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The Hirshon ULTIMATE Passover Saltah - Yemenite Lamb Stew and Soft Matzo - سلتة

The Hirshon ULTIMATE Passover Saltah – Yemenite Lamb Stew and Soft Matzo – سلتة

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


  • For Zhug:
  • use the Hirshon Zhug recipe
  • ***
  • For Saltah (the stew):
  • 1 Tbsp. black sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, one diced and one grated
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and finely-diced
  • ½ Anaheim green chili pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Hirshon Hawaij seasoning blend
  • ½ tsp. Knorr Aromat seasoning (TFD change, original was kosher salt)
  • 1 lb. leg of lamb cubes
  • 5 cups water or chicken stock (water is traditional, TFD prefers the stock for added richness)
  • Kitchen Bouquet for color and flavor, to taste
  • ***
  • For Hilbeh:
  • Water
  • 2 tsp. ground fenugreek
  • 2 Tbsp. Zhug​
  • ***
  • For Yemenite Soft Matzo:
  • 1 lb. (454 g) flour of the Passover variety
  • ~1 US cup (237 ml) water, cool or chilled
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 cc) kosher salt


  1. Follow directions and make Hirshon zhug. Zhug can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
  2. Make Soft Matzo: Take a cast iron skillet or griddle, heat it up so that it reaches its maximum temperature by the time the dough is ready to be baked. You want it SCREAMING HOT.
  3. Fill your bowl or stand mixer with the flour and salt. Starting with ½ cup water, slowly pour as you combine it with the flour. Stop adding water once the ingredients are fully integrated and form one complete ball of dough that is soft but neither sticky nor dry.
  4. If it’s too sticky, add a little bit of flour. If it’s too dry, spray a little bit of water. The amount of water will also depend on other factors, such as flour quality and humidity.
  5. Kneader: Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Break off manageable chunks of the dough, about ⅛–⅙ of the complete mass, and give to every shaper. If there is dough left, continue to knead the it during the following steps.
  7. Shaper(s): Shape the dough into a flat thin circle, either by hand or with a rolling pin. Make it thin, as if you were preparing a pizza. Thinness will ensure that the dough bakes thoroughly and quickly while retaining pliability.
  8. Place the dough circles into the heated pan that you have chosen. Monitor the dough and cook each side until a few brown spots appear, about 1–2 minutes per side, but check frequently. Air bubbles are normal. (For a skillet or griddle, the process is similar to making a roti or tortilla.)
  9. Cool flatbreads inside a folded tea towel. If there is dough left, repeat previous steps. Wash and dry all doughy surfaces (bowl, surface, and pin). Bag and store flatbreads in a cool environment. Freeze if you’re not eating them within a couple of days.
  10. Make Saltah: Place dutch oven on medium heat and sauté garlic, onion, tomato, potato and fresh Anaheim pepper in oil until garlic browns and onion is translucent.
  11. Add hawaij as well as Aromat and stir. Add lamb to onion mixture. Brown the meat for 5 minutes.
  12. Add water and Kitchen Bouquet to taste to the mixture and bring to a boil. Then cover, reducing heat to a low simmer.
  13. Cook stew for 1 – 2 hours, or until meat is tender and breaks apart
  14. Remove from heat and break the meat apart with a fork to get smaller shreds. The consistency of the broth should be similar to a slightly thick soup; if the broth is too thick, you may add extra water. If it’s not thick enough, turn heat to medium and reduce.
  15. Make hilbeh while meat is cooking:
  16. Place ground fenugreek in a small bowl of water and let sit for at least one hour. Drain water.
  17. Whip the fenugreek by hand or using a mixer. Whip until the color has changed from brown to white and the bitter taste is gone. This should take about 10 minutes beating by hand. Add prepared zhug to the fenugreek and whip in. Add more or less depending on how spicy you’d like it.
  18. To serve: Add stew to bowls, add a few dollops of whipped hilbeh, and serve hot with some extra zhug on the side and a piece of the fresh soft matzo.
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