Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip

This Community Recipe is Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip. Traditionally known as Chilbeh or Hilbeh, this is an oil-free blended dip and condiment for absolutely any meal. It is even delicious simply spread generously on crusty bread. Fenugreek seeds have a bitter taste and strong aroma. After soaking, blend to create a delicious and attention grabbing dip. 

Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog.  If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here.  This series is all about sharing healthy plant-based and vegan recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.

Aliza displays a dish full of her finished dip

All about Aliza Horowitz

Aliza is a mom of 2 and a small business owner. She currently lives in Israel, while her husband attends medical school in Tel Aviv. Both she and her husband love to cook. Aliza says her husband is better in the kitchen – but let’s reserve judgement until after we try Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip! 

Pasta is Aliza’s go-to food. However, at the moment she is on a gluten break… so she says she’s been sneaking it behind her husband’s back. Check out her Instagram to enjoy her recipes and fun updates!

Aliza displays a dish full of her finished dip

About those Hilarious Instagram Stories and Posts

One day during the Spring of 2020, when the world was in full on COVID-19 home quarantine, I found Aliza’s Instagram account. I spend a good 45 minutes laughing until I had tears in my eyes while watching all her Instagram videos. It felt so good to laugh at her slapstick comedy. Some of the highlights include:

Doing a make-up tutorial on her very supportive husband, Zalman. She called the video “Make-up Bloopers”

Showing a game where the goal is to get an Orea from your forehead to your mouth.

Doing a humorous imitation of a female exercise video.

For those of you not on the exercise train, don’t hop on. Please continue to enjoy the comfort of your couch. I’m not usually on this train myself but after spending 30 days in the USA and gaining half a pound a day, I decided it was time to get off the couch and forget those Krispy Kreme glory days

Aliza (Greenblatt) Horowitz

A Food Loving Family 

Aliza’s family has a deep attachment to food – so much so that her brother owns two restaurants in Jerusalem, Hatch and Shmaltz. For Aliza, feeding people is a way to express care. Her mother shows love through feeding people, her grandmother did the same. Aliza’s grandmother passed a few months back. Placing love into the food she feeds others is how Aliza still holds on to a piece of her.

Aliza displays a dish full of her finished dip

How was this recipe created?

Years back, Aliza went to a Yemenite family for a shabbat dinner. That’s where she was first introduced to this delicious and healthful dish. They served Hilbeh with their crusty bread and ate it in their soup. It seemed as though everything they ingested had one scoop of hilbeh on it. Aliza asked her host about her Fenugreek dip, who replied that it’s the reason that the Yemenites live as long as they do and in such good health!

Hilbeh has a completely different taste and consistency than anything else: bitter, jelly-like and absolutely delicious.

Aliza displays a dish full of her finished dip

Focus on Fenugreek 

Fenugreek leaves are a herb, and the seeds a pulse, like chickpeas. When ground and mixed with water, these seeds have the ability to form a jelly-like consistency. This is what gives Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip a thick and creamy texture, without any oil. 

Fenugreek was largely used for medicinal purposes in ancient times. There are many bold and positive claims made of fenugreek. It is said to enhance the quality of breastmilk in nursing women. Apparently, it even improves muscle strength and lowers blood sugar levels. 

Aliza displays a dish full of her finished dip

Variations of Aliza’s recipe

Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip is a winning recipe already. But this dip is also an amazing base for experimentation. Try adapting the flavor with these suggestions:

  • Add chopped chives and stir through before serving 
  • Add sundried tomatoes to the drip before blending
  • Spice things up with fresh ginger root added to the blender bowl

Aliza’s recipe calls for an overnight soak of the fenugreek seeds. However, if you’re in a pinch, a 5 hour soak is enough. If taking this shortcut, beware! The longer soak removes some of the bitterness. So if making it quickly, expect a more bitter taste to your finished dip. 

More Jewish Food Hero Community Recipes 

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community.  Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!

Check out these other recipes from our community: 

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Galit’s Mujaddara – Lentil, Rice and Onion Pilaf with Tahini Sauce Muajaddara is a classic Middle Eastern dish of fragrantly spiced rice and lentils, decorated with crispy fried onions and cilantro. This is a great dish to mix up your meal plan.  

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Natasha’s Surprisingly Vegan Enchilada Casserole. This vegan casserole basically takes all the delicious ingredients of enchiladas and arranges them in layers like a lasagne. What’s not to love?

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Shira’s Vegan No-Bake Cookie Dough Squares. These treats are so simple to make. Make them for a yummy snack, dessert, breakfast, or even crush them up and serve on top of some non-dairy yogurt or non-dairy ice cream! 

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Sonya’s Blood Orange and Black Sesame Polenta Cake This is a plant-based upside-down cake with a citrus flavor polenta and sesame sponge. Orange slices and syrup create a beautiful, glistening top layer. Sonya contributed this recipe to honor the female biblical heroine Rachel in the Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook. If you like this recipe, you will find many many more in the book to enjoy.

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Title photo

Aliza’s Vegan Yemenite Hilbeh Fenugreek Dip

  • Author: Aliza Horowitz
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + overnight soak
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons finely ground fenugreek

2 cups water 

Juice of one lemon 

1.5 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups fresh parsley or cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper 

1 large tomato, diced 

Pepper to taste


Instructions

  1. In a non-metallic bowl, mix the fenugreek with 2 cups of water. Cover and leave to soak overnight.

  2. The next day, pour off the excess water from the top. Do not strain!

  3. Add the lemon juice and blend, using either a hand held stick blender or a food processor. 

  4. Blend until you notice the consistency becoming gelatinous and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

  5. If it looks dry and clumpy, add 2 tablespoons of water and blend again.

  6. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. 

  7. Pour into a bowl and serve immediately, or refrigerate to use later.


Keywords: dip, chilbeh, hilbeh, fenugreek, vegan, plant-based

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