Lazakiyat: Popular Dish In Suwayda Preserving Its Flavor
Grandmother Um Adnan yet hosts family gatherings with her children and grandchildren, especially on the Mother’s Day, when she serves them a large platter of Lazakiyat dessert, made by her own hands, based on her mother’s old recipe, all hot and sliced.
Um Adnan, 85 years old from Lahitheh village, north of Suwayda, continues to make the old fashioned recipe of Lasakiyat, but only on certain occasions, because of her old age and the difficulty of using saj (cooking grill) to create the special bread of this dessert.
The Grandmother describes to Enab Baladi the Lazakiyat dessert, which she soaks in Arabic ghee and tops with a lot of nuts. In the past, people used to eat Lazakiyat with their hands, tearing the layers apart. Whereas today, Lazakiyat is sliced and served in dishes and then eaten using spoons.
Despite the different etiquettes of eating Lazakiyat, its traditional value urged people to continue making it to the day, as this famous dessert is still present and distinct among Suwayda people who inherited it from their parents and grandparents, while farmers consider Lazakiyat as the main course after the end of the harvest seasons.
It takes three stages to make Lazakiyat. First of all, combine the following ingredients together: sugar, flour, milk, turmeric, anise, cinnamon and then yeast. After that, you have to blend them all until they become sticky. You, then, should put the batter in a punched container to pour it onto the saj in a circular form. The batter must be fibbed, so both sides are cooked and brown. This gives you the Lazakiyat flatbread.
Hiyam, a 49 years old mother of three kids, tells Enab Baladi that mothers of the day do not have saj. Therefore, they are unable to make Lazakiyat bread, resorting to Tefal frying pans instead to make flatbread. However, the fried bread does not have the same quality of saj bread.
“When I host my colleagues, I try to come up with different ways to make the dessert, such as creating round bread and forming it into rolls stuffed with nuts. Then, I pour clarified butter and syrup on the stuffed rolls and serve them,” Hiyam, who works as a school teacher added.
Um Majd, from Suwayda, keeps on cooking that dessert in her original way on the saj but replaces the large platter with smaller plates to serve Lazakiyat to her guests and family.
In fact, the original way of serving Lazakiyat is to place the Lazakiyat bread on the serving platter into layers, and add to each layer some sugar, ghee, the mixture of milk and halwa, leaving the bread a little time to absorb the added ingredients.
The people of Suwayda share the skill of making the lazaikyat with the people of Mount Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Jabal Al-Sheikh, as they are geographically overlapping areas and close in heritage and traditions.