Zhoum served with bread. Photography: Daniel Lailah
Zhoum served with bread. Photography: Daniel Lailah
Recipe

Zhoum

The family members (father, mother, and 5 daughters) would sit around the table with the aseed and zhoum pots in the center.

I was born on January 16, 1946 in Yemen, and immigrated to Israel when I was two years old. I have no memories of Yemen, but at home they cooked a lot of Yemeni food such as Zhoum, Aseed, Lahoh Levan, Jachanun, Malawach, Kubaneh Mafatlal (rolled), Yemeni soup, Yemeni pita, Sabayah and a variety of other flavors from the Yemeni cuisine. As a child Rosh Hashanah was my favorite holiday. We cooked the Yemenite soup with mutton, and I especially liked the blessing ceremony for the symbols (the pomegranate, the date, etc.), the ceremony moved me very much and moves me to this day.

The food that symbolizes home to me is jalbia with katzah, a pastry from the Yemeni cuisine that is usually prepared on the holiday of Purim, and the raw material that I remember most from the kitchen at home is the haviaj (spice mix) for soup, which I still use today.

Even on Saturday morning we would eat Yemeni food such as Yemeni soup, hilbeh [fenugreek dip] and kubaneh, along with Israeli food such as schnitzels, rice, and vegetable salad.

Mazal Sharara’s Zom.
Mazal Sharara cooks Zhoum and Aseed as part of the ‘Tales from the Kitchen’ project.

I chose to cook the zhoum served together with the aseed. My mother cooked this dish in an aluminum pot and would serve it in deep aluminum plates. All the family members (father, mother, and 5 daughters) sit around the table with the Aseed pot and the Zhoum pot in the center. Everyone serves themselves the desired amount, and at the end of the meal they remain sitting around the table, talking and laughing. After that, I, as the eldest daughter, washed the dishes. I really miss the beautiful time we lived in back then. A period of simplicity and spiritual wealth.

מתכון זום מצרכים
And we’re off! Organize the components beforehand.

Ingredients for Zhoum - Yemenite Sauce

For the Zhoum:

  • 1 eshel yogurt stone
  • 1 sour grapes
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) 5% white cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 1.7 oz (50 grams) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2½ cups water boiling
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • 1. Combine the cream, white cheese, and salt in a saucepan and mix well.

  • 2. Cook on medium heat and keep stirring while cooking. Add the flour and mix for about 5 minutes with a wooden spoon. Gradually add boiling water and mix while making sure that no lumps form until it is incorporated.

  • 3. Add the butter and garlic and mix for another minute. Remove from the heat, add the lemon and mix.

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The recipe was collected and documented by 74-year-old Mazel Sharara with the help of Rina Kolsa, a volunteer of ‘Baim Latov’ – the volunteer organization of senior citizens, and as part of the ‘Stories from the Kitchen’ project.

It is recommended to prepare together with Aseed

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