Saturday’s breakfast/brunch in our house was a feast. We usually had it around 11am, after my father and brothers returned from the synagogue. In the Jewish Yemenite culture, unlike in Ashkenazy culture, women usually do not go to the synagogue (or to funerals). While men pray at the synagogue, women stay at home and prepare the food. This suited my sisters and I well. Beside setting the table and chopping salad, there wasn’t much to do on that day, since the food was prepared the day before Shabbat. While we enjoyed long quiet mornings at home; sleeping in, reading a book in bed, sipping coffee in the living room and enjoying a piece of pastry while going through the weekend newspaper, or talking to neighbors on the porch, our poor boys suffered. Rain or shine, they had to get up to prayer at 5am. After the long prayer and bible reading they had to listen to the Rabbi’s long and boring speech. The best Saturdays for them were when the Rabbi was out of town. Then they would be home around 9am. Those were not the best days for us, the girls.
|Our family synagogue. Photo by Shlomo Ben-Shaul|
Lassis is the main dish served for Shabbat breakfast, and all the other dishes on the table are there just to compliment it. Lassis is beans and hard-boiled eggs cooked together overnight. The next morning the eggs are brown with a rich and deep aroma. My parents used kidney beans for this dish, but you can use any bean you have in your pantry, except garbanzo beans. Lassis is usually served with grated tomato mixed with Schug, and Kubana bread to soak up the juices on the plate. My mother loved to pour yogurt mixed with fresh chopped herbs on the beans, and since this breakfast took place in Israel, we always had a fresh vegetable salad and a platter of different cheeses and olives to accompany the above.
1 cup kidney beans
Soak beans in water over night.
Next morning pour out water, rinse beans and fill pot with fresh water and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for about an hour or until beans get soft.
In a separate pot, cook eggs until hardened: cook 10 minutes on high heat, and then let rest for another 10 minutes.
Place hard boiled eggs in the pot with the beans. Add more water if necessary. Place the covered pot in the oven at 250F/120C and let cook over night.
Next morning, serve peeled eggs on beans.
Whenever I make Lassis at home, my kitchen smells just like my parents’ kitchen. Do you have any favorite dishes which bring back fond memories from your childhood? If so, please share, I’d love to hear about it.