Authentic Yemenite Chilbeh (Hilbeh) – Fenugreek Dip

The most basic recipe. Check out the options and pick and choose. For some people it’s all or nothing

Authentic Yemenite Hilbeh (Chilbeh) – Fenugreek Dip

I grew up eating Hilbeh almost every Sabbath eve with a large bowl of chicken soup laden with vegetables and chicken, served as a main dish, and good crusty bread. My mother, Tsipora Levy, of Blessed Memory, made fresh hilbeh every week and distributed containers of hilbeh to family members. Ground fenugreek comes either coarsely or finely ground. Start with the finely ground, in my opinion.The coarse ground variety has a certain texture that the uninitiated may take some getting used to. A note about one of the ingredients, zchug, also spelled schug. It is a moist spice combination composed of basically, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro cumin. salt and pepper all ground up. You can buy it in a market that has products from all over the globe. It can be stored in the freezer for a few months.


  • 4 TBSP Ground Fenugreek
  • 1 Quart Water for soaking overnight
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice
  • 1 TSP Zchug - more if you like spicier foods
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Before serving- grate a half of a tomato and add to the dip
  • Chopped Cilantro and or Parsley
  • 1 - 2 TBSP of Tomato Sauce


  • Soak the ground fenugreek in the water overnight in a non metallic bowl
  • After soaking time, pour out the water.
  • With a preferably wooden or plastic spatula, combine the fresh lemon juice and zchug and beat till frothy and light.
  • Add the salt and pepper, and beat it some more.
  • This should only take about 3 - 4 minutes of vigorous beating.
  • This is a basic recipe to which you can add any of the options mentioned above.