Food and Drink in Yemen

Food and Drink in Yemen Last updated on Wednesday 28th April 2010

The main meal of the day is lunch, which is usually eaten without implements, using a piece of bread to scoop up the food.

Salta, the national dish, is a highly spiced stew, containing chicken or lamb with lentils, chickpeas, beans and coriander. This is served on a bed of rice. Shurba is also a stew, but with a more soup-like consistency, and is made with lentils (shurba bilsan), fenugreek (::I) or lamb (shurba wasabi).

Bread comes in several varieties, including ruti which is bought from shops, khubz tawwa which is made at home and lahuh, which is a pancake made from sorghum, eaten on special occasions.

Bint al sahn is a popular dessert, consisting of sweet bread dipped into honey and butter.

Most people in Yemen drink a very sweet tea called shai, which is served in small glasses with or without milk and which can be flavoured with mint. Coffee is called qahwa and is less commonly consumed. It is sometimes flavoured with ginger or other spices.

Alcohol is banned under Islamic law.

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