The Traditional Dish From Yemen-Lamb Haneeth


Medha Imam: It's falling

right off the bone!

Adam Saleh: Yeah, it's really soft.

Medha: Amazing!

Adam: Oh!

Hey, guys, this is Adam

Saleh from YouTube.

Adoomygang, what is popping?

And we're here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

We're about to go to a Yemeni restaurant

called Yemen Cafe.

Medha, she's about to try Yemeni food

for the first time ever.

I'm really excited.

Specifically, we're gonna eat

the most popular Yemeni

dish, lamb haneeth.

It takes four hours to cook,

and it falls straight off the bone.

Medha: Ugh, so excited!

Adam: Ready?

Medha: Yes, let's do it.

Adam: You sure?

Medha: Yes.

Adam: Let's get it, come on.

Sid Nassir: Well, it's a taste usually

that they've never had.

It's an explosion of

spices in their mouths.

Medha: Lamb haneeth is a

traditional dish from Yemen

that's slow-roasted and

typically served at lunchtime

and at special events

like weddings and feasts.

It's popular in many Arab countries,

like Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

Adam: I've had it. I have

it, like, every other day.

Like, imagine seeing

lamb haneeth every day,

every day, and I never,

ever got sick of it.

Medha: To make the lamb

haneeth, Yemen Cafe usually gets

around 35 to 40 lambs delivered each week.

Sid: We usually get the lamb whole

because we have our own

specific way of cutting it.

Adam: Oh, my God, yo.

Sid: By tomorrow, these are all,

it'll be empty.

Adam: Wow.

Sid: But this is the

perfect size to make sure

that the meat is tender.

Anything above this, it's

not gonna be as tender.

The lamb, it's one of the most fattiest

pieces of meat out there.

That's why we take our time, usually,

just, like, shredding all that fat,

as much as possible.

This is how they've been doing it,

they've been cutting the

lamb for the past 30 years

since they opened up in 1986.

This is probably the most

famous part right now,

right there, that's the lamb shank.

That is the most tender piece in the lamb.

It's very fatty.

It's something that

everybody usually asks for.

So, a lot of the customers,

they specifically want certain pieces.

Like, me, personally, I

don't like the lamb shank

because it's too soft for me.

I like something more like

the neck area or the ribs.

Paprika, cumin, curry,

and black pepper and salt.

Those are the spices that we usually use.

Actually, those spices,

we get them all imported.

Actually, that's Pakistani.

Sid: Yeah, that paprika

comes from Pakistan.

And due to Yemen having

the situation with the war

and the borders being closed,

the closest thing that we can get to it

is the Pakistani spices, so.

You know, when you're a Yemeni restaurant

and you're purchasing your

stuff from another country,

it's, you know,

you'd rather be authentic,

you know what I mean?

But we just can't do that because

the borders are just, like, shut down.

It's just a mess.

What he's doing right now is, usually,

he'll keep that thick meat on the bottom

so it doesn't burn on top.

So he's flipping it around to make sure

that the fatty pieces

and the bones are on top,

and that's our secret.

And this is how we cook it.

Usually, this hard top is

what keeps it very moist.

This takes around four hours to cook,

and this is the famous roasted lamb.

Medha: Amazing!

Adam: Wow! Yo.

Oh, my, this is heaven.

Sid: We let it sit the last hour,

and it cooks with the steam.

And that's what gives it that,

you know, fall-off-the-bone type.

Adam: Secret? You can't

give the secret too much.

Sid: I know, I'm revealing a lot!

What am I doing?

Medha: Once the meat is

ready, the dish is served

with basmati rice or

Yemeni bread called malawah

and is usually shared in

a family-style manner.

Adam: The traditional way,

you eat it with your hands.

Even the rice, you eat it with your hands.

Medha: OK, I want to see how you do it.

Adam: So, you gotta grab the

lamb haneeth from the bone.

Medha: OK.

Adam: Yeah. Just grab it.

Just dig in.

Grab it, and you just bite it, yeah.

Medha: I think I'm

gonna, what do you think?

Adam: Mashallah. Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

Medha: So good?

Adam: It's the softest

ever. You need to try it.

Medha: OK, I'm trying, I'm trying it.

Adam: It's so soft.

What do you think?

Medha: Mm.

This is amazing.

Adam: For real for real.

You like it?

Medha: For real for real.

Adam: It's good, right? And if you want,

Medha: It's so soft!

Adam: You can mix it with the rice.

Medha: Yeah?

Adam: You can go like this.

Medha: What do you do?

Adam: Put it with the rice.

Medha: OK.

Adam: And then that's how we eat it.

Medha: Oh, my God.

Adam: And then you put

it together, and you go.

Adam: Mm. So d--- good. Oh, my God.

Just really the softest

meat you'll ever have.

Like, so different than

any other type of meat.

Gets messy, but...

Medha: It gets really messy.

Adam: That's how Yemenis eat.

Usually, at home, we'll eat on the floor.

Medha: Oh, really?

Adam: But whenever we eat lamb haneeth,

the whole family just comes running in

and, just, everyone digs

in from the same plate.

Some people, they even put this soup,

just a little bit on it.

Medha: I would do that.

The soup is so good.

Adam: The only thing is, just,

it makes your hand messy.

Medha: Yeah.

Adam: Yeah.

[laughing]

With the stuff that's going on in Yemen,

it's the largest humanitarian crisis,

and it's sad because

we can't even go back

to our, like, country

'cause of so much violence going on.

You know, even though we're here

in America eating Yemeni food,

it will never be the same

as eating it in Yemen.

So that's why having Yemeni

food in America, Yemen Cafe,

was...meant a lot to me

and the Yemeni people

because we're always so

prideful and so happy

when something Yemeni goes big.

Medha: How does this one

compare to your mom's?

Adam: You're trying to get me in trouble!

Medha: I'm not! I'm not! I'm not!

Adam: This one is just

as good as my mom's.

It's just as good as my mom's.

Hi, Mom. If you're watching,

it's just as good as yours.

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