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5 from 2 votes
marak temani
Marak Temani (Yemenite Soup)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Marak temani is a traditional Yemenite soup which owes its flavor and spiciness to a spice blend typical of this country called hawaij.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Yemenite
Servings: 8 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
For the marak temani
  • 2 lb stewing beef , cubed
  • 3 tablespoons hawaij (recipe below)
  • 2 onions , thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic , halved
  • 1 marrow bone
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch cilantro , tied into a "bouquet garni"
  • quarts beef broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 potatoes , peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ bunch cilantro , chopped (for garnish)
For the Hawaij
  • 5 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 5 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
For the hilbeh (or hulba)
  • 8 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon s'hug (optional)
Marak Temani
  1. Place meat at the bottom of a large pot or a Dutch oven. Sprinkle the meat with hawaij.

  2. Brown meat over medium heat, stirring often, until the meat is evenly browned and seasoned on all sides.
  3. Turn off the heat, transfer the meat in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add the chopped onions and garlic.
  5. Sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan for 5 to 6 minutes.

  6. Add the meat and the bone marrow into the pot.

  7. Make three deep incisions in the tomatoes (while keeping them whole) so that they can release their flavor in the broth.
  8. Add the tomatoes and cilantro into the pot.
  9. Cover the ingredients with 2 to 3 quarts (2 to 3 liters) of broth until the ingredients are almost fully covered.

  10. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
  11. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  12. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot.
  13. Simmer the soup for 2h30.

  14. Add potatoes to the broth.
  15. Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes until the broth thickens and the meat is tender.

  16. Before serving, remove the tomatoes, marrow bone and cilantro.
  17. Serve in individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with chopped fresh cilantro.
  1. Toast the whole spices (coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom and cloves) in a skillet over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Once the spices have cooled, grind them until getting a powder.
  3. Stir in nutmeg and turmeric.
  4. This spice blend can be made in advance and kept in a jar or plastic bag.
  1. Put fenugreek seeds in a deep bowl.
  2. Cover with 4 cups (1 liter) of water.

  3. Let stand overnight or at least 4 to 5 hours.

  4. The fenugreek seeds will absorb a lot of water and swell considerably.
  5. The next day, get rid of the soaking water as it is bitter.
  6. Grind the fenugreek seeds for 1 to 2 minutes in a food processor.

  7. Add remaining ingredients and blend until reaching a homogeneous texture.