possible in North America to replicate it, do you think? I will start digging a hole in my backyard if it is! And I have problem with sitting barefoot on the dirt to eat with my fingers either.

 

I agree with Anna. Michelin can keep their stars. What do they know about 'real food'?

 

 

 

It was a private invite where the host takes pride in doing all the cooking.......done by his cook which is usually a family member.

 

As for the cooking method. It comes in different flavours in a hole in the ground:

- Haneeth is suspended meat on top of the ember

- Madfoon is wrapped in foil on top of the embers

- Shuwa (Oman) is wrapped in plant leaves on top of embers

 

Each has a different spicing or marinade and is attributed to different areas in Yemen and Oman. The rice goes in a pot on top of the meat or under the suspended meat. It sounds simple but requires practice and it is not a recipe which can be studied and duplicated.......save that you need a hole in the ground.

But........it is worth every effort and every drop of sweat.....it is an experience to tear the meat with your fingers and dip into the tomato Zhoug sauce and remember your humanity.

 

Next on my list is the Jordanian Mansaf which still eludes me as to why we have to eat standing up in front of the table and scoop with the fingers the fermented yogurt rice and meat.

 

Eating rice with the fingers is very messy and I usually insist in wearing the plastic table cloth as a Pancho. You are supposed to pick up the rice and roll in a small ball with the fingers and not the palm. Then you push it in the mouth using your thumb as a lever all the while when seated on the ground cross legged and it is not a comfortable position. Nowadays, people are seated at tables with forks and spoons which is more practical but is like eating a hamburger with a knife and fork.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Nicolai. It all sounds like a wonderful experience (and a memory to be cherished). I guess I will just have to live it vicariously through your description/pictures and my imagination after all. Glad you had the real life one though.

 

I modified my post above to add a 'no' in front of problem (re- sitting on the ground, etc.) but I should qualify that a bit more given your further admission that it is not that comfortable. It USED to be fairly easy for me to do that (I have done it - at least the ground sitting part - a number of times while being treated to native potlatches in the far north) - but I am getting older now and am nowhere near as flexible as I once was. I might get down but staying cross-legged for a fair time without fidgeting - and then getting back up again - would be challenging now I am sure.

 

I have tried the rice eating technique you talk about in the privacy of my own home - alone - because I was curious (this is not the first time I have heard of it) and I grant you it is not that easy. Luckily I am right handed - were I not I am sure it would be even more difficult than it was. Given that, from what I understand, one is also not permitted to use the other hand to assist at any time, which I found myself tempted to do when I tried it, I would definitely need a lot of practice before trying it in public. This is not easily compactible starchy sushi rice. I admire the fact that you managed it at all - even if difficult (and you required a 'bib' of some sort).

 

Good luck with the Mansaf meal. I hope you manage to get pics of that one too. Looking forward to hearing about it when you have the chance to try it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2016 at 1:24 PM, lindag said:

I might eat that lamb with my fingers but the rice?  I don't think so.

 

If one is hungry enough, rice is offered with no fork/chopsticks or other alternative, believe me, one will eat it as it is offered. :)

 

I am really surprised by what I am willing to do/eat when I get hungry enough. Hunger is a very powerful motivator, and I am glad for those who don't know that, and for myself, as I haven't been in that position in many years.

 

Actually, I can recently relate to @Nicolai's relish for eating that way. When I'm eating chicken wings or ribs for example, I try to observe the clean hand/dirty hand method, and will sometimes pick up foods with the "dirty" hand that are usually eaten with a fork as long as I am still eating the food that requires a dirty hand. Asparagus and noodles come to mind, but perhaps not separate grained rice. All of this is done seated at a table over a plate, where anything dropped falls back onto the plate.

 

Trust me though, if you get hungry enough, you will eat rice with your hand(s), or a lot of other surprising stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×