Hawaij Soup

Hawaij Soup

Hawaij is a spice mix traditionally used in Yemenite cuisine. It is commonly made out of turmeric, black pepper, dried onion, dried garlic, cumin, salt, dried cilantro, and cardamom, and cloves. Some add Hilbe to the mix. Health benefits: anti oxidants, anti-cancerous, infused with minerals, vitamins, promotes brain and blood vessel protection.


  • olive oil
  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Hawaij (You can find Hawaij on line or in middle eastern supermarkets)
  • 1 graded tomato - grade it on the wide blades, similar to a cheese grader
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock (you can use 4 cups stock instead of water)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 Large potato
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1
Turn the oven to 400F (I like to use gas as it keeps the chicken moistened).
Step 2
Rub the thighs with olive oil on both sides.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Let it roast for approximately one hour. Turn the chicken over in the pan after 30 minutes and let it roast for additional 30 minutes.
Step 3
On a large heavy pot (use one of the larger burners like the 15,000 BTU), heat 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Add the onion and simmer until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and simmer for two more minutes.
Step 4
Add the Hawaij and stir until everything is blended.
Add the graded tomato and stir.
Step 5
When the chicken is ready, add the thighs and any juice from the pan.
Stir in the chicken stock and water.
Add potato and tomato paste.
Step 6
Let the soup boil and then reduce to low heat.
Let it cook for 30 more minutes, up to 1 hour, or until it thickens a bit.
The soup is even more flavorful the following day.
Step 7
Enjoy with a spoon of Hilbe stirred into your bowl of soup, and Za’atar pita toast on the side.

To health!